Do I Have to Go to Confession?
If I confess my sins to Jesus through prayer and not with a priest, does that mean that I'm not forgiven?
The sacrament of confession is only absolutely necessary for mortal sins. Venial sins can be forgiven through repentance, prayer, and reception of the Eucharist.
Mortal sins are normally forgiven through the sacrament of confession. If, however, someone is unable to confess their sins they can obtain forgiveness through perfect contrition. Perfect contrition is contrition for sin not because of fear of punishment for sin but rather out of love for God who is offended and hatred for the sin committed (CCC 1452).