In this Sacrament, God works in us to help us sense our responsibility for the pain we cause others, and to find God's mercy and the power to change. So when I feel the need to come to the sacrament, God's grace is already at work in me. The most important thing to remember with Reconciliation is that God loves us already and is on our side in the struggle to accept His love and to pass it on to others.
There are regularly scheduled opportunities to celebrate the Sacrament on weekdays (five minutes after the morning Masses) and forty-five minutes before the four Sunday Masses (so, 3:45 pm on Saturday, 7:15 am and 9:15 am, and 6:15 pm on Sunday). There are communal penance services in Advent and Lent, and one can always call the parish office to see about scheduling a confession by appointment.
Preparation for children for the first reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation usually happens in the fall and winter of a child's second grade year, just before the celebration of First Communion. Learn more about your child's First Reconciliation preparation at ChippewaFallsFaithFormation.net
Here are some helpful instructions for the sacrament for those new to the Church or parish:
The confessional room is located at the very front of the church on the left as you face the altar (at the north side, Allen Street entrance). The confessional door opens toward the sanctuary, so you can't see the door from the church pews. For this reason there is a pair of small “stop-and-go” lights about 12 feet up on the north-side wall, about 2 pew rows from the front. One light is green and the other is red. Because the confessional is set in from the north-side wall of the church, these lights can't be seen from the back of the church, especially on the north side. If the green light is illuminated, Father is in the confessional and ready for a new person to enter. If the red light is illuminated, the confessional is occupied. At busy times, a line will form along the north-side wall of the church. If both lights are dark, Father is not in the confessional.
After weekday and Saturday morning Masses, Father typically enters the confessional shortly after greeting Mass attendees in the back of the church. If you would like to go to confession, please move up to the pews near the confessional after the conclusion of Mass, as this will alert Father that you are waiting to go to confession. Once Father enters the confessional, do not hesitate to enter, as during the week Father will stay just a few minutes if no one comes.
For the Saturday afternoon Vigil and Sunday Masses, Father enters the confessional about 45 minutes before each Mass and stays until about 15 minutes prior to the beginning of Mass. Look for the green light to alert you that he is ready.
When you enter the confessional room, close the door behind you for privacy. There is a chair in the front right for those wishing to go face-to-face. There is also a kneeler with screen on the left for those wishing to be anonymous.
If it has been awhile and you feel that you need some help, there are pamphlets near the bulletin boards in the back of the church that provide an examination of conscience and instructions for how to make a good confession. Feel free to take the pamphlet into the confessional with you to help you through the process. Don’t hesitate to tell Father upon entering that you need some help, and he will be happy to guide you. Make sure you take some time to examine your conscience properly and ask the Holy Spirit’s help.
There are also pamphlets in the back of the church with basic Catholic prayers and instructions on how to pray the Rosary for those who need a refresher for any penance they might receive.