“The whole power of the sacrament of Penance consists in restoring us to God’s grace and joining us with him in an intimate friendship” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1468).
Because of our many human weaknesses, the new life that we secured through the Sacraments of Initiation is often overcome by sin. Baptism forgives all sins, but because we can only be Baptized once, the Church forgives subsequent sins through the Sacrament of Reconciliation
Scripture gives us many examples where Jesus forgave sins. In the fifth chapter of Luke, we read about a paralyzed man who was lowered through the roof in order to have Jesus heal him. Jesus first forgave the man’s sins, and then healed him physically. Again, in the seventh chapter of Luke, we read about the sinful woman who knelt at the feet of Jesus, and He forgave her sins. Finally, in the fifteenth chapter of Luke, we read the wonderful story of the prodigal son. The father in the story illustrates the meaning of the great forgiveness our heavenly father bestows on us when we are truly sorry for our sins.
Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He gave the command” “As the Father has sent me, so I send you … Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained” (John 20:21-23). The Church teaches that the ministry of forgiveness was given to the Church by this mandate.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is currently celebrated at 4:00 pm on Saturday at St. Matthew’s Church in Boyne City. Individuals can also call the parish offices to schedule an appointment for reconciliation. Communal reconciliation is celebrated during the season of Advent and Lent.
Boyne Valley Catholic Community celebrates the sacraments of Confirmation and First Communion in the third grade. In the second grade, the students prepare for and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is required that all candidates for the sacraments participate in this two year formation process. All sacramental preparation is accomplished outside of regular faith formation sessions.
For more information concerning the sacrament of Reconciliation or sacramental preparation, please contact the parish offices.