The Sacrament of Confession & Reconciliation at St. John Fisher (SJF) takes place every Saturday from 4:00pm to 5:00pm. If you cannot make it during this time because of work of other obligations, you can make an appointment to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation during the week or at some other time. To set up an appoint with the priest in his office, call the Parish Office phone at (281) 342-5092 during regular office hours and speak to the Parish Secretary. She has the priest's calendar and can schedule you at a time that is mutually conducive.
SJF also holds a Penance Service twice a year (during Advent and Lent) wherein several priests of the Archdiocese come to SJF to hear confessions. Check our calendar to know when the next Penance Service will take place.
The penitnent is to walk into the confessional (the room where confession happens), sit or kneel, and make the Sign of the Cross. One cross him/herself starting with the forehead, followed by chest, left shoulder, and finishing on the right shoulder. The penitent is to recite "Bless me Father for I have sinned. It has been [Days? Months? Years?] since my last confession. These are my sins." The penitent's sins are confessed to the priest and afterwards he/she states "For these and for all the sins I cannot recall right now, I ask forgiveness."
The priest may ask questions and/or offer guidance and advice. Afterwards, he will give the penitent a penance to perform. Penance recognizes that when we sin, we not only damage our soul but also we damage the Body of Christ which is all of us together, which is the Church. We can either elevate and beautify the Body of Christ through our virtue or we can damage it and make it ugly through our sin. Penance helps to repair the damage to ourselves and to the Church.
After all of this, the penitent expresses before God, in the presence of the priest, that he/she is truly sorry (contrite) for the sins committed by saying the following prayer: "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 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, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen"
The priest will then lift his hand toward the penitent and give absolution (forgiveness of sins) by saying the following prayer: "God the Father of mercies, through the death and 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 grant you pardon and peace." And then he will bless you with the sign of the cross saying: "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the of the Holy Spirit. Amen"
And he will send you on your way saying: "Go in peace."
Examination of Conscience
Before celebrating the Sacrament of Penance, one should prepare oneself with an examination of conscience, which involves reflecting prayerfully on one's thoughts, words, and deeds in order to identify any sins. 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. Several links to Examinations of Conscience documents are presented below.