Moral Guidance and the Administration of the Sacrament of Penance


Very Rev. Prof. Ian Waters (coordinator) Semester 1, 2020
Thursday 10.00am – 1.00pm

This unit is a practicum to prepare future confessors for sacramental service in the Catholic Church. It is restricted to Catholic deacons who are candidates for the Priesthood. The unit examines the official decrees and teaching on the administration of the Sacrament of Penance. The unit begins with a restatement of the Christological and Ecclesiological dimensions of Penance. It then proceeds to deal with the pastoral care of the penitent and the duties and rights of both penitent and confessor. As this unit is a practicum, various guest speakers deal with subjects such as psychology and reconciliation, the liturgy of reconciliation, the canonical requirements, and medical and family issues.

Census Date

Tuesday 17 March


DT2000C, at least one of DT2020C, DT2040C/3040C, DT2060C/3060C or equivalent, and DC3001C and DC3002C 


face-to-face 3-hour weekly classes in semester


one 30-minute formal oral examination (2,000 words) before a board of two examiners
This unit is assessed as a pass/fail grade only


  • Doran, Kevin. More Joy in Heaven! Confession, the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1988.
  • Grün, Anselm. The Seven Sacraments. Translated by John Cumming. New York: Continuum, 2003.
  • Huels, John M. Empowerment for Ministry: A Complete Manual on Diocesan Faculties for Priests, Deacons and Lay Ministers. New York: Paulist, 2003.
  • Kelly, Gerald. The Good Confessor. Dublin: Clonmore & Reynolds, 1959.
  • Luijten, Eric. Sacramental Forgiveness as a Gift of God: Thomas Aquinas on the Sacrament of Penance. Leuven: Peeters, 2003.
  • Stasiak, Kurt. A Confessor’s Handbook: Revised and Expanded Edition. New York: Paulist, 2010.