Confession 101

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered at the following times at St. Mary Catholic Community:

All Saturdays 4:00 p.m.

Thursdays 8:45-9:30 a.m.

Second Saturdays of the Month: 12-12:45 p.m.

First Fridays of the Month: 8:00-9:00 p.m. 

The Sacrament is also available by appointment. 


The confessional (small room for private confessions) is located in the southeast corner of the sanctuary.  There is a screen between you and the priest.  When you arrive, you may go right to the confessional if the door is open, or, if there are other people present, you can sit in the pew and wait your turn.  Generally, people go into the confessional in the order in which they arrived.  Materials with the Act of Contrition and other resources are available for your use. 

Steps in the Rite of Reconciliation


The penitent may go to confession privately behind a screen or face-to-face with the priest


1. Begin by making the Sign of the Cross and reciting, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”, then say “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.”

2. Then continue: “My last confession was… “(weeks, months, or years) ago.  If it is your first confession, tell the priest it is your first.


3. Confess your sins to the priest. He will help you to make a good confession.  If you are unsure of how to confess or you feel uneasy, ask him to help you. Answer his questions without hiding anything out of fear or shame. Place your trust in God, a merciful Father who wants to forgive you.


4. Following your confession of sins, say: “I am sorry for these and all of my sins.”


5. The priest will assign you a penance and offer advice to help you be a better Catholic.  The penance imposed will take into account your personal situation and support your spiritual good.  It may be a prayer, an offering, works of mercy, service or sacrifice; but it joins us in some way to Christ and to the cross.


6. Say an Act of Contrition, expressing sorrow for your sins.


7. The priest, acting in the person of Christ, then will absolve you from your sins by saying the Prayer of Absolution, to which you make the sign of the Cross and say “Amen”.


8. The priest will dismiss you.  Because sin often harms others, you must make satisfaction for your sins by completing your penance.  It is good practice to perform it as soon as you are able.

The humility required in confessing and completing penance helps us submit to God’s will and follow him more closely.  Confession is a blessing, offering peace, a clear mind, and a hopeful heart.




Act of Contrition

My God,

I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.

In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things.

I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.




Based on Father Kris Stubney’s “How to Make a Good Confession”

An Examination of Conscience for children, based on the 10 Commandments




1.  I am the Lord your God.  You shall not have strange gods before me.

  • Have I wanted more things, making things or money more important than God?

  • Have I made an idol of sports or entertainment figures?


2.   you  shall  not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.


  • Do I use God’s name carelessly?

  • Do I use God’s name in anger?


3.  Remember to keep holy the Lord’s day.


  • Did I attend Mass on Sunday?

  • Did my behavior make it difficult or impossible for my parents to get to church on time?

  • Have I remembered to pray daily?


4.  Honor your father and your mother.


  • Do I obey my parents?

  • Have I done my chores without complaining?

  • Do I do my chores without being reminded?

  • Have I been disrespectful to teachers, coaches, or others in authority?


5. You shall not kill.


  • Do I keep my patience or do I lose my temper?

  • Do I hold grudges and try to get even with others?

  • Have I been unfair to others, especially to those who are different than I am?


6.  You shall not commit adultery.

  • Do I show respect for my body?

  • Do I respect the bodies of others?

  • Do I avoid harmful things like drugs, tobacco, and alcohol?


7.  You shall not steal.


  • Have I taken something that belongs to someone else?

  • Have I “forgotten” to return something I borrowed?

  • Have I used money responsibly?


8.  You  shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.


  • Do I play fairly or do I ever cheat at school or at games?

  • Have I been honest or have I lied?

  • Have I hurt someone by what I have said or done?

  • Have I copied someone else’s homework?


9.  You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.


  • Have I been jealous of the friends someone else has?

  • Have I tried to be kind to others?


10.  You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.


  • Have I been jealous of the things my friends have?

An Examination of conscience for older children and teens, based on the 10 commandments


1.  I am the Lord your God.  You shall not have strange Gods before me.

  • Do I give time every day to God in prayer?

  • Do I put my trust in superstitions or good luck charms, rather than in God alone?

  • Have I rejected any church teaching, or denied that I was a Catholic?


2.  You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

  • Have I used the words “God” or “Jesus” in anger or irreverently?

  • Have I used foul or ugly language?  Have I wished evil on another?


3.  Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.

  • Have I missed Mass on Sunday or any Holy Day of Obligation?

  • Do I arrive at church late or leave early?

  • Do I try to be reverent and pay attention during Mass?

  • Do I avoid unnecessary work on Sunday?

  • Do I make Sunday a day of prayer and rest?


4.  Honor your father and your mother.

  • Do I respect and obey my parents?

  • Have I dishonored or mistreated them by word or deed?

  • Am I willing to help around the house or must I be nagged a hundred times?

  • Do I try to get along with my brothers and sisters?

  • Am I a tattletale or bully?

  • Do I give a good example, especially to younger siblings?

  • Do I respect others in authority: priests, nuns, police, old people, baby-sitters?


5.  You shall not kill.

  • Do I beat up others or hurt their bodies?

  • Do I say cruel things, or make fun of others to hurt their feelings?

  • Do I say mean things about others behind their backs?

  • Have I stopped speaking to anyone?

  • Do I encourage others to do bad things?

  • Do I try to love all people, born and unborn?


6.  You shall not commit adultery.

  • Do I treat my body and other people’s bodies with purity and respect?

  • Do I look at tv shows, movies or pictures that are bad?

  • Am I modest in my speech and the clothes I wear?


7.  You shall not steal.

  • Have I taken things that were not mine from a store or another person?

  • Have I destroyed or misused another person’s property for fun?

  • Do I return things that I borrow?  In good condition?


8.  You shall not commit false witness against your neighbor.

  • Am I honest in my school work?

  • Do I tell lies to make myself look good?

  • Do I tell lies to protect myself from punishment?

  • Do I tell lies that make another person look bad or get them in trouble?


9.  You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.

  • Do I allow my parents to spend time with one another, or do I get jealous and want them to pay attention only to me?

  • Do I get mad when I have to share my friends?

  • Are there kids I will not play with or I am mean to because they look different?


10.  You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

  • Am I jealous or envious of the things or abilities that others have?

  • Am I thankful to God and my parents for what they have given me?

  • Do I share the things that I have with my family, friends, and poor people?





By Fr. Edward Filardi, Gaithersburg, MD

An Examination of Conscience for Adults, Based on the 10 Commandments


1.  I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange gods before me.


  • Do I fail to love God, to make God first in my life, to thank Him, trust Him, love Him as He deserves?

  • Am I superstitious? Do I believe or take part in fortune-telling, astrology, palm-reading, witchcraft?

  • Do I make a god out of my work, my possessions, money, pleasures, power, or popularity, so that these rule my life instead of God?

  • Have I tried to grow in the knowledge of God through daily prayer and scripture reading?

  • Have I taken time to teach my family about the ways of God and to pray with them?


2.  You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.


  • Do I swear or use the name of God disrespectfully or blasphemously?

  • Is my speech worthy of a child of God?

  • Did I keep the promises I made to God?


3.  Remember to keep holy the Lord’s day.


  • Do I attend Mass on all Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation (Jan.1, the Ascension, Aug. 15, Nov. 1, Dec 8, Dec.25)?

  • Do I make Sunday a day of rest and prayer, avoiding unnecessary work and shopping?

  • In my prayer and attendance at Mass, am I content with a passive observance, rather than devoting myself to genuine worship of the Lord?


4.  Honor your father and your mother.


  • Do I love, respect, visit, and care for my parents?

  • Do I harbor short-term or long-standing resentments toward my parents?  Do I blame them for my shortcomings?

  • Do I respect and help those in authority?


5.  You shall not kill.


  • Have I ever struck anyone in anger, intending to injure them?

  • Did I approve of or consent to, recommend, seek, or take part in abortion?

  • Have I ever endangered myself or the life of another person through the taking of drugs or the use of tobacco or alcohol?

  • Was I respectful of other people’s dignity, opinions, and beliefs?

  • Was I instrumental in leading others to sin through my words or actions?

  • Have I harmed another through verbal or emotional means, including gossip, rumors, or manipulation for my own gain?


6. You shall not commit adultery.


  • Have I engaged in sexual activity outside of marriage?

  • Did I commit impure actions by myself or with others?

  • Have I used artificial contraceptives?

  • Have I read pornography or watched indecent movies or television shows that may lead me to sin, lustful thoughts, or fantasies?

  • Was I prudent and reserved in dealing with people of the opposite sex, whether married or not?


7.  You shall not steal.


  • Have I taken anything that does not belong to me?

  • Do I work diligently for the pay I receive?

  • Was I fair in paying my employees, taxes, and other dues?

  • Have I taken the intellectual property of others, by taking their ideas without giving credit?

  • Do I share what the Lord has given me?


8.  You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.


  • Have I lied, gossiped, hurt the reputation of, or slandered others?

  • Have I condoned prejudice and hatred toward people of another race, nationality, or religion?

  • Have I revealed secrets which had been confided to me?

  • Do I judge others rashly?


9.  You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.


  • Have I sought the affections of another’s spouse?

  • Have I contemplated infidelity to my spouse?

  • Have I upheld the dignity of my spouse in all circumstances?


10.  You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.


  • Am I envious or jealous of others?

  • Am I selfish, greedy, or possessive with things or relationships?

  • Do I habitually compare myself with others in terms of wealth, status, ability, appearance, or financial security?

  • Do I support my church sufficiently, and give generous aid to the poor?

St. Mary Catholic Community

1505 Ballentine Street

Port Huron, MI 48060


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