As we journey through life, we experience division and depersonalization, both from the community and within the community. Reconciliation is a personal encounter once again with Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, who heals the wounds of our division and gives us peace of heart. “God in Christ reconciled us to Himself and entrusts to us the ministry of reconciliation in which forgiveness of sin and restoration of relationships take place. A primary way we acknowledge our sinfulness and celebrate our forgiveness by God in Christ is the Eucharist”. In addition to the Eucharist, the Church celebrates forgiveness through the Rite of Reconciliation. In this rite, the community reconciles itself with those estranged from one another and the Eucharistic community. This sacrament provides special help and healing to us in the ongoing process of conversion. In the revised Rite of Penance which comes to us from the renewal of the Second Vatican council, there are three forms of sacramental reconciliation:
The Rite of Reconciliation of an individual penitent
The Rite of Reconciliation of several penitents with individual confession and absolution
The Rite of Reconciliation of many penitents with general confession and absolution
The Rite of Reconciliation of several penitents expresses more clearly that we, as Christians, form a community and what helps or harms one member helps or harms the entire family of God.
Communal celebrations of reconciliation are normally celebrated before Christmas and Easter. The Sacrament of First Reconciliation for St. Anthony children is celebrated in the Third Grade after two consecutive years of formation classes. For First Reconciliation for children older than Third Grade, or who have not participated in formation classes, please call the Faith Formation Office at 916-392-6362.
Uninitiated adults celebrate reconciliation through the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) process. Full members of the faith may receive the Sacrament any Saturday between 4:00 and 4:45 p.m. in the Church, at a Communal Penance Service, by making an appointment with Fr. Bong (916-428-5678, ext. 103).