The Sacraments...Visible signs of our Invisible God!
The Sacraments of the Catholic Church touch all the stages and the important moments of our Christian life! They give grace and healing to our life of faith. The stages of our natural life and our spiritual life mirror each other - the sacraments are celebrated to strengthen and support us at every step along our journey as we live our respective vocations. Through the Sacraments we encounter Jesus and like any true friend, He reaches out and touches our lives in a very real and personal way!
The Church celebrates seven sacraments, which are divided into three categories: i) The Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism; Confirmation and Holy Communion/Eucharist; ii) The Sacraments of Healing: Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick; and iii) The Sacraments at the Service of Communion: Matrimony and Holy Orders. Only a married Deacon recieves all seven sacraments.
St Augustine, described a sacrament as “an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace”. Sacrament is derived from the Latin word sacramentum which means "a sign of the sacred". The reception of each of the seven sacraments constitutes ceremonies which are special occasions for experiencing God's saving presence and depicts what is sacred, significant and important for Christians. Sacraments are simultaneously signs and instruments of God's grace.
Baptism (Adult & Infant)
The Sacrament of Baptism, often referred to as the "first sacrament", the "door of the sacraments", and the "door of the Church" is the first step in the journey of discipleship and commitment to God. Persons may be baptized as infants or adults. It is the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation for Catholics.
In Baptism we receive new life in Christ Jesus! It takes away original sin and gives us a new birth in the Holy Spirit. Read More...
Confirmation is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation. It is a sign of a deeper commitment to one’s baptismal promises. The person is sealed with the Holy Spirit so that the fruits and gifts may be evident in the believers' life. The grace imparted through the sacrament enpowers the believer to be more mature in their faith, by participating in the life of the Church.
The Eucharist or Holy Communion is believed by Catholics to be the real presence of Jesus Christ. This sacrament is both a sacrifice and a meal. We believe that the Holy Spirit is present in the actions of the Priest during the Eucharistic Prayer. The ordinary elements of bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Jesus. We eat of the Lord so that we may become more like the Lord.
Reconciliation Read More...
The Sacrament of Reconciliation, also referred to as Confession, has several elements: confession of sin, contrition, penance and repentance. In this Sacrament we are assured of God's unconditional forgiveness. In return we are called to forgive others and turn away from sin.
We recieve Jesus' healing and grace as gifts. God uses the instrument of the Priest to impart forgiveness to the penitent: [John 20:22-23]. Christ instituted the Sacrament of Reconciliation for all of us who fall short of His glory and above all, for those of us who since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin.
The confession of sins frees us to turn back to a life of grace. Looking squarely at our sins, we take responsibility for them, and thereby open ourselves again to God and to the communion of the Church in order to make a new beginning. It also challenges us to have the same kind of compassion and forgiveness for those who sin against us..."forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us".
The Sacrament of Marriage is given by God to be a reflection His love for His bride - the Church. God calls a man and a woman to journey as one in love. The Sacrament of Marriage, or Holy Matrimony, is a public sign that one is giving oneself totally to another person before God. It involves every aspect of their lives, learning to give and receive from each other. In this way, their lives become sacramental (an outward sign of inward grace) to the extent that they cooperate with God’s grace. Through marriage they live “in Christ” and Christ lives and acts through them in their relationship, attitudes and actions towards each other and their community.
The grace of this Sacrament gives spouses the help they need to be faithful and to be good parents. It also helps them to serve others and to show the community that a loving and lasting marriage is both desirable and possible.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders, or Ordination, is imparted to the believer who is called by God to serve as a Priest or Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church. The ordained Priest administers the sacraments to the Laity when need arises. The Deacon assists the Priest and serves in the Church according to specified guidelines.
The Bishop is the celebrant for conferring this sacrament of Holy Orders. The ordained is given the authority to act in the name of the Church under the approval of the Bishop.
If you or someone your know is considering religious life, call our Parish Office to find out more.
Anointing of the Sick
The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, formerly known as Last Rites or Extreme Unction, is a ritual of healing. God always answers our prayer for healing, which can be for either the mind, the body, the spirit or all three. Scripture invites the sick to send for the Priest of the Church for prayer and anointing [Jas 5:14]. Through this Sacrament and the presence of the Holy Spirit, the recipient receives strength, grace and peace to overcome ones condition.