How to make a good confession in the catholic church

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

Confession is one of the least understood of the sacraments of the Catholic Church. In reconciling us to God, it is a great source of grace, and Catholics are encouraged to take advantage of it often. But it is also the subject of many common misunderstandings, both among non-Catholics and among Catholics themselves.

Confession Is a Sacrament

The Sacrament of Confession is one of the seven sacraments recognized by the Catholic Church. Catholics believe that all of the sacraments were instituted by Jesus Christ himself. In the case of Confession, that institution occurred on Easter Sunday, when Christ first appeared to the apostles after his Resurrection. Breathing on them, he said: “Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained” (John 20:22-23).

The Marks of the Sacrament

Catholics also believe that the sacraments are an outward sign of an inward grace. In this case, the outward sign is the absolution, or forgiveness of sins, that the priest grants to the penitent (the person confessing his sins); the inward grace is the reconciliation of the penitent to God.

Other Names for the Sacrament of Confession

That is why the Sacrament of Confession is sometimes called the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Whereas Confession stresses the action of the believer in the sacrament, Reconciliation stresses the action of God, who uses the sacrament to reconcile us to Himself by restoring sanctifying grace in our souls.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church refers to the Sacrament of Confession as the Sacrament of Penance. Penance expresses the proper attitude with which we should approach the sacrament—with sorrow for our sins, a desire to atone for them, and a firm resolve not to commit them again.

The Purpose of Confession

The purpose of Confession is to reconcile man to God. When we sin, we deprive ourselves of God’s grace. And by doing so, we make it even easier to sin some more. The only way out of this downward cycle is to acknowledge our sins, to repent of them, and to ask God’s forgiveness. Then, in the Sacrament of Confession, grace can be restored to our souls, and we can once again resist sin.

Why Is Confession Necessary?

Non-Catholics, and even many Catholics, often ask whether they can confess their sins directly to God and whether God can forgive them without going through a priest. On the most basic level, of course, the answer is yes, and Catholics should make frequent acts of contrition, which are prayers in which we tell God that we are sorry for our sins and ask for His forgiveness.

But the question misses the point of the Sacrament of Confession. The sacrament, by its very nature, confers graces that help us to live a Christian life, which is why the Church requires us to receive it at least once per year. (See The Precepts of the Church for more details.) Moreover, it was instituted by Christ as the proper form for the forgiveness of our sins. Therefore, we should not only be willing to receive the sacrament but should embrace it as a gift from a loving God.

What Is Required?

Three things are required of a penitent in order to receive the sacrament worthily:

  1. He must be contrite—or, in other words, sorry for his sins.
  2. He must confess those sins fully, in kind and in number.
  3. He must be willing to do penance and make amends for his sins.

While these are the minimum requirements, here are steps to making a better confession.

How Often Should You Go to Confession?

While Catholics are only required to go to Confession when they are aware that they have committed a mortal sin, the Church urges the faithful to take advantage of the sacrament often. A good rule of thumb is to go once per month. (The Church strongly recommends that, in preparation for fulfilling our Easter Duty to receive Communion, we go to Confession even if we are aware of venial sin only.)

The Church especially urges the faithful to receive the Sacrament of Confession frequently during Lent, to help them in their spiritual preparation for Easter.

Reconciliation (also known as Confession or Penance) is a sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ in his love and mercy to offer sinners forgiveness for offenses committed against God. In Reconciliation, we acknowledge our sins before God and his Church. We express our sorrow in a meaningful way, receive the forgiveness of Christ and his Church, make reparation for what we have done, and resolve to do better in the future.


Step 1: Contrition

Contrition is "sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again."

Step 2: Confession

The confession (or disclosure) of sins, even from a simply human point of view, frees us and facilitates our reconciliation with other

Step 3: Absolution

The priest speaks the words by which “God, the Father of Mercies” reconciles a sinner to himself through the merits of the Cross.

Step 4: Satisfaction

An important part of our healing is the “penance” the priest imposes in reparation for our sins.

How to make a good confession in the catholic church


Confession is not difficult, but it does require preparation.

Before we enter the Confessional, we should begin with prayer. We should review our lives since our last confession, searching our thoughts, words and actions for that which did not conform to God’s command to love Him and one another through His laws and the laws of His Church. This is called an examination of conscience.

How to make an examination of conscience

Begin with a prayer asking for God’s help.

Review your life with the help of questions based on the Ten Commandments.

There are various types of examinations of conscience but regardless of which one you use to prepare yourself for the Sacrament it should be rooted in Scripture; particularly, the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes.
CLICK HERE for a few examples of Examinations of Conscience that can help you prepare for the Sacrament.

Tell God how truly sorry you are for your sins.

Make a firm resolution not to sin again.

If you are unsure about how to confess or you feel uneasy

Ask the priest to help you – This is what Father became a priest to do: to make us friends with God again.

Place your trust in God – Our Heavenly Father is merciful.

Remember that God loves you – He wants to give you this free gift of His mercy and His love.

Listen to this homily – A priest reminds us about the amazing love of God in the confessional.


Receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation

Enter the Confessional

The Sacrament of Reconciliation may be face-to-face or anonymous, with a screen between you and the priest. Choose the option that is the most comfortable for you.

Begin your confession

When you enter the confessional, the priest will give you a blessing or greeting. He may also share a brief Scripture passage. Make the Sign of the Cross and say, "Bless me Father for I have sinned, It has been [X days, weeks, years] since my last confession."

Confess your sins

Confess all of your mortal sins to the priest in number and kind. Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church. Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father's mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful.

After you have confessed all of your sins

Say "I am sorry for these and all of my sins." The priest will then offer you advice to help you be a better Catholic, such as how to better work with the graces that God is giving you in your life, or ways to combat your weaknesses or habitual sin. He will then assign a penance.

Say an Act of Contrition

This is a way of expressing your sorrow for your sins.

Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace to confess my sins, do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

The priest, acting in the person of Christ, then absolves you from your sins.


Restoration of friendship with God

When the priest absolves you, he will say these words:

God, the Father of mercies,
through the death and the resurrection of his Son
has reconciled the world to himself
and sent the Holy Spirit among us
for the forgiveness of sins;
through the ministry of the Church
may God give you pardon and peace,
and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

For those who receive the sacrament of Penance with contrite heart and religious disposition, Reconciliation is usually followed by peace and serenity.


Completing the penance imposed by the priest

Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must "make satisfaction for" or "expiate" his sins.


How to make a good confession in the catholic church

Vatican City — To protect the sacrament of reconciliation as a “channel of grace” for victims of sexual abuse, the Catholic Church must do a better job instructing priests on what to do if a victim recounts his or her abuse in the confessional and in the unlikely case that an abuser confesses, said Jesuit Father Hans Zollner.

“If the church did more to help confessors be empathetic listeners as well as skilled interpreters of the church’s moral teaching, it would make it clearer that the sacrament of reconciliation can be an instrument in the fight against abuse,” Father Zollner wrote Nov. 11 in The Tablet, the London-based Catholic journal.

“If the church is not able to better explain why it does not protect abusers or other serious criminals from justice — and why the seal can help safeguard children and vulnerable adults — state legislators may come to target the inviolability of the seal of confession,” he wrote.

The Jesuit has been a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors since its creation and is president of the Institute of Anthropology: Interdisciplinary Studies on Human Dignity and Care at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University.

Father Zollner’s article was occasioned by debate in France after the release in October of a report by an independent commission estimated more than 330,000 children had been abused by church personnel since the 1950s.

The report “provoked the question that had been raised after the publication of similar reports in Australia, Ireland, the United States and elsewhere: Should it be mandatory for a priest who hears about sexual abuse committed against a minor in confession to report it to the secular authorities?”

However, he wrote, there is no “compelling evidence showing that abuse would be prevented by removing the seal” of the confessional.

The Code of Canon Law absolutely forbids a priest from revealing anything he has learned in the confessional for any reason. As Father Zollner wrote, “A priest cannot break the seal to save his own life, to protect his good name, to save the life of another or to aid the course of justice. Priests who violate the seal of confession are automatically excommunicated.”

While the church’s poor record of preventing abuse and handling allegations has created suspicion about its vigorous protection of the secrecy of the confessional, the Jesuit said that secrecy makes “people feel free to say things in confession they wouldn’t say anywhere else.”

Historically and still today, he said, that “safe space” is used much more often by survivors and victims than by abusers.

“With the exception of prison chaplains, priests are highly unlikely to ever hear a confession from a perpetrator of sexual abuse of children. Just one priest has told me that he had heard the confession of a perpetrator — and that was on just one occasion,” he wrote.

But, he said, “a victim of clerical sexual abuse as an adult made the sometimes-neglected point to me that many victims feel guilty and find it extremely difficult to speak for the first time about the unspeakable. She worries that if you cannot be absolutely sure that what you say in confession will remain confidential, one of the few safe places where starting to talk about an experience of abuse is possible may be lost.”

To assist victims, protect the sacramental seal and promote justice, Father Zollner said, the Catholic Church should issue a new instruction for priests who hear confessions, spelling out things they need to know specifically regarding cases of abuse or suspected abuse.

First, he said, it would “reiterate obligations to respect the laws for reporting abuse outside of the confessional and it would also reaffirm the seal. It would emphasize the personal responsibility of the confessor,” including “the requirement to call on a perpetrator to stop the abuse, to report themselves to the statutory authorities, and to seek therapeutic help.”

The instruction would make clear that “absolution for the sin of abuse cannot be given unless not only has sincere contrition been shown but the willingness to make up for the harm done has been demonstrated.”

“The instruction would also make clear that in the case of a victim speaking about being abused, the confessor must listen with empathy and respect,” he said. “The priest could then offer to meet the person alleging abuse outside the confessional space and encourage him or her to contact therapists and lawyers. Adequate accompaniment must be provided, given that many victims who speak about abuse for the first time feel uneasy about talking again about what had happened, particularly if it might open the area of legal proceedings.”

“The seal of confession creates a sacred space in which a penitent is completely free to put before God whatever is on their conscience, and — when they show contrition — find forgiveness, reconciliation and healing,” he said. “That the seal has in the past been a pretext for abuse and other crimes should not lead to what is a channel of grace being discarded.”

The basic requirement for a good confession is to have the intention of returning to God like the “prodigal son” and to acknowledge our sins with true sorrow before the priest.

Sin in my Life

Modern society has lost a sense of sin. As a Catholic follower of Christ, I must make an effort to recognize sin in my daily actions, words and omissions.

The Gospels show how important is the forgiveness of our sins. Lives of saints prove that the person who grows in holiness has a stronger sense of sin, sorrow for sins, and a need for the Sacrament of Penance or Confession.

The Differences in Sins

As a result of Original Sin, human nature is weakened. Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ’s grace, takes away Original Sin, and turns us back toward God. The consequences of this weakness and the inclination to evil persist, and we often commit personal or actual sin.

Actual sin is sin which people commit. There are two kinds of actual sin, mortal and venial.

Mortal sin is a deadly offense against God, so horrible that it destroys the life of grace in the soul. Three simultaneous conditions must be fulfilled for a mortal sin: 1) the act must be something very serious; 2) the person must have sufficient understanding of what is being done; 3) the person must have sufficient freedom of the will.


If you need help especially if you have been away for some time simply ask the priest and he will help you by “walking” you through the steps to make a good confession.

Before Confession

Be truly sorry for your sins. The essential act of Penance, on the part of the penitent, is contrition, a clear and decisive rejection of the sin committed, together with a resolution not to commit it again, out of the love one has for God and which is reborn with repentance. The resolution to avoid committing these sins in the future (amendment) is a sure sign that your sorrow is genuine and authentic. This does not mean that a promise never to fall again into sin is necessary. A resolution to try to avoid the near occasions of sin suffices for true repentance. God’s grace in cooperation with the intention to rectify your life will give you the strength to resist and overcome temptation in the future.

Examination of Conscience

Before going to Confession you should make a review of mortal and venial sins since your last sacramental confession, and should express sorrow for sins, hatred for sins and a firm resolution not to sin again.

A helpful pattern for examination of conscience is to review the Commandments of God and the Precepts of the Church:

Have God and the pursuit of sanctity in Christ been the goal of my life? Have I denied my faith? Have I placed my trust in false teachings or substitutes for God? Did I despair of God’s mercy?

Have I avoided the profane use of God’s name in my speech? Have I broken a solemn vow or promise?

Have I honored every Sunday by avoiding unnecessary work, celebrating the Mass (also holydays)? Was I inattentive at, or unnecessarily late for Mass, or did I leave early? Have I neglected prayer for a long time?

Have I shown Christlike respect to parents, spouse, and family members, legitimate authorities? Have I been attentive to the religious education and formation of my children?

Have I cared for the bodily health and safety of myself and all others? Did I abuse drugs or alcohol? Have I supported in any way abortion, “mercy killing,” or suicide?

Was I impatient, angry, envious, proud, jealous, revengeful, lazy? Have I forgiven others?

Have I been just in my responsibilities to employer and employees? Have I discriminated against others because of race or other reasons?

Have I been chaste in thought and word? Have I used sex only within marriage and while open to procreating life? Have I given myself sexual gratification? Did I deliberately look at impure TV, pictures, reading?

Have I stolen anything from another, from my employer, from government? If so, am I ready to repay it? Did I fulfill my contracts? Did I rashly gamble, depriving my family of necessities?

Have I spoken ill of any other person? Have I always told the truth? Have I kept secrets and confidences?

Have I permitted sexual thoughts about someone to whom I am not married?

Have I desired what belongs to other people? Have I wished ill on another?

Have I been faithful to sacramental living (Holy Communion and Penance)?

Have I helped make my parish community stronger and holier? Have I contributed to the support of the Church?

Have I done penance by abstaining and fasting on obligatory days? Have I fasted before receiving communion?

Have I been mindful of the poor? Do I accept God’s will for me?

During Confession

After examining your conscience and telling God of your sorrow, go into the confessional. You may kneel at the screen or sit to talk face-to-face with the priest.

Begin your confession with the sign of the cross, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. My last confession was _______ weeks (months, years) ago.”

The priest may read a passage from holy Scripture.

Say the sins that you remember. Start with the one(s) that is most difficult to say. (In order to make a good confession the faithful must confess all mortal sins, according to kind and number.) After confessing all the sins you remember since your last good confession, you may conclude by saying, “I am sorry for these and all the sins of my past life.”

Listen to the words of the priest. He will assign you some penance. Doing the penance will diminish the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven. When invited, express some prayer of sorrow or Act of Contrition such as:

An Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell. But most of all because I have offended you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.

At the End of Confession

Listen to the words of absolution, the sacramental forgiveness of the Church through the ordained priest.

As you listen to the words of forgiveness you may make the sign of the cross with the priest. If he closes by saying, “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good,” answer, “For His mercy endures forever.”

After Confession

Give thanks to God for forgiving you again. If you recall some serious sin you forgot to tell, rest assured that it has been forgiven with the others, but be sure to confess it in your next Confession.

Do your assigned Penance

Resolve to return to the Sacrament of Reconciliation often. We Catholics are fortunate to have the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is the ordinary way for us to have our sins forgiven. This sacrament is a powerful help to get rid of our weaknesses, grow in holiness, and lead a balanced and virtuous life.

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

Our Holy Father Pope Francis has invited the Catholic Church to embark on a journey together. Through listening and discernment rooted in the Holy Spirit, the entire people of God will be called to contribute to a process by which the Church deepens in understanding of Her mission and looks toward the future.

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

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The Precepts of the Catholic Church are a description of the absolute minimum actions required of Catholics regarding the Church.

The Church uses these precepts remind us that Christian life requires a commitment to prayer and active participation in the liturgy and sacraments. If we fall below this bare-minimum level, we can’t rightly consider ourselves to be in full communion with the Catholic Church.

Each of these precepts of the Catholic Church is a requirement. Together with the Ten Commandments, they represent the minimum level of moral living. Intentional violation of the precepts or the Commandments is a grave matter, meaning a mortal sin.

(If you’re a beginning Catholic, the book you’re using to learn the Catholic faith should list these precepts of the Catholic Church. If not, get a different book! I recommend Alan Schreck’s The Essential Catholic Catechism. It’s an outstanding, very readable primer about Catholic Christianity.)

The Precepts

  1. You shall attend Mass on Sundays and on holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor.

(These quotations are from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in its section about the Precepts of the Catholic Church (#2041-3).)

Note that these precepts of the Catholic Church are required, unless you have a legitimate reason for not meeting them. For example:

  • If you are sick, tending to a sick child, or camping in the wilderness on Sunday and cannot get to Mass, it is not a grave violation to miss Mass that day.
  • Children, the elderly, and pregnant or nursing women do not have to fast on normal fast days (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday).

More about fasting & abstinence

One of the precepts of the Catholic Church requires fasting & abstinence as signs of repentance. Repentance means to turn away from sin and turn back to God.

Catholic spirituality traditionally includes in repentance some form of penance. Penance means some practice that lets us express sorrow for our sins and helps repair the damage that sin has caused.

Penance gives us important practice in resisting temptation, thereby strengthening us. It greatly strengthens a number of virtues, especially charity, and it greatly enriches life.

The Catholic Church has two official forms of penitential practices: fasting and abstinence. These are so important that they’re one of the precepts of the Catholic Church.

Fasting is reducing the amount of food you eat below normal levels. Specifically, on fast days you may eat one full meal and two smaller meals, but those two smaller together should not exceed the amount of the normal meal. Snacking is also prohibited on fast days.

All Catholics age 18 to 59 are required to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. You are excused from fasting if you have a legitimate need to eat a normal amount of food on fast days. This includes:

  • The sick or infirm, including handicapped or mentally ill people who need the nourishment or cannot make a free choice to fast
  • Pregnant or nursing women
  • Some manual laborers

Abstinence means not eating meat (fish is not considered meat in this case). All Catholics 14 and older are required to observe abstinence on these days:

  • Ash Wednesday, Good Friday (the Friday before Easter), and all Fridays in Lent.
  • Outside the U.S., this is required on all Fridays of the year, in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday.
  • In the U.S., it is still strongly recommended to observe Friday abstinence outside of Lent, but Catholics may choose to substitute another penitential practice or act of charity for these days.

Note that the duty to perform the tasks of your state in life takes precedence over the law of fasting in the precepts of the Catholic Church. If fasting honestly causes you to be unable to fulfill your required tasks, it is uncharitable to fast — the law of fasting would not apply in this case. (Consult with a priest if this is a concern to you.)

Go beyond the minimum!

Always remember: the precepts of the Catholic Church are minimum levels of participation in the life of the Church. Out of love for Christ and a desire to advance in the spiritual life, you will normally try to do far more than they require.

Many people recommend that Catholics:

  • Attend Mass at least one more time a week. (Most Church parishes celebrate Mass every day of the year!)
  • Go to confession at least once a month, and find a regular confessor so he can give you better guidance.
  • Find a good spiritual director to give you sound guidance for growing in the spiritual life.
  • Receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at every Mass, if you meet the guidelines for reception (are free from mortal sin, etc.).
  • Make a habit of practicing penitential and charitable acts beyond those required by the precepts of the Catholic Church.
  • Contribute as much as possible to the material needs of the Church and the needy.

This brief article on the precepts of the Catholic Church is just one of a series of articles about Catholic morality. There are also more articles for the beginning Catholic available from our home page.

There are variations in the way different priests celebrate the sacrament of confession, and they will sometimes introduce different prayers and scripture readings. Here is the traditional way of making a confession, which has the very basics of what we need to know and say. If you want to know more about the kind of life we should be living as Christians, and what sins we should be avoiding, see the ‘Examination of Conscience’ below.

General advice

Sometimes we get nervous about going to confession. But don’t let nerves or fear hold you back. However long it has been, however bad the sin, however embarrassed you feel – don’t let anything stop you from going to confession.

Remember that it is the Lord we meet in confession. Priests are all different; and some we like more than others. But what matters is the presence of Jesus in our life through the ministry of the priest, and not the personality of the priest. Christ touches our life through each priest, whoever he is; and every priest will keep your confession absolutely secret for the rest of his life.

Your local parish should have confessions at least once a week. It is also useful to know the times of confession at other churches nearby, or at churches near where you work or study. The diocesan Cathedral is often a good place to go to confession, with plenty of different times.

You have the right as a Catholic to go to confession ‘anonymously’, in a confessional where the priest cannot identify you. If your local parish does not have this, then if you prefer you can try and find confession at another parish that does.
Try to go regularly, perhaps every month.

Briefly examine your conscience at the end of each day, and make an act of contrition. In this way you will become more sensitive to what is really happening in your own life, and you will be more prepared and more honest as you come to confession.

Before confession

Spend a few minutes before your confession: Pray for God’s help and guidance; examine your conscience; remember any sins you have committed (write them down if it helps); pray for God’s forgiveness.

But don’t spend forever trying to remember every little sin (this can become an obsession that is called ‘scruples’) – ten minutes is probably a good amount of time; an hour is too long.

It is our duty to mention in confession all our serious (or ‘mortal’) sins; and we are encouraged to mention some of our other smaller (or ‘venial’) sins and everyday faults, but we don’t need to list every minor failure. Remember that all our venial sins are forgiven and forgotten whenever we pray for God’s forgiveness, and whenever we receive Holy Communion.

If you are not sure what to say or do, don’t worry – tell the priest, and ask him to help you as you begin.

In confession

Begin by saying: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” Then add: “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It is [state the length of time] since my last confession”. Then tell him very briefly what your ‘state of life’ is, to help him understand your situation; e.g. “I am at school studying for A-levels” or “I am a wife and mother”.

Now confess your sins. Be simple and straightforward. Just put into words what you have done wrong since you last went to confession. Don’t make excuses; but if it helps, say a little bit about what happened and why. When you have finished, say: “I am sorry for all these sins and the sins of my past life”.

The priest might then talk to you and give you some advice. He will give you a penance to do (a prayer or action that expresses your sorrow and your desire to put things right and live a new life).

The priest will then ask you to make an Act of Contrition. Say one you know, or use the following one: “O my God, because you are so good, I am very sorry that I have sinned against you; and I promise that with the help of your grace, I will not sin again. Amen.”

The priest then says the prayer of absolution, which is the moment when God forgives your sins. He may add some other prayers as well.

After confession

If it is possible now, do your penance in the church before you leave; e.g. if you have been asked to say a certain prayer, kneel down and say it now.

Pray for a moment in thanksgiving for the forgiveness you have received in this sacrament; and pray for God’s help to live a new life.

You might feel relieved and peaceful and full of joy. Or you might feel dry and empty. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that we have been forgiven and been given new life. The Lord has touched us – even if we do not feel it. That knowledge should give us a kind of inner peace and joy, even if we don’t feel it.

If you forgot to mention something small, don’t get all worried. As long as we make an honest examination of conscience and do not deliberately conceal anything from the priest, we can trust in God’s forgiveness. If we remember, later on, any mortal sins from earlier in our life, we can bring them to our next confession.


An Examination of Conscience is simply a list of some of the ways that we can love God and our neighbour, and some of the ways we can fail to love through sin. Reflecting on an Examination of Conscience helps us to be honest with ourselves and honest with God. It is not meant to be a burden. It helps us to examine our lives, and to make a good confession, so that we can be at peace with Christ and with one another. The important thing, of course, is to love, and to live our Catholic faith with our whole heart. But now and then it is useful to spell out what this really means, and to make sure that we are not kidding ourselves.

This Examination of Conscience is not to be used every day, or even at every confession – we do not need to go through a checklist every time. It is here for us to look at every now and then. It is based around the Ten Commandments. As we reflect on it, we can ask the Lord to shine his light into our hearts. Some things will not apply to us; but if something in particular touches our conscience, then we can bring it to confession.

Above all, let us remember God’s mercy and his love for us. His love never fails or changes. He loves us passionately, with infinite kindness and tenderness. The only reason we remember our sins is so that we can turn to him and receive his forgiveness, and learn to love him in a new and deeper way.

  • How to make a good confession in the catholic church

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Monday: 8:00 am – Live stream ONLY
Tuesday: 8:00 am – Live stream ONLY
Wednesday: 8:00 am – Live stream & Public worship (booking NOT required)
Thursday: 8:00 am – Live stream ONLY
Friday: 9:30 am – Live stream & Public worship (booking NOT required)
Saturday: 5:30 pm – Public worship ONLY (booking required)
Sunday: 9:00 am – Live stream & Public worship (booking required)

Public Holidays: 9:00 am

Public Masses: As of Friday 1 October all public Masses, Services and Gatherings is at 90 people Max attending Mass as announced by the Government. Please contact the Parish Office if you have any queries.


All Masses (except Saturday) with Fr. Robert are live-streamed and recorded on YouTube

How to make a good confession in the catholic church


Mass intentions continue, please call or email your requests. You will find Mass Intentions in our weekly bulletins here.

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

Our Lady of Grace Church extends a warm welcome to new parishioners, seasonal parishioners, and visitors. As you join us on our journey to the Kingdom of Heaven, we invite you to join also in our ministries. All have positions available including Extraordinary Ministers, readers, hospitality ministers, choir, altar servers and many others. Most of all, we are so glad you are here.

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

Our lady of grace now offers an online giving solutiion so that you can better manage your contributions. Simply click on “Online giving” on the menu bar above or click here: “OFFERTORY” to make your first recurring donation and create an account. you can also use it to make your donations for holy days and special second collections. for more information visit “Online Giving General Information”.

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

online gifts meet the same security standards as online banking. Just be sure to use a secure internet connection (not a public wifi spot).

you can use your computer, tablet, or other mobile device from anywhere at anytime.
No additional software is required.
You don’t have to remember your envelopes.

“By the grace o God, may all of us gather together at the table of the Lord, united in faith and charity. May God bless you!”
Bishop Gregory Parkes

The bishop has written a letter about the general dispensation and a list of circumstances that would necessitate a particular dispensation from the Sunday and Holy Day Mass obligation, which is available in English and Spanish.

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

  • Sat : 4:00 PM English English EN
  • Sun : 8:00 AM English English EN 10:30 AM English English EN 12:30 PM Spanish Español ES
  • M F 9:00 AM English English EN
  • Dec 31 : 9:00 AM English English EN
  • Jan 1 : 10:00 AM English English EN
  • Saturday : 2:30 PM to 3:15 PM
  • 1st Friday : 9:30 AM to 3:45 PM

My Jesus,
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there
and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.

Mi amado Jesús,
creo que Tú estás presente
en el Santísimo Sacramento.

Te amo sobre todas las cosas,
y deseo recibirte en mi alma.

Ya que no puedo, en este momento,
recibirte sacramentalmente,
ven, al menos, espiritualmente a mi corazón.

Te abrazo como si Tú estuvieras ya ahí
y me uno a mi mismo completamente a Ti.

Nunca me permitas
estar separado de Ti.

Almighty, ever-living God, by our baptism, we have been called to live as missionary disciples of your Son, Jesus Christ.

Grant that we, your people of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, will fulfill our purpose by proclaiming the Good News and inviting all people to encounter the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.

Deepen our trust in you, O Lord, and help us to remain steadfast in our commitment to Courageously Living the Gospel in our homes, neighborhoods, parish communities, and wherever you may lead us.

Together, with the intercession of our Blessed Mother and all the saints who have gone before us, we humbly ask for the courage to live as your disciples standing firm in our Catholic faith, through your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Dios todopoderoso y eterno, que por nuestro bautismo nos has llamado a vivir como discípulos misioneros de tu Hijo Jesucristo.

Concédenos a nosotros, tu pueblo de la Diócesis de St. Petersburg, cumplir nuestro propósito de proclamar la buena nueva e invitar a todas las personas a encontrar el amor y la misericordia de Jesucristo.

Aumenta nuestra confianza en ti, y ayúdanos a permanecer firmes en nuestro compromiso de vivir valientemente el Evangelio en nuestros hogares y vecindarios, en nuestras comunidades parroquiales y a dondequiera que tú te dignes llevarnos.

Juntos, y por la intercesión de nuestra Santísima Madre y de todos los santos que nos han precedido en la fe, humildemente te pedimos valor para vivir como discípulos tuyos, firmes en nuestra fe católica. Por Jesucristo tu Hijo, nuestro Señor.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God,
cast into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.


San Miguel Arcángel, defiéndenos en la batalla; sé
nuestro amparo contra la perversidad y asechanzas
del demonio. Reprímale Dios, pedimos suplicantes,
y tú, Príncipe de la Milicia Celestial, arroja al infierno
con el divino poder a Satanás y a los demás espíritus
malignos que andan dispersos por el mundo
para la perdición de las almas.

How to make a good confession in the catholic church


God, our Father, Creator and Lord of the Universe, you have set the earth on its foundation and all the elements of nature obey your command.

We humbly beseech you to keep us safe from all dangers and to calm the storms that may threaten us. May we be secure in your loving protection and serve you always with grateful hearts.

We ask this, through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen

-Clicking HERE and enter and submit your information online.
-Completing the form found in the Bulletin and mailing it in.
-Calling the Parish Office at 352 746-2144 to Update your information.

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

Thursday from 4:00-5:00 PM
Saturday from 3:30-4:30 PM

(Other times by appointment)
Confessions have resumed in the Divine Mercy Chapel confessionals.

The Sacrament of the Sick is available to all who are ill, of advanced age or preparing for surgery. Please contact the Parish Office to schedule a priest to administer the sacrament at your home or at the church. If you are admitted to York Hospital, please ask for the full-time Catholic Chaplain, Fr. Charles Ocul to give you any sacraments you are requesting (Communion, Confession, Anointing of the Sick).

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You can mail a contribution to 2935 Kingston Rd, York, PA 17402 or give online.

Online Giving:
CLICK HERE to give online. You can set up regularly scheduled contributions and/or one-time contributions (QUICK GIVE). You can deduct from a bank account or connect to your credit card. With Quick Give, you don’t have to set up an account. If you do create an account, you can also see reports of your contribution history.

Diocesan Annual Campaign
CLICK HERE to make a donation to the Diocesan Annual Campaign.

A Roman Catholic Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia

From Our Pastor

December 26, 2021 St Mary Fred

The Feast of the Holy Family falls right smack between Christmas and the Feast of Mary Mother of God (Jan 1). It is a reminder on the importance of family life. Like our Lord, we are born into a family by divine providence.

I have 23 nieces and nephews, and a great-uncle, many times. Life is such an amazing blessing and mystery. I have observed how life has slowed down for mothers as their life really revolves around her newborn. Ok, slowed down isn’t the best word, as any parent can attest, but many of the things that she would otherwise be doing (social visits, extended family gatherings) just give way to the singular importance of caring for this new child. This has struck me because it is fitting, but also because its timing is causing me to reflect on the birth of Our Lord. We run around ‘getting ready for Christmas’, we celebrate His birth with big fanfare and party, and now?…. Our lives do slow down this week. Thanks be to God! Do our lives revolve around this Child who has been born of the Virgin Mary? In your own experiences of the miracle of life, I hope you can see an image of the Life who has come into the world.

Sometimes folks tell me that their families are soooooo ‘not holy.’ But that’s ok. Remember that the head of the Holy Family is St. Joseph, the only member of the holy family who ever sinned! And Jesus makes us a member of His family, so we do share in its perfection. Seeing that holiness is possible should not discourage us but fill us with hope that God has provided, where we cannot.

May your lives this week be a celebration of the birth of Our Lord with eyes open to see his blessings in the daily lives of your family.

We do more to help others experience conversion and make progress by encouraging them in the positive aspects of their lives than by condemning their errors. Good is more real than evil, and it overcomes evil.
– Fr. Jacque Philippe

In an age that has thrown off all tradition, the only rebellion possible is orthodoxy.
– Peter Kreeft

Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it.
– Pope John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis, 10

It is the source of all true art and all science.
– Albert Einstein

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.
– C.S. Lewis



SATURDAY VIGIL – 5:00 pm (available to stream on Facebook Live)

SUNDAY – 8:30 am, 11:00 am (available to stream on Facebook Live), 6:00 pm (Spanish)

Monday – 12:00 noon

Tuesday – 12:00 noon

Wednesday – 7:00 pm

Thursday – 8:00 am

Friday – 8:00 am School Mass (masks mandatory)


1120 Newcastle Street
Brunswick, GA, 31525

Tornado Response

In response to the recent tornado destruction that occurred recently, affecting various communities of Kentucky, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee with the hardest hit area being in Mayfield, Kentucky, please join us in prayer as we pray for the souls lost and for the many other victims involved. Our office has been closely monitoring any updates from our Catholic Charities colleagues as well as from the national office, Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) on how we can help. Currently, CCUSA has a disaster operations team working with the local Catholic Charities agencies in these communities and are asking for donations to help with these relief efforts. Here are a couple of ways to donate:

1. Directly through the CCUSA online portal: Click or tap if you trust this link.”> Funds will be distributed among the Catholic Charities agencies in the affected areas.

2. Diocese of Owensboro: . Mayfield is located within the Diocese of Owensboro and served by Catholic Charities of Owensboro.

Below is a link to a message shared by Susan Montalvo-Gesser, Director for Catholic Charities of Owensboro and attached is an e-mail sent by Sister Donna Markham, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA.

Important Dates

  • Saturday, January 1st is the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. This is not a Holy Day of Obligation this year since it’s on a Saturday, but we will have Mass at 10:00 am. The 5:00 Vigil Mass will be for The Epiphany of the Lord.
  • Sunday Masses for The Epiphany of the Lord will be our normal schedule of 8:30 am, 11:00 am and 6:00 pm (Spanish).
  • The Christmas season runs through January 9th with the Baptism of our Lord.
  • Please join Bishop Parkes in celebrating a Mass for Life for the protection of the unborn at the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at 12:00 pm.
  • Married couples celebrating their Silver or Gold (25th or 50th) Anniversaries in 2022 are invited to join Bishop Parkes for a special Mass and reception at the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist on Sunday, February 20, 2022 at 3:30 pm. Those wishing to attend should register online at by December 31, 2021. Please call the Diocesan Office of Marriage, Family and Respect Life at 912-201-4068 with questions.

Christmas Schedule

The parish office will be closed through January 2nd and reopen at 9:00 am on January 3rd. If you have an emergency please call the office to get our emergency numbers. A priest will be on duty during this time for emergencies and to celebrate daily Mass. Merry Christmas!

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

  • How to sign up for FORMED
  • Access St. Mark FORMED Account

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

On July 1, 2021 the Archdiocese of Indianapolis changed the provider for Child Safety Training and
Misconduct Reporting , it is now SafeParish.

SafeParish is the child protection program for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. The training program is completely conducted online and includes processing of a background check and Code of Conduct. The purpose of the “SafeParish” program is to provide easier access to child protection training for clergy, employees, and volunteers. It allows us to broaden the focus of the training to increase awareness of all forms of child abuse.

Who is Required to Sign Up for this Program? SafeParish Training is a requirement for all volunteers regardless of their ministry area. If you are 18 years of age or older and you volunteer in any ministries here at St. Mark, you must comply with all the requirements prior to volunteering. Click here to access the Safe and Sacred site.

If you had previously completed Safe and Sacred you do not need to complete SafeParish until your Safe and Sacred expires (about 5 years). Please contact the Parish Center at 787-8246 if you have any questions.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the most unique and beautiful aspects of Catholicism. Jesus Christ, in His abundant love and mercy, established the Sacrament of Confession, so that we as sinners can obtain forgiveness for our sins and reconcile with God and the Church. The sacrament “washes us clean,” and renews us in Christ.

“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’” (John 20:21-23).

Experience peace and love

If you haven’t been to Confession in a while, the Catholic Church wants to welcome you back, and invites you to participate in this beautiful sacrament of healing. Take a step in faith. You’ll be surprised about how free you feel after taking part in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. So many Catholics describe incredible feelings of peace, joy, relief, and love that they never expected. Jesus is calling you to experience His mercy in this way too.


1. Confession helps us to better “know thyself.”

St. Augustine and countless other saints and doctors of the Church talk about the importance of knowing ourselves well. Through coming to know ourselves better, we realized how fallen we are, and how badly we need God’s help and grace to get through life. Frequent Confession helps remind us to rely on God to help rid us of our sins.

2. Confession helps us overcome vice.

The grace we receive from the Sacrament of Confession helps us combat our faults and failings and break our habits of vice much more easily and expediently than we could otherwise do without the sacramental grace.

3. Confession brings us peace.

Guilt from the sins we commit can make us feel all mixed up inside and cause us to lose our peace and joy. When we hear God’s forgiving words to us from the lips of the priest in Confession, a burden is lifted off our shoulders and we can again feel the peace of heart and soul that comes from being in a good relationship with God.

4. Confession helps us become more saintly, more like Jesus.

Jesus was perfectly humble, perfectly generous, perfectly patient, perfectly loving—perfectly everything! Don’t you wish you could be as humble, generous, patient, and loving as Jesus? Saints throughout history have felt that way too, and they have frequented the Sacrament of Reconciliation to help transform them into people who are more like Christ. Little images of Christ—that’s what saints are!

5. Confession makes our will stronger.

Every time we experience the Sacrament of Confession, God strengthens our will and our self-control to be able to resist the temptations that confront us in our lives. We become more resolute to follow God’s will and not our own whims.

Of course, the list of benefits of the Sacrament of Confession goes on and on! But you have to go to reap the benefits! Going to Confession regularly will truly change your life. What’s keeping you from Reconciliation?

The words of absolution in the Confessional are truly beautiful: “I absolve you from your sins, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus is waiting to forgive you—all you have to do is ask! Don’t miss out any longer on the healing power of Confession.

Here, the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains the Sacrament of Reconciliation, its various names and the graces that flow from the sacrament:

“Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion (CCC 1422).

“It is called the sacrament of conversion because it makes sacramentally present Jesus’ call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father from whom one has strayed by sin.”

“It is called the sacrament of Penance, since it consecrates the Christian sinner’s personal and ecclesial steps of conversion, penance, and satisfaction.”

“It is called the sacrament of confession, since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament. In a profound sense it is also a ‘confession’ – acknowledgment and praise – of the holiness of God and of his mercy toward sinful man.”

“It is called the sacrament of forgiveness, since by the priest’s sacramental absolution God grants the penitent pardon and peace.”

“It is called the sacrament of Reconciliation, because it imparts to the sinner the love of God who reconciles: ‘Be reconciled to God.’ He who lives by God’s merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord’s call: ‘Go; first be reconciled to your brother’” (CCC 1423).

So you’ve decided you want to go to Confession. But how exactly do you make a good Confession?The basic requirement for a good confession is to have the intention of returning to God with your whole heart, like the “prodigal son,” and to acknowledge your sins with true sorrow before the priest.

Modern society has lost a sense of sin. As Catholic followers of Christ, we must make an effort to recognize sin in our daily actions, words and omissions.

The Gospels show us the importance of the forgiveness of our sins. The lives of the saints prove that a person who grows in holiness has a stronger sense of sin, sorrow for sins and a need for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. No wonder the saints are filled with joy! They have realized the key to handing over their burdens to Christ through the Sacrament of Confession, so they can be free to serve Him with love and energy.

We, the Catholic Community of St. Richard of Chichester, are called by Baptism to proclaim the message of Jesus Christ to all. Guided by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to active evangelization, seeking to make Jesus known and present through our worship, community, formation and service.

Latest News – Week of December 20 & 27

  • Christmas Eve Family Choir Rehearsal on Wednesday, December 22 at 6:00 PM.
  • No RCIA or CGS until 2022
  • Church Office Closes Thursday, December 23 at noon and will re-open Tuesday, January 4, 2022.
  • Adoration Wednesday, December 22 from 9:00 AM until 9:00 PM. No Adoration on Wednesday, December 29.
  • No Confession on Wednesday’s at 5:30 PM.

Join St. Richard

We are very happy to have you in our parish!

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How to make a good confession in the catholic church

Live-streamed Masses at St. Richard Catholic Church

Would you like to view Mass online?

Visit our Facebook page here

We live stream daily Mass at 7:00 AM Tuesday – Friday

and Sunday at 8:00 AM

Note: Streamed Masses are removed the following day.

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

Christmas Holiday Schedule

No signup required for Christmas Masses

Friday, December 24 – Christmas Eve Masses

  • 4:00 pm (children’s), 6:00 pm (this Mass will be streamed) and 10:00 pm. Carols begin 30 mins prior to Mass time.

Saturday, December 25 – Christmas Day Mass

  • 9:00 am (only one Mass). This Mass will be streamed.
  • No confession and No 4:00 pm Vigil Mass

Sunday, December 26

  • 8:00 am, 10:30 am and 5:00 pm

Friday, December 31 – New Year’s Eve

  • Morning Mass 7:00 am and 6:00 pm

Saturday, January 1 – New Year’s Day

  • 9:00 am and Vigil Mass at 4:00 pm

Sunday, January 2

  • 8:00 am, 10:30 am and 5:00 pm

Church office will be closed beginning Thursday, December 23 at noon through Monday, January 3rd. The office will re-open on Tuesday, January 4 at 7:30 AM.

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd has begun. Children must by 3 years old by September 1, 2021. Click here for registration form

If your child is in second grade and needs sacramental preparation for First Reconciliation and First Communion, please click on link below and complete the requested information form. Registration form for second graders


All children who plan to receive the sacraments this year and do not attend St. Richard School must attend Parish Religious Education classes.

How to make a good confession in the catholic church

Fr. Manuel Pérez had a Celebration of Life Mass on Tuesday, August 3rd at 11 a.m.. There were two banners made with 52 names of those we have lost during the pandemic. We had a wonderful reception following the Mass. The Banners will be kept up for the month of August. Thank you to everyone who made this wonderful celebration possible.

“We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God.”

In the present tragic situation, when the whole world is prey to suffering and anxiety, we fly to you, Mother of Gos and our mother, and seek refuge under your protection.

Virgin Mary, turn your merciful eyes toward us amid this coronavirus pandemic. Comfort those who are distraught and mourn their loved ones who have died, and at times are buried in a way that grieves them deeply. Be close to those who are concerned for their loved ones who are sick, and who, in order to prevent the spread of the disease, cannot be close to them. Fill with hope those who are troubled by the uncertainty of the future and the consequences for the economy and employment.

Mother of God and our Mother, pray for us to God, the father of mercies, that this great suffering may end and that hope and peace may dawn anew. Plead with your divine Son, as you did at Cana, so that families of the sick and the victims be comforted, and their hearts be opened to confidence and trust.

Protect those doctors, nurses, health workers and volunteers who are on the frontline of this emergency, and are risking their lives to save others. Support their heroic effort and grant them strength, generosity and continued health.

Be close to those who assist the sick night and day, and to priests who, in their pastoral concern and fidelity to the Gospel, are trying to help and support everyone.

Blessed Virgin, illumine the minds of men and women engaged in scientific research, that the they may find effective solutions to overcome this virus.

Support national leaders, that with wisdom, solicitude and genreosity they may come to the aid of those lacking the basic necessities of life and may devise social and economic solutions inspired by farsightedness and solidarity.

Mary Most Holy, stir their consciences , so that the enormous funds invested in developing and stockpiling arms witll instead be spent on promoting effective research on how to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

Beloved Mother, help us realize that we are all members of one great family and to recognize the bond that unites us, so that, in a spirit of fraternity and solidarity, we can help to alleviate countless situations of poverty and need. Make us strong in faith, perserving in service, constant in prayer.

Mary, Consolation of the afflicted, embrace all your chldren in distress and pray that God will stretch our his all-powerful hand and free us from this terrible pandemic, so that life can serenely resume its normal course.

To you, who shine on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope, do we entrust ourselves, O Clement, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary. Amen.

During your travels on earth, God Worked His miraculous healing through your intercession, Many were cured of the plaguefrom your prayers and the sign of the cross. We implore you Saint Rocco to intercede before the throne of God; Send forth a blessing of
protection from Contagious diseases and the Coronavirus. Bless us Heavenly Father
with your healing grace. We ask this in the name of your Divine Son, Jesus.

O Great St. Rocco, deliver us, we beseech thee, from the scourges of God; through thy Intercessory, preserve our bodies from contagious diseases, and our souls from the contagion of sin. Obtain for us, salubrious air; but, above all, purity of heart. Assist us to make good use of health, to bear suffering with patience; and, after thy example, to live in the practice of penance and charity, that we may one day enjoy the happiness which thou has merited by thy virtues. St. Rocco, pray for us (say three time)

Contact parish secretary for parish code to access FORMED for free. Click on photo to register.
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How to make a good confession in the catholic church

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