Teaching Reconciliation Workshop 18th May 2012
On August 15, 1997, Pope John Paul II approved for publication the General Directory for Catechesis as the norm and instrument for the Church in fulfilling her fundamental responsibility of teaching the faith. The General Directory sets forth the principles which are the foundation for the sound teaching of the faith.
The General Directory for Catechesis sets out both the nature of catechesis within the Church’s mission of evangelisation, that is the mission of announcing the Gospel of Salvation to the world, and the content of catechesis as contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church
General Directory for Catechesis As young people enter school, parents, catechists, and school teachers should collaborate to use every suitable moment to lead the child to Christ. “ in helping parents and educators to fulfil their mission well, it is the Church who is being built up”par179
EVANGELISATION WITNESS MINISTRY OF THE WORD presence knowledge &experience charity catechesis • Sacramental preparation • Liturgy • Retreats Religious Education The process through which the Church cooperates with God’s act of self-communication – it is about bringing the Good News to society and transforming society. The aim of evangelisation is Christian conversion.
CATECHESIS (an activity of evangelisation) Essential: • comprehensive and systematic • an apprenticeship of the entire Christian life • formational “Authentic catechesis is always an orderly and systematic initiation into the revelation that God has given of himself, to humanity in Jesus Christ, a revelation stored in the depths of the Church’s memory of Sacred Scripture, and constantly communicated from one generation to the next by a living active tradition…” Pope John Paul II, Catechesis in Our Time The very purpose of catechesis is to help people live in communion with Jesus Christ.
The role of the family in the Sacrament of Reconciliation The context of first understanding the Sacrament of Reconciliation is in the life of the family. It is in the family that people learn about the experiences that help them understand this wonderful and healing sacrament. In the family people learn that selfishness has a bad effect on those with people relate with. In the family people learn that actions, both good and bad have consequences. In the family people learn that they need to ask forgiveness and that they need to give it when it is requested. In the family, people also learn that there are rules for living in society that must not be broken, but that when they are broken, people need to view one another with compassion and love, even though there is some reparation needed.
The Parish Community Catechesis is offered in many places in the Church. The Directory states that it is the parish community which must be …the prime mover and pre-eminent place for catechesis. (GDC 257) Apart from its special responsibility to parents, the parish community needs to meet the needs of children and teenagers, including the need for good liturgical catechesis.
Preparation for sacraments is always a special time in the life of the Church. As such sacramental catechesis is a unique and very singular activity intimately related to but distinct from religious education. In the past these two activities have often been confused with the result that both activities are weakened.
Sacramental catechesis is done in the 'parish'. It is not the private possession of a religious education program or a catholic school. It is the Church that celebrates the sacrament and it is the Church that prepares and leads people to receive a sacrament.
Sacramental moments are natural times in the life of the parish to gather and renew all the people of God in the sacramental life of the Church. It demonstrates to those receiving a sacrament for the first time that this is not an isolated instance of sacramental celebration, but a way of life lived by a sacramental community.
Sacramental Preparation of school aged children Catholic schools complement parishes and are an important means for evangelising young people today by teaching them how to live as children of God. By the nature of their mission and mandate, they have a direct responsibility to support families and parishes in the preparation of children to receive the sacraments. (Mandate 79)
Policy statement of the Catholic Education Commission of WA • Read the policy. • Share anything what struck you with the person next to you. • What does it mean for how your school supports the sacramental preparation of students in your school?
The Role of the Catholic School in Supporting Parents and Parishes in the Sacramental preparation of school aged children
Sacraments of Initiation Baptism Confirmation Eucharist Sacraments of Healing Reconciliation Anointing of the Sick Sacraments of Service Holy Orders Matrimony
Sacraments are not isolated events intended for individuals. Sacraments are by their nature communal, that is, they belong to and must be celebrated in the context of God’s People. So, Reconciliation reinforces our responsibility not only to ourselves, but to God and His family. Like all sacraments, the sacrament of penance is an encounter with God that we experience in the midst of our community of faith, the Church. Communal celebrations of reconciliation show more clearly the nature of penance.
God forgives people endlessly and the church celebrates this reality through the sacrament of reconciliation. Even though people are baptised and confirmed, and even though they are steeped in Eucharist, there remains that tendency to "miss the mark,“ to be selfish and to fail to love, a tendency to sin.
What are your memories of this Sacrament? What did you call the Sacrament? What was the focus of the Sacrament? What do you remember feeling about receiving it? What are your feelings about the Sacrament now?
Children learn to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance assoon as they can benefit from the experience of acknowledging responsibility for their wrong–doing, and from knowing they are forgiven and accepted by God.Children's First Communion is preceded by the Sacrament of Penance.
It is the responsibility of parents and those who take the place of parents as well as of the parish priest to see that children who have reached the use of reason are correctly prepared and are nourished by the divine food as early as possible, preceded by sacramental confession; it is also for the pastor to be vigilant lest any children come to the Holy Banquet who have not reached the use of reason or whom he judges are not sufficiently disposed.IV. Code of Canon Law Pope John Paul II (1983)
According to the Church's command, "after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year." Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession. Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time. (1457 , Catechism of the Catholic Church)
SACRAMENT OF PENANCE This Sacrament has undergone significant changes over the centuries. These changes come about as the Church develops and grows in its understanding of the Sacraments. The theology is influenced by history and cultural adaptations of various times.
Rev Fr Vincent Glynn Senior Lecturer – Sacramental Theology Licentiate in Sacramental Theology from the Pontificio Anteneo San Anselmo Rome.
In threes discuss: What is new to you from what Fr Vincent explains in the clip? What more do you need to know about the Sacrament in order to teach the children in your class?
It is the expression of our common need for grace and forgiveness, not only from God, but from the Church which is the Body of Christ. We, the Church, through a common baptism share the responsibility to show by our lives our faith and the Gospel that is so much in contrast to a selfish and sinful world.
God never fails to love and the church celebrates this in the sacrament of reconciliation. It is called a sacrament of “conversion”because in celebrating it, people turn their hearts empowered by the Spirit of Love, back to Divine Love through Christ who reveals that Love.
It is also referred to it as the sacrament of "penance“ a term which comes from a Latin word: repere, which suggests a posture of sorrow and a process of change.It is also called “confession” because it is where people are invited to talk out loud about how they have sinned, and in that talking, recognise the mercy of God which is endless.
For Catholics, the Sacrament of Reconciliation (also known as the Sacrament of Penance, or Penance and Reconciliation) has three elements: conversion, confession and celebration. In it is found God's unconditional forgiveness, and as a result people are called to forgive others."
It is called the sacrament of “reconciliation,” because it draws people back to balance, it reconnects them back to their journey of faith, and it celebrates God’s wonderful love.
Jesus said to [His disciples] again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."~ John 20:21-23
Celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation with children not only teaches them to cherish and welcome God's mercy, it also helps them to develop a well-formed, healthy conscience.
Vatican II : Time of Renewal Decree 1973 Sacrament of penance Rite of Reconciliation IReconciliation of individual (one to one, penitent and priest) [FIRST RITE] II Reconciliation for several penitents with individual confession (public or communal rite for many penitents together, including individual confession and absolution).[SECOND RITE]
III Reconciliation with general confession and absolution (permitted under special circumstances for many penitents confessing their sinfulness without individual confessing of sins to priests). [THIRD RITE]
EFFECTS OF RECONCILIATION (CCC 1496) Restoration of relationship with God. Restoration of relationship with each other. Strength and confidence to continue in faith. Ability to continually look at change in one’s life (reflection and action). • A sense of peacefulness and • understanding (acceptance). Freedom to begin again.
How to prepare for the sacrament 1.Preparation — must see a need. 2.Time for reflection on life. 3.Willingness to change our lives. 4.Faith— really believing, we are forgiven and loved. 5.Supporting each other (example). 6.Looking at how Christ acts.
Symbols of the sacrament • Community • Priest • Scripture • The Penitent
OPTIONS Choice of Rites Face to Face / Screen Choice of Prayers / Scriptural Readings Formal Act of Sorrow / Personal Act
Understanding of sin A traditional approach: Act centred morality Sin is any (deliberate) thought, word, deed or omission against the (eternal) law of God. [CCC 1849] Sin is an offence against God. [CCC 1850]
Person centred morality Sin ruptures each person’s relationship with (Gn 3:1-22) * self * others * creation * the Other/God
Sin must be in terms of relationship • relationship with God • relationship with others • All relationships have codes, behaviours, boundaries • Important relationships based on love • sin is about not living in a relationship boundary • sin is about failing in a love relationship • Relationships are individual /communitarian • sin is individual • sin is communitarian
VENIAL SIN Venial Sin — hinders, interferes, changes one’s relationship with God. Must know that what they are doing is wrong. The wrong must not be one God has revealed to be serious or grave. The wrong must be a result of personal choice.
MORTAL SIN Mortal sin: breaks the relationship with God. the behaviours must be one that God has revealed to be gravely wrong • full knowledge that the action committed is gravely wrong deliberate personal choice Therefore, a person does not commit mortal sin if: did not know through no fault of their own that God had taught their act lacked freedom of choice through no fault of their own.
Celebrating Reconciliation Welcome 1. The priest will welcome you to the celebration of the sacrament.You will make the Sign of the Cross. 2. The Word of God When we celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation it is helpful tolisten to the Scriptures and be reminded of the love that God hasfor us. 3. Confession The priest will invite you to tell him about the things that you need Jesus to help you with - He will also offer you an act of penance, a way of showing how you wish to live a better life.
Celebrating Reconciliation 4. Prayer of Sorrow O my God, I am very sorry that I have sinned against you, because you are so good, and with the help of your grace, I will not sin again. 5. Absolution The priest will then extend his hands over your head and say thewords of Absolution. In this way you receive God’s forgiveness ofyour sins. The priest also prays for you that you will receive God’sgifts of pardon and peace.
Absolution Physical sign: Laying of Hands Words: God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; Through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
We Hold a Treasure What three things did you learn that were new to you ? What would you like to learn more about?