Sacraments are defined by the Church as "outward signs instituted by Christ to give grace."
Baptism is the purifying Sacrament of rebirth. It is the religious rite of sprinkling water onto a person's forehead or of immersion in water, symbolizing purification or regeneration and admission to the Christian Church. Baptism is necessary before one can receive any other Sacrament. It was instituted by Christ when He commanded His Apostles to go and baptize all nations in the Name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19). A bishop, priest or deacon is the ordinary celebrant of Baptism.
A Catholic sponsor must be at least sixteen years old and be a practicing, baptized Catholic who has received the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation. A non-Catholic may serve as a Christian Witness to a Baptism.
The name of a saint is given to the candidate for baptism so that the candidate can enjoy the saint's patronage.
Also known as Holy Communion, this Sacrament commemorates the Last Supper, in which bread and wine are consecrated and consumed. The consecrated bread and wine are referred to as the Body and Blood of Christ. We believe Christ himself is contained in the Eucharist.
Christ instituted the Sacrament of Eucharist at the last Supper. Christ is truly, really and substantially present in the Eucharist. This is the teaching of transubstantiation. Faithful may receive Holy Communion each time they participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the mass. Before receiving Holy Communion, Catholics are asked to abstain from food and liquids for one hour, with the exception of water and medications.
Non-Christians and Christians, not fully united with the Catholic Church, may not receive the Eucharist. Reception of the Eucharist by non-Catholics would imply a oneness which does not yet exist. The same reason would hold a Catholic from receiving Eucharist in a non-Catholic service.
Also known as the Sacrament of Penance or Confession, Reconciliation is when someone confesses sins to a priest and is given absolution. Pardon is received through God's mercy for sins committed. Reconciliation is held the second and fourth Saturday of the month from 9-9:30am in the chapel or by appointment.
Christ instituted this Sacrament on Easter Sunday evening when He breathed on the Apostles and said, "Received the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive, are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain, are retained. " (John 20:22-23). Reconciliation restores the gift of God's grace after it has been lost through sin. There is no sin too great to be forgiven, but one must ask for forgiveness.
In this Sacrament, the sinner must have a sorrow for a sin, confess to a priest and offer penance for the sins to the priest. When the priest celebrates this Sacrament, he is acting in the person of Christ who forgives sin in virtue of His Cross of Resurrection.
Confirmation is when a baptized person, especially one baptized as an infant, affirms their Christian belief and is admitted as a full member of the church. Confirmation is conferred by a bishop through the anointing with chrism (a consecrated mixture of oil and balsam), on the forehead which is done by the laying on of the bishop's hand.
It was instituted by Christ when he conferred the Holy Spirit on His Apostles on Easter Sunday and then more strikingly on Pentecost. Confirmation increases and deepens the grace of Baptism. It increases the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and the Fear of the Lord.
Those to be confirmed choose a sponsor who is a confirmed, practicing Catholic and ask the patronage of a saint by choosing a Confirmation name.
Christ instituted the Sacrament of Matrimony when He attended the wedding at Cana, through His teaching that marriage should be permanent until death.
Unlike the other Sacraments, marriage was established by God in His creation of man and woman. It establishes an indissoluble bond between a man and a woman. This bond is permanent, faithful and open to new human life.
A marriage between two Catholics takes place in the Catholic church of the bride. A Catholic and non-Catholic may marry and validly contract the Sacrament of Matrimony. This is called a mixed marriage. Permission of the Bishop is required for a mixed marriage and can only be obtained if the Catholic party promises to continue practicing the Catholic faith and to have children born to the union baptized and raised Catholic.
Couples planning marriage are asked to Contact Father no later than six (6) months prior to your wedding date to take a pre-marital inventory and participate in an enrichment program for the engaged..
The Sacrament of Holy Orders is one in which bishops, priests and deacons are ordained and receive the power and grace to perform their sacred duties. It was instituted by Christ at the Last Supper. Holy Orders has three degrees, deacon, priest and bishop.
Bishops are successors of the Apostles. They have the fullness of Christ's priesthood and have the power to ordain priests and deacons. They are the teachers of the faith.
Priests are co-workers of the bishops and have the privilege of consecrating Eucharist and forgiving sins. Priests have the responsibility to preach the Gospel and shepherd the People of God.
Deacons are ordained for service to the bishop. They assist at the celebration of the Eucharist, distribute Holy Communion, bless marriages, proclaim and preach the Gospel, preside at funerals and dedicate themselves to works of charity.
Faithful, who are afflicted by illness, experience spiritual strengthening through the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. Anointing is the continuation of the Lord's compassion for the sick. It strengthens the sick person with courage and peace to endure sickness and its suffering. It forgives all sins for which the sick person has true sorrow but is unable to confess and prepares the sick person for the transition to eternal life.
Those who are in danger of death through sickness or old age, may receive this Sacrament. Those preparing for surgery may be anointed. Only priests and bishops may confer this Sacrament.
St. John the Baptist Parish
St. John the Baptist School
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