This Sacrament is a Sacrament of Healing and can be received often by a baptised person.

Jesus gave the Apostles the power to forgive and there are many stories in the Gospels when Jesus taught of forgiveness, the two well known were:

  • The Parable of the Lost Sheep ( Lk 15 :1 – 17)
  • The Prodigal Son ( Lk 15 : 11 – 32)

God is merciful and compassionate and His love is unconditional. This is the God we meet in the Confessional. He gave us the Ten Commandments as a guide to making moral choices as well as giving us the ability to choose freely between right and wrong. Without realising it, when we ask our children to admit a wrong choice and say sorry before mending their relationship by doing a kind deed, we are modelling what happens in the Sacrament of Penance.

The church considers a sin to be a thought, word or action, which we know to be morally wrong, and which we freely choose. With children, we often focus on the concept of ‘choices’. This is why we come freely to the Sacrament and seek forgiveness to restore our relationship with God. Although God sees and knows everything, the Church asks that we come humbly and seek God’s mercy. The priest acts in the person of Christ to give us absolution, to invite us to pray a prayer of Contrition and to carry out some form of Penance. The seal of the Confessional means that the priest will never reveal what has been spoken to him in confidence.

The Rite comes in three forms

  • First Rite happens completely individually inside the Confessional.
  • Second Rite begins in a communal gathering where we listen to readings and examine our Conscience before we individually confess our sins and receive absolution. We rejoin the community for final prayers and blessing.
  • Third Rite is very rare and is given only when there is no time for individual confession such as in times of war.


  • The parish follows the mandated Archdiocesan policy of family-focussed, parish based, Catholic school and PREP supported.
  • In the parish of St Peter the Apostle, candidates must register with the  parish via the Sacrament Coordinator ( details below)
  • Children must be baptised Catholic or a recognised Christian baptism
  • Children participate in an approved learning programme, either at a Catholic school in Year 3 class or in the Parish RE Programme (PREP). Classes for PREP are held every Tuesday during Terms One to Three.
  • Dates are advised each year, it includes:
    • General Sacrament meeting for parents,
    • Parent/child workshop
    • Retreat
    • An evening or afternoon at which the Sacrament is conferred (usually over a number of dates in Term Three)

Penance 2018 Brochure

Please contact Sacrament Coordinator, Chris Neville, for more details.