The Sacrament of Reconciliation at St. John Neumann Parish
Confessions are celebrated every Saturday from 3:30pm - 4:00pm in the lower level of Nativity Church (633 Orchard Street). A priest will be available in the confessional room in the back of the chapel.
Appointments can also be arranged with our priests to celebrate this sacrament any time by calling: (570)-344-6159.
A Brief Theology of Reconciliation
According to Pope Francis, "Jesus is the face of the Father's mercy." Throughout Jesus' mission and ministry, he was always seeking to forgive those who were weighed down by sin and restore them back to love and friendship with God. Jesus forgave the sins of many people, including tax-collectors and prostitutes. This was the hallmark of his ministry.
Perhaps one of Jesus' most famous parables that he preached was the story of the Prodigal Son. As we hear in Luke's Gospel, a man had two sons. The younger son demanded his inheritance early, moved to a foreign country, and wasted all his money on partying and carousing. At his lowest moment, the son remembered his father. Hoping to be accepted back, not even as a son, but as a servant, the son returned home. The father kept watching the horizon, waiting for his son to return. Upon seeing him, the father ran out and embraced his long-lost son, saying: "Let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come back to life. He was lost, and has been found!" Later, when the older son of the father resents his younger brother's sinful behavior, the father goes out to plead with him to also accept his brother.
Jesus uses this story to point to the incredible mercy, forgiveness, and reconciliation that is in the heart of God!
This message was not always accepted. Yet, even on the cross, Jesus forgave his executioners (Luke 23:34). The power of God's love raised Jesus from the dead. As the resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ gives his apostles the authority to forgive sins (John 20:19). In turn, bishops and priests ever since the time of the apostles have participated in this ministry of forgiveness.
We can always turn to the mercy of God in the sacrament of Reconciliation to be reconciled to others, to the Church, and to our God.
Examination of Conscience
As we approach the sacrament of reconciliation, we are invited to examine our lives with God's Holy Spirit. We can see the ways we acted and spoke with love, as well as the ways we failed to act and speak with love due to sin.