17 Dec 2014

The Sacrament of Reconciliation - Dates and Times for the Diocese of Limerick

Christmas is a time when we prepare our homes to welcome family members, friends and acquaintances.  We usually spend quite a lot of time tidying and cleaning, putting up the Christmas tree and crib, Christmas cards and the many decorations that make our homes a welcoming place for those who might call to us this Christmas.

During Advent we are invited to do something similar spiritually.  At Christmas we celebrate three comings of Christ: we commemorate and celebrate the first coming of Christ at Bethlehem and we look forward to the second coming of Christ, Universal King, at the end of time, but there is a third coming of Christ and that is the coming of Christ into our hearts every day.  If we were to look at our hearts today, what would we need to change?  Would we like to do a little spiritual Christmas clean to welcome Jesus with joy?

The Sacrament of Reconciliation, along with the Sacrament of the Sick, are the Sacraments of Healing.  They are beautiful Sacraments given by Christ to His Church because He knew that we would get hurt and bruised along the way.  He knew we would need His grace and love and mercy to start again.  If you haven't been to this sacrament in a while, here is a really simple video on why it is important and what happens during the sacrament:


Pope Francis has been encouraging us right from the beginning of his pontificate to come back to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Pope Francis attending the Sacrament of Reconciliation before leading a penitential liturgy (March 28 2014)

In The Joy of the Gospel Pope Francis says:

"The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms. Now is the time to say to Jesus: “Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into your redeeming embrace”. How good it feels to come back to him whenever we are lost! Let me say this once more: God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy. Christ, who told us to forgive one another “seventy times seven” (Mt 18:22) has given us his example: he has forgiven us seventy times seven. Time and time again he bears us on his shoulders. No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. With a tenderness which never disappoints, but is always capable of restoring our joy, he makes it possible for us to lift up our heads and to start anew." (The Joy of the Gospel, paragraph 3)


God never tires of forgiving us.  Let us run to Him with open arms this Advent.  Let us prepare our hearts to celebrate Christmas joyfully!

Throughout the Diocese of Limerick, we will be given the opportunity to prepare spiritually for Christmas by frequenting this sacrament.  Each parish will have particular times for the Sacrament of Reconciliation so please check with your local parish if you wish to avail of the sacrament at home.  The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be also available at the following dates, times and venues throughout the diocese:

Saturday, December 20th
10.00am to 4.00pm - Kilmallock Church
10.00am to 4.00pm - Augustinians Church, O'Connell St.
10.30am to 4.30pm - Newcastle West Church

Monday, December 22nd
10.00am to 4.00pm - Augustinians Church, O'Connell St.
11.00am to 12.30pm - Redemptorists, Mount St. Alphonsus (Monastery)
3.00pm to 5.00pm - Redemptorists, Mount St. Alphonsus (Monastery)

Tuesday, December 23rd
10.00am to 4.00pm - Augustinians Church, O'Connell St.
After 10.00am Mass to 7.15pm - Redemptorists, Mount St. Alphonsus (Church)

Wednesday, December 24th
10.00am to 4.00pm - Augustinians Church, O'Connell St.
10.30am to 1.00pm - St. John's Cathedral
After 10.00am Mass to 8.00pm - Redemptorists, Mount St. Alphonsus (Church)

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