What is the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
The sacrament of Reconciliation, Confession, is our chance to make things right with God. Humans resist the will of God and think and act in opposition to the will of God. When we do, we commit sin. Sin separates us from God. Confession brings us back to Him.
We must confess our sins to a priest in order to gain absolution from them. Mortal sins must be confessed; venial sins may optionally be confessed, though the Church recommends that we confess all sins.
In order to remain in good standing with the Catholic Church, Catholics must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation at least once per year, during Lent.
Confession is an act of honesty and courage - an act of entrusting ourselves, beyond sin, to the mercy of a loving and forgiving God.
-Saint John Paul II