Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation

“Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion (CCC #1422)."

This sacrament of Reconciliation is celebrated by a child during a retreat on the day before First Communion, which is celebrated on the first or second Sunday in May of each year.

A child, having grown to understand the meaning of sin and of God’s love and mercy, makes his/her confession of sin for the first time and receives God’s forgiveness through the words of forgiveness pronounced by the priest.

This celebration can be a time of grace for parents who are encouraged to seek and obtain forgiveness for themselves.

Direct preparation for this sacrament begins the previous September, but indirect preparation begins with the family’s practice of the faith, attending regular weekend Mass, participating in the life of the parish, and educating their children at Cathedral School.

Requirements for the Family and Child

Preparation for First Reconciliation is done at the same time as preparation for First Communion, and the requirements are similar.

The usual conditions for parish membership are a prerequisite:

  • Be a registered member of the parish for at least one year.
  • Attend Mass every weekend.
  • Participate in the life/activities/programs of the parish.
  • Contribute financially in an identifiable, regular, and meaningful way.

Immediate preparation requirements:

  • Present a baptismal certificate.
  • Participate in scheduled parent meetings, scripture studies, and other activities.
  • Attend the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd classes in Cathedral School or St. Mary Basilica.
  • Complete projects that are aimed at increased understanding of the Church.
  • Participate in the retreat.
  • Attend an interview with the pastor or his delegate.
  • Provide documentation as requested.

The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation

Contact Information:

St. Mary Basilica
105 South Union St.
Natchez, MS 39120
Telephone: 601.445.5616 or send Email

St. Mary Basilica Coat of Arms