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‚ÄčThe sacrament of reconciliation at St. Gertrude Parish is celebrated on Saturday afternoons from 3:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., or by appointment.

Given that sin destroys our relationship with God and undermines our relationship with other human beings, reconciliation designates that precise effect of Christ's redemption of the human race that restores our relationship with God and our human fellowship.

Christ breaks down the barriers that sin raises between us and God, and within the human community.

Our conversion from sin and reception of divine mercy are continually renewed by confession. Serious sin separates us from the body of the church, and sacramental penance reconciles us with God and the community of his people.

This sacrament is also referred to as the sacrament of penance or confession.

 Sacramental Preparation

‚ÄčA child's initiation into the Catholic faith, which begins at his or her baptism, requires a special level of commitment from both the child and the parents.

As children approach the age when the sacramental preparation process will begin for reconciliation, it is important for families to understand the commitment they will undertake over the coming years. Fulfilling this commitment will lead to the reception of sacraments, which constitute full initiation of a child into the Catholic faith community.

Families with children enrolled in second grade CCD or Catholic school, and who have previously completed the first grade of the CCD curriculum, or first grade in a Catholic school, are eligible to prepare for the sacrament of reconciliation.

Additional intergenerational workshops helping families prepare for sacramental reception are offered separately from the general grade level curriculum.

Minimally, families attend weekly Mass and participate fully in the preparation process in the parish with prayer and conversation going on in the home. Parent formation sessions are inclusive with the formation process.

Children in second grade begin to prepare for their first penance from the first day of class. An intergenerational workshop for the child and family to prepare for the immediate reception of the sacrament is scheduled on an evening in November.

The child will experience the sacrament of reconciliation with his or her classmates in a children's penance service with a private confession scheduled for an evening in December. Family members are encouraged to receive the sacrament at this time as well.

For children older than second grade, please contact the coordinator of faith formation and religious education for an evaluation of your specific needs, and suggestions for a process to prepare your child for the reception of the sacrament.