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St. Joseph's Church- Troy, New York
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"Open the doors of the Church, and then the people will come in…if you keep the light on in the confessional and are available, then you will see what kind of line there is for confession" -- Pope Francis

"Everyone say to himself: 'When was the last time I went to confession?'And if it has been a long time, don't lose another day! Go, the priest will be good. And Jesus, (will be) there, and Jesus is better than the priests; Jesus receives you. He will receive you with so much love! Be courageous, and go to confession.

"Someone can say, 'I confess my sins only to God.' Yes, you can say to God, 'forgive me,' and say your sins. But our sins are also against our brothers, against the Church. This is is why it is necessary to ask forgiveness of the Church and of our brothers, in the person of the priest." -- Pope Francis

Confessions are regularly heard at St. Joseph's Church, Troy, NY each Saturday from 3:00 PM to 3:30 PM and each Sunday from 11:30 AM to 12 Noon.

Confession Basics:
  • Make the sign of the cross as you say, "Bless me Father, for I have sinned, it has been (state how long since your last confession) since my last confession, and these are my sins."
  • Tell the Priest your sins.
  • When you have finished confessing your sins, say, "For these and all the sins of my past I am truly sorry." The Priest will give you a suitable penance, and he may give you some advice.
  • Make an act of contrition. "O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee. I detest all my sins because of Thy just punishments, but most of all because they have offended Thee, my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen."
  • The Priest will say the prayer of absolution. At the end of the prayer, say "Amen."
  • The Priest will say, "Your sins are forgiven, go in peace."
  • Than say, "Thank you Father."
  • Perform the penance you were assigned by the Priest.


From My Missal By Abbot Cabrol, O. S. B.:

The Sacrament of Penance was instituted when our Lord breathed on his apostles and said to them “Re­ceive ye the Holy Ghost whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. “ (St. John xx, 22-23.)

Original sin is removed by Baptism. Sins committed after Baptism, actual sins, are removed by the Sacrament of Penance. Besides—and this is very important to remember—the Sacrament of Penance gives special grace to resist fresh temptations to sin.

The conditions required for receiving this Sacrament

1. The confession to the priest of all sins that can be called to mind.

2. Contrition that is, sorrow for sin, because by it God has been offended, a sorrow which includes a firm pur­pose of amendment.
3. Satisfaction that is, the due carrying out of the penance imposed.

In order to make a good confession and obtain the grace of the Sacrament, the necessary condition is a care­ful examination of conscience, which may be made by taking the Ten Commandments and the Commandments of the Church, and applying them to the special duties of our state of life, It is not, however, always necessary to go through all the Commandments in detail.

This examination, by showing where the penitent has failed in the service of God, should lead to true contrition for sin, which is the most important of all the conditions for receiving the grace of the Sacrament.

It is not strictly of obligation to confess venial sins, but those who are striving earnestly and faithfully to serve God, will not fail to do so. Such sins however may also be removed by the use of sacramentals—the taking of holy water; making the sign of the cross; reciting the Our Father; invoking the holy Name of Jesus; praying in a consecrated church, or using blessed objects; but above all by assisting at Mass and receiving holy Com­munion.


Confession is available Monday through Friday at various times and on Saturday at St. Francis Chapel at Wolf Road Shoppers Park on Wolf Road in Colonie, NY. For more information call 518-518-459-2854.  Confession is also available FOLLOWING each 12:15 PM Mass Monday-Friday at St. Joseph's Church in downtown Schenectady.


During a meeting in October 2005 with 100,000 children who were about to receive First Communion a little girl asked Pope Benedict XVI why it is necessary to confess before receiving Communion, if our sins are always the same. Smiling at her question, Benedict XVI answered: "It is true that our sins are always the same. Yet do we not clean our house, our room, at least once a week, though the dirt is always the same? If we do not, we run the risk of the dirt accumulating, though we may not see it. The same is true of our souls. If we never confess, our souls are overlooked. I may be pleased with myself, yet I do not understand that I have to improve constantly in order to progress. Confession helps us to have a more open conscience and thus to mature in a spiritual and human way." ______________________________________________________________



As a means of regaining grace and justice, penance was at all times necessary for those who had defiled their souls with any mortal sin. . . . Before the coming of Christ, penance was not a sacrament, nor is it since His coming a sacrament for those who are not baptized. But the Lord then principally instituted the Sacrament of Penance, when, being raised from the dead, he breathed upon His disciples saying: 'Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained' (John, xx, 22-23).
By which action so signal and words so clear the consent of all the Fathers has ever understood that the power of forgiving and retaining sins was communicated to the Apostles and to their lawful successors, for the reconciling of the faithful who have fallen after Baptism. (Sess. XIV, c. i)

The Council of Trent