The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (#224 and #225) defines the sacraments as follows “The sacraments, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, are efficacious signs of grace perceptible to the senses. Through them divine life is bestowed upon us. There are seven Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony.”
What is the relationship of the sacraments to Christ? The mysteries of Christ’s life are the foundations of what henceforth is dispensed in the sacraments, through the ministers of His Church.
Saint Leo the Great shared that, “What was visible in our Saviour has passed over into His mysteries.”
“The Christian initiation is accomplished by means of the sacraments which establish the foundations of Christian life. The faithful born anew by Baptism are strengthened by Confirmation and then are nourished by the Eucharist.” (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church #252)
Congratulations on the announcement of your new child! We are rejoicing with you.
When you are ready to have your child baptized, please contact your local Parish Office with your intended date for your child to receive this sacrament. It is important for children to receive the sacrament of Baptism soon after birth (within the first few weeks) because Baptism is one of the ordinary means by which God the Father gives us salvation in Christ. A baptismal preparation program is offered, so please contact your pastor to register as soon as possible. The course can even be taken before the birth of your child.
Baptism is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church. It is frequently called the gateway to the rest of the sacraments.
“Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God; we become members of the mystical body of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1213).
“This sacrament is called Baptism after the central rite by which it is carried out: to baptize (Greek baptizein) means to “plunge or immerse”; the plunge into the water symbolizes the catechumen’s burial into Christ’s death from which he rises up by resurrection with Him, as a new creature.”(Catechism of the Catholic Church #1214)
In the Latin Church, Baptism is usually conferred by an authorized minister by pouring water three times on the recipient’s head, while reciting the baptismal formula: “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (cf. Matthew 28:19). The ordinary ministers of Baptism is the bishop, priest or deacon.
The Parents’ Commitment
The celebration of Baptism is the first step in the making of a Christian. Following Baptism, your child begins the journey of faith toward full membership in the Christian community by the eventual celebration of his/her First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Parents are asked to encourage and support the faith life of their baptized child each step along the way and to bring them up practicing the faith, including regular Sunday attendance at Mass. This is the commitment parents make on their child’s baptismal day (Rite of Baptism for Children, CCCB, p.94) and as a couple during the Rite of the Celebration of Marriage (Rite of Marriage, CCCB, p.52)
The Role of Godparents
Since godparents take on two roles – that of support for the parents in the Catholic upbringing of their child, and that of representing the Christian community into which the child is being initiated – they must be practicing Catholics (fully initiated through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) who are mature enough (must be 16 years of age or older) to undertake this role. (Code of Canon Law, Canon 872)
The child may have only one or two godparents. If two godparents are chosen, one is to be a man and the other a woman. (Code of Canon Law, Canon 873) A Christian witness can act as an official witness but there must be at least one Catholic godparent.
A parent may not serve as a godparent because the parent already has a distinct role and relationship with the child. A godparent’s role is separate from that of a parent or legal guardian.
What will happen at the Celebration?
The following is a brief outline of the Baptismal Rite when celebrated during Mass:
1. Reception of the child. The parents and godparents are questioned about their intentions and the child is claimed for Christ.
2. Preparatory Rites. After a short prayer, the bishop/priest/deacon anoints the child with the Oil of Catechumens for spiritual strength.
3. Rite of Baptism. This includes the blessing of the water, the vows of renunciation, the profession of faith, the Baptism, an anointing with Sacred Chrism, the clothing with a white garment and the lighting and presentation of the baptismal candle.
When Baptism is celebrated outside of the Mass, a Liturgy of the Word comprising of a proclamation of Sacred Scripture and the offering of intercessions occurs after the reception of the child. The celebration concludes with the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, and special blessings on the parents before the final blessing and dismissal.
When are Baptisms Celebrated?
For more information about the Sacrament of Baptism, please contact your local parish or contact Deacon Adrien at the Office of Faith Formation.
Congratulations if you are seeking information on the Sacrament of Reconciliation for your child.
We are rejoicing with you and are always here to assist you.
The Sacraments & the Journey of Faith
On the day of your child’s baptism, the bishop, priest or deacon asked you to promise to guide your child in the ways of faith. As your child continues to grow, it is time for him/her to make the next step in the journey of faith and of deepening his/her relationship with God. As you present your child for the reception of the Sacraments of First Reconciliation (Confession) and First Communion, you remain faithful to this promise made that day. May God continue to bless you as you fulfill the role of a Christian parent!
Preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation
The preparation of your child for the Sacrament of Reconciliation will allow them to grow in an understanding that God is loving, merciful and kind no matter what the wrong is, no matter the sin. We need to name these sins aloud in order to experience God’s love, mercy and forgiveness so that we may be renewed and set free. God’s will is that all His children be reconciled with one another and with God. What an amazing gift this is for each one of us!
Our parish-based sacramental preparation program supports families, catechists, Catholic schools (where they exist) and whole parish communities in preparing children to appreciate the depth of God’s love and to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In this program, children will explore several important aspects of responsibility, relationships, freedom, conscience, sin, forgiveness, and the truth, goodness and beauty which God wants to share with us.
In the Sacrament of Reconciliation each child, together with the whole faith community, meets the Risen Christ who reveals the Father’s mercy and renews our life in the Spirit, by inviting us to recall our Baptism and leading us to complete communion with Christ and the Church in the Eucharist.
In accordance with the Diocesan Policy for the Sacramental Initiation of Children, preparation for these sacraments will take place in the parish where you reside. For more information or to register, please contact your local parish for these important sacraments. You may also contact Deacon Adrien at the Office of Faith Formation.
Congratulations if you are seeking information on the Sacrament of First Holy Communion for your child.
We are rejoicing with you and are always here to assist you.
At the Last Supper, Jesus instituted the Eucharist, the gift of his Body and Blood that perpetuates His sacrifice on the Cross through the ages. He entrusts to the Church the memorial of His death and resurrection in this Sacrament: a sign of unity and a bond of charity. When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, it commemorates Christ’s Passover and the sacrifice offered once and for all on the cross. The Eucharist makes God’s saving actions in Jesus Christ ever present for every age of the Church.
Preparing children to participate fully in the Eucharist is a privilege and a very important apostolic ministry. This parish-based sacramental preparation program is intended as a support for families, catechists, Catholic schools (where they exist) and whole parish communities as they cooperatively lead our children to a greater understanding of sacramentality and the place of the Eucharist as the very “source and summit of Christian life” (Lumen gentium, #11; cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1324).
In union with Christ in the Eucharist, we grow in union with God through the power of the Holy Spirit. All the other sacraments are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward the presence of Christ himself who heals, restores, and forgives us. In other words, the sacrament of the Eucharist is the “summary of our faith,” the very “source and summit of the Christian life”, which completes and repeatedly celebrates our sacramental initiation into the “Body of Christ” the Church.
Preparation for the Sacrament of First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion
In accordance with the Diocesan Policy for the Sacramental Initiation of Children, preparation for these sacraments is conducted primarily by the parish over a suitable period of time for proper preparation of the sacrament.
Sessions for the preparations will be depending on the preparation schedule of the parish as well as the pastor and catechists.
The Sacrament of First Reconciliation will be celebrated after proper preparation has been completed. Children must make their First Reconciliation prior to receiving First Holy Communion.
Children will receive the Sacrament of First Holy Communion with their family and with their faith community after the preparation has been completed for this sacrament.
Children in grade 2 or age 7 and older are eligible to receive First Reconciliation and First Communion.
If your child was not baptized in the local parish you now attend, a copy of the child’s baptismal certificate is required at the time of registration.
For more information concerning dates and requirements for receiving the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion, please check with your local parish community. You may also contact Deacon Adrien at the Office of Faith Formation.
Congratulations if you are seeking information on the Sacrament of Confirmation.
We are rejoicing with you and are here to assist you.
Confirmation deepens our baptismal life that calls us to be missionary witnesses of Jesus Christ in our families, neighborhoods, society, and the world. We receive the message of faith in a deeper and more concentrated manner with great emphasis given to the person of Jesus Christ, who asked the Father to give the Holy Spirit to the Church for building up the community in loving service.
In the Sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized person is “sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit” and is strengthened for service to the Body of Christ.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church shares the following message about this Sacrament:
1285 Baptism, the Eucharist, and the Sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the “sacraments of Christian initiation,” whose unity must be safeguarded. It must be explained to the faithful that the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace.89 For “by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.
1315 “Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:14-17).
1316 Confirmation perfects Baptismal grace; it is the sacrament which gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us more firmly into Christ, strengthen our bond with the Church, associate us more closely with her mission, and help us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds.
1317 Confirmation, like Baptism, imprints a spiritual mark or indelible character on the Christian’s soul; for this reason, one can receive this sacrament only once in one’s life.
1319 A candidate for Confirmation who has attained the age of reason must profess the faith, be in a state of grace, have the intention of receiving the sacrament, and be prepared to assume the role of disciple and witness to Christ, both within the ecclesial community and in temporal affairs.
The Sacrament & the Journey of Faith
Confirmation is the one of the three Sacraments of Initiation into the Catholic Church. Confirmation continues and strengthens the grace we first received at Baptism. The Sacrament of Confirmation roots us more deeply in our identity as God’s children, unites us more firmly with Christ, increases in us the gifts of the Holy Spirit, binds us more closely to the Church, and gives us special strength to bear witness to our faith in today’s world.
Preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation
In accordance with the Diocesan Policy for the Sacramental Initiation of Children, preparation for Confirmation is conducted primarily by the parish over an appropriate period of time for preparation of the sacrament. The preparation sessions will depend on the parish schedule, the pastor and catechists. It will also depend on the number of participants. The Sacrament of Confirmation is normally conferred by the Bishop or his delegate during a Sunday Mass or a special celebration Mass upon completion of the preparation.