General Objective: To help prepare candidates for priesthood to exercise the pastoral ministry of the sacrament of Penance with diligence and effectiveness.
Course Outlines: 1. The need for reconciliation. 2. The Church’s ministry of reconciliation. 3. The sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. 4. Forms of celebrating the sacrament. 5. Juridical and pastoral aspects pertaining to the minister of the sacrament. 6. Practical considerations and practical lessons.
Bibliography: Aridas, Chris. Reconciliation: Celebrating God’s Healing Forgiveness. New York: Galilee Trade, 2013; Catechism of the Catholic Church. Vatican City: Vatican Press, 1994; Code of Canon Law. Latin-English Edition. Washington: Canon Law Society of America, 2012; Congregation for the Clergy. The Priest, Minister of Divine Mercy: An Aid for Confessors and Spiritual Directors. London: Catholic Truth Society, 2011; Dubruiel, Michael. A Pocket Guide to Confession. Huntington: Our Sunday Visitor, 2009; Flynn, Vinny. 7 Secrets of Confession: Meeting the Merciful Father. Stockbridge: Mercy Song Ministries, 2014; Francis. Misericordia et Misera: Apostolic Letter at the Conclusion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. Vatican City: Vatican Press, 2016; Francis. Misericordiae Vultus: Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. Vatican City: Vatican Press, 2016; Francis. The Name of God is Mercy: A Conversation with Andrea Tornielli. London: Pan MacMillan, 2016; Hahn, Scott. Lord, Have Mercy. Audio File Narrated by Robert O’Keefe. Prince Frederick: Recorded Books, 2008; John Paul II. Reconciliatio et Paenitentia: Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on Reconciliation and Penance in the Mission of the Church Today. Vatican City: Vatican Press, 1984; John Paul II. Misericordia Dei: Apostolic Letter in the Form of Motu Proprio on Certain Aspects of the Celebration of the Sacrament of Penance. Vatican City: Vatican Polyglot Press, 1980; Kidder, Annemarie. Making Confession Hearing Confession: A History of the Cure of Souls. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2010; Klein, Gregory, and Robert Wolff. Pastoral Foundations of the Sacraments: A Catholic Perspective. Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1988; Martos, Joseph. Doors to the Sacred: A Historical Introduction to Sacraments in the Catholic Church. Liguori: Liguori Publications, 2014; O’Loughlin, Frank. The Future of the Sacrament of Penance. Mahwah: Paulist Press, 2009; Pontifical Council for the Family. Vademecum for Confessors Concerning Some Aspects of the Morality of Conjugal Life: Handbook for Confessors. London: Catholic Truth Society, 1997; Stasiak, Kurt. A Confessor’s Handbook. Mahwah: Paulist Press, 2010; The Rite of Penance. Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and Published by Authority of Pope Paul VI. Totowa: Catholic Book Publishing, 1974; United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Celebrating the Sacrament of Penance: Questions and Answers. Washington: USCCB, 2003.
Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of the course, students are expected to recall and outline/describe/summarize the origins and importance of the sacrament; to identify the legal and pastoral aspects of the exercise of the sacrament; to officiate the sacrament; to identify the Magisterial teaching that guides the exercise of the sacrament; to listen, analyse, question, differentiate, classify the sins confessed and propose solutions for spiritual growth; to recognize the reverential fear that should accompany the exercise of the sacrament.