Confessions are heard in the shrine Monday thru Friday, 11:00 to 11:25 am, and on Saturday, 3:00 to 3:45 pm.
If you have been away from the sacrament for a long period of time, just do your best to recall your sins, then enter the confessional and ask the priest to help you. If you honestly forget an unforgiven serious sin in confession, your sin is forgiven and you may go to Holy Communion (but you should confess it the next time you remember it).
Remember: You are telling your sins to our loving Savior who died for you. The priest is Christ’s instrument and representative, a man subject to temptations like all of us but endowed by Christ with powers to bring His peace to you if you are properly disposed.
“It is an excellent thing to go to confession often, because the Sacrament of Penance, besides taking away sin, gives the graces necessary to avoid sin in the future.” — Catechism of St Pius X
A helpful examination of conscience
The bare minimum necessary for a worthy confession is that you tell all serious sins you remember since your last worthy confession, that you do your best to avoid committing these and other sins in the future, and that you are willing to perform the penance imposed upon you by the priest who hears your confession.
To begin your examination, you should ask God the Holy Spirit for light and guidance.
- Have I received Holy Communion while conscious of serious sin on my soul?
- Have I made my “Easter Duty” (that is, received Communion at any time from the first Sunday of Lent through Trinity Sunday?)
- Have I sworn to God to tell the truth and then deliberately lied?
- Have I used God’s name irreverently, either in anger or in jest?
- Have I deliberately missed Mass on Sunday or an obligatory holy day without good reason?
- Have I neglected prayer over a long period of time or become lax with regard to the sacraments?
- Have I participated in occult practices such as tarot cards, ouija boards, palm reading, and recourse to Satan or demons?
- Have I been neglectful of my responsibilities as a parent?
- Have I been seriously hurtful or hateful to another?
- Have I shown hatred to other groups of people because of race, nationality, age, sexual orientation, or religious differences?
- Have I tried to kill myself?
- Have I sought, caused, or in any way been involved in the procuring of an abortion? Have I promoted euthanasia?
- Have I endangered my life and the lives of others by recklessness, such as when driving?
- Have I engaged in the illegal use of drugs? drug trafficking?
- Have I failed to show affection for my spouse? Have I been unfaithful in marriage?
- Have I sinned against chastity by committing adultery (sexual relations in which at least one party is married to a third party), fornication (sexual relations between two unmarried persons), masturbation, contraception, or immodest dress?
- Have I stolen anything? Have I made a sincere effort to return anything that I have stolen?
- Have I committed to any serious injustice by not doing a fair day’s work or charging exorbitant prices or paying low wages or misusing another’s property or using unfair tactics to hurt another’s business?
- Have I deprived my family of necessities because of my wastefulness?
- Have I falsely accused another of bad or sinful conduct? If so, have I made a sincere effort to restore the good name of one whose reputation I damaged?
- Have I engaged in gossip or been otherwise uncharitable in speech?
- Have I violated another’s privacy by reading his mail without permission, for example?
An Act of Contrition
To be said by the penitent after confessing his or her sins to the priest.
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. And I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to sin no more, to do penance, and to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen.
20 tips for making a good confession
By Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
- examine our consciences regularly and thoroughly;
- wait our turn in line patiently;
- come at the time confessions are scheduled, not a few minutes before they are to end;
- speak distinctly but never so loudly that we might be overheard;
- state our sins clearly and briefly without rambling;
- confess all mortal sins in number and kind;
- listen carefully to the advice the priest gives;
- confess our own sins and not someone else’s;
- carefully listen to and remember the penance and be sure to understand it;
- use a regular formula for confession so that it is familiar and comfortable;
- never be afraid to say something “embarrassing”… just say it;
- never worry that the priest thinks we are jerks; he is usually impressed by our courage;
- never fear that the priest will not keep our confession secret; he is bound by the Seal;
- never confess “tendencies” or “struggles”… just sins;
- never leave the confessional before the priest has finished giving absolution;
- memorize an Act of Contrition;
- answer the priest’s questions briefly if he asks for a clarification;
- ask questions if we can’t understand what he means when he tells us something;
- keep in mind that sometimes priests can have bad days just like we do;
- remember that priests, too, must go to confession; they know what we are going through.