I cordially invite you to one of the parish assemblies scheduled for September 13-14 in the parish hall. These assemblies will be held for about an hour after each Sunday Mass that weekend. Your presence at one of these assemblies is greatly appreciated.
The purpose of these assemblies will be to get input from you as parishioners as the parish begins developing a pastoral plan. This plan will include a mission statement, goals, and objectives. About a year and a half ago, I called for the creation of a parish pastoral council to help me guide the parish. At present, nine parishioners serve on the council: Debbie Adami, Martin Beirne, Malcolm Granberry, Karina Hernandez, Cindy Hotze, Thuy Le-Thai, John Marrs, John Schultz, and Tuyen Tran. Fr. Juan also serves on the council. These individuals along with myself have responsibility for the planning the parish’s life. Planning is what parish pastoral councils do, but we can’t do that without you. That is why your presence at one of the assemblies on September 13-14 will be important.
The way planning works is the pastoral council will give you information on which to reflect in the weeks leading up to September 13-14. This information will be in the form of bulletin inserts. Please read over the information and ponder it. Then on the weekend of September 13-14, come to one of the assemblies and give your input. With the input it receives, the pastoral council will then draft a parish mission statement and goals. This statement and goals will be presented to you, the parishioners, at a later assembly for your ratification. Your ideas about possible objectives to achieve the goals will also be solicited. The pastoral council will then formulate objectives to carry out the goals, publish the plan, oversee its implementation, and evaluate its progress. But it all begins and ends with you—the parishioner—as the parish seeks to serve you better and help you live out your call as a disciple of Jesus Christ. That’s why I hope you will be present at one of the parish assemblies on September 13-14.
In Catholic teaching the nature or essence of the Sacrament of Penance is composed of “matter” and “form”. These are the essential parts of the Sacrament. For this reason, there is no Sacrament if either the matter or the form is absent.
The Church teaches that the “matter” of the Sacrament of Penance is “the three acts of the penitent”. These acts include contrition, confession and satisfaction. In the first place, the first act of the penitent, “contrition,” refers to the “sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin, together with the resolution not to sin again” (CCC 1451). This can either be perfect or imperfect contrition. Perfect contrition in a penitent proceeds from his true love of God by loving God as his First Love. He can also develop imperfect contrition. This form of contrition is born of the ugliness of sin and the fear of eternal damnation. Furthermore, the second act of the penitent is the “confession” of his sins to a priest (CCC 1456, 1458). On the one hand, the Church “recommends” that the penitent confess his venial sins. These are sins that spiritually “wound” his life of charity interiorly. On the other hand, the Church “requires” that the penitent confess all his particular mortal sins. These are sins that “destroy” his spiritual life of charity. In this sense, he suffers spiritual death by mortal sin. Finally, the third act of the penitent is “satisfaction” for sin (CCC 1459). Through satisfaction he offers reparation to heal the damage he has done to himself, his relationship with God, the Church and his neighbor. This is the “penance” the priest assigns to the penitent in this Sacrament. For instance, this would include returning the goods he has stolen from his neighbor. This would also mean restoring the good name or reputation of a person he may have slandered.
The “form” of Penance is the prescribed “words of absolution,” which the priest pronounces in absolving the penitent of his sins. This is the priest acting in the person of Christ the Head to forgive sins through the sacred power he has received from God through his ordination. In doing so, Christ acts through the agency of the priest (CCC 1449).