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Q. What are the sacraments of reconciliation? During a recent homily, the priest spoke about the sacraments. This is the first time I recall hearing this kind of reference. Have I been missing something?

A. The sacraments of reconciliation are baptism (which forgives all sin, including original sin), Eucharist, the anointing of the sick, and the sacrament of reconciliation (which forgives all sin except for original sin, which only can be forgiven in baptism). You might enjoy a further explanation about the sacraments by reading The Essential Catholic Handbook of the Sacraments (copyright 2001 Liguori Publications). This book is comprehensive and easy to understand.

Q. I have been invited to visit my children this summer at their cabin. Because it is in a remote location, I am concerned about missing Sunday Mass. Will I commit a sin if I am unable to attend Mass? Should I just tell my children that I will not visit them?

A. Your children have invited you to be with them for a special family time. They have not invited you to an isolated cabin to make it difficult, if not impossible, to attend Sunday Mass. There is a difference. Go to the cabin, be with your family, give thanks for them, and if Sunday Mass is reasonably impossible for you to attend, which it sounds like it might be, then so be it. This special occasion is reflective of a temporary reality, not a change in lifestyle or orientation.

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