Beginning the Lenten Season with School-Wide Reconciliation

By Nolan Lee ’21

According to the Catholic News Agency, in his Ash Wednesday homily, Pope Francis said that Lent is the perfect time to let go of selfish and indifferent attitudes, returning to God with the help of prayer, penance, and acts of charity. One of the best ways of returning to God’s grace is the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which cleanses oneself of sins.  Twice a year, once during Advent and once during Lent, Chaminade holds Reconciliation for its student body, allowing students to come clean for the religious seasons.

Father Garrett Long, S.M. ’62 mentions Lenten penance and reconciliation during the Communion Breakfast this past Sunday.

On Monday, February 26 and Tuesday, February 27, the Chaminade student body received the Sacrament of Reconciliation, following Pope Francis’ advice of Lenten penance.  During the school day, students went to Darby Auditorium for portions of their double period classes to receive the sacrament. Priests from both Chaminade and local parishes received the students into God’s grace and forgiveness one by one.  

Following the sacrament, Bro. Stephen Balletta, S.M. ’74 made some remarks regarding his personal thoughts on penance.  When asked what reconciliation meant to him, he responded, “Reconciliation is the opportunity to ask God for forgiveness and to acknowledge our sins.  We are all sinful people.” Bro. Stephen explained how one of the most inspiring things he had heard in a long time was Pope Francis’ response when he was asked, “Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?” The pope responded, “I am a sinner.  This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.” Brother Stephen went on to discuss the fact that we all sin and that Reconciliation is a way of acknowledging sins and receiving God’s forgiveness.  According to Bro. Stephen, reconciliation involves a change in the relationship between God and man. It assumes there has been a breakdown in the relationship that is repaired through the sacrament. Moreover, Bro. Stephen expressed that Lent is a special time for acknowledging and doing penance for our sins.  

Overall, Lent is considered a penitential season, which means making amends, saying prayers, performing acts that show our sorrow for our sins, and our desire to reunite with God.  It is a perfect time to attend Reconciliation. In fact, Cardinal Dolan has designated Monday, March 26, 2018 as Reconciliation Monday, allowing people to be forgiven of sins before Easter.  All parishes in the Archdiocese of New York, the Diocese of Brooklyn, and the Diocese of Rockville Center will have priests available to hear confessions from 3:00 PM – 9:00 PM. Furthermore, Chaminade students can attend Reconciliation on Tuesday and Thursday mornings in the chapel.