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Growing Up Catholic

Session Three: At Home This Week

Session Review

Rules of Love

  • God teaches us what is right and wrongthrough the Bible and the teachings of the Church.

  • We are taught to love God, love others, and to be sorry for our sins.

  • In the Hebrew Scriptures, the Ten Commandments teach us how to live (Exodus 20; Deuteronomy 5).

  • Jesus taught us how to live using the Beatitudes, stories, and the way he lived (Matthew 5).


Rite of Reconciliation

  • We confess our sins after saying, "Bless me Father, I have tried hard to be good but I have committed some sins."

  • Be honest with the priest, who will keep what you tell him a secret.

  • The priest represents Jesus and the whole community of the Church, and speaks the words of forgiveness on behalf of everyone.

  • The priest may ask questions or offer advice because he wants to help.

  • The priest will give you a penance, something to do or say to help "make up" for your sins.

Parenting Tip - Teaching Your Child to Apologize

Here is a short video you may find helpful with tips on how to teach kids how to say they are sorry.

Learning to Pray

There are different versions of the Act of Contrition you can use to say you are sorry for what you've done wrong. Choose one of the three versions of the Act of Contrition below for your child to start memorizing.

Learning the Act of Contrition

Act of Contrition from the Rite (1975)

My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy.

The traditional Act of Contrition

O my God, 
I am heartily sorry for having offended thee and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend thee, my God, who are 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 amend my life. 

A simple Act of Contrition

Dear God, 
I am very sorry for any ways that I failed to love and committed sins. 
I'm sorry because I know you love me very much.  
I promise to do better and I know you will help me.


Practicing the Examination of Conscience

Use the Examination of Conscience from the parent pages to practice looking over past actions and considering how we have sinned.

Begin by asking your child to recite from memory the Our Father. Explain that the names “Lord’s Prayer” and “Our Father” refer to the same thing - the prayer that Jesus taught us! If your child has not yet memorized it, this is a good time to continue practicing that.

Invite your child to take the Our Father line by line as in this material, and ask themselves the questions here. They can write or draw their answers on a separate page.

Give plenty of time for this, or do it in two or three occasions during the week.

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