“This is the blood of the new and eternal Covenant, which is shed for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins.” (Words of Consecration over the Chalice)
Illustration from the “Crucifixion window” in Johnstown Church, by Artist George Walsh

Unlike other species, as human beings, we have the God-given freedom to choose what is good. Sin is a misuse of that freedom, by deliberately choosing what we know is not good and does not please God or build up the Kingdom of God. The remedy to sin is the forgiveness Christs extends to us in the Sacrament of Confession know also as Reconciliation or Penance. The Sacrament consists of being sorry for sin, confessing our sins, receiving sacramental absolution and carrying out the penance imposed to make amends for our sins.


Confession is a sacramental encounter with Christ through the ministry of the priest who, acting in Christ’s name, reconciles the penitent to the life of grace and restores them to the life of communion and fellowship with all the faithful.


The Seal of Confession, as it is known, refers to the solemn obligation on the part of the priest, never to reveal or refer to anything learned while hearing Confessions.


A Catholic is free to approach a Priest at any convenient time to celebrate the sacrament of Confession, otherwise it is by arrangement according to the published Parish schedule.

First Confession


First Confession is that time in the life of a young Christian when, having the ability to distinguish right from wrong, they are aware of what is sinful and of the need to say sorry and be forgiven. First Confession is celebrated in the months prior to the child’s Holy Communion.

Please click here to download and complete the (electronically fillable) Request Form for First Confession and First Holy Communion of a child in a Catholic School

Please click here to download the Form for Religious Instruction and Sacramental Preparation for pupils attending non-Catholic Schools

Confession times

  • Johnstown, Saturday 7 pm, before the Vigil Mass, in the confessional, at the back of the Church.
  • Walterstown, before Vigil Mass, in the Sacristy.