Christ instituted the sacraments of the new law. There are seven; Baptism, Confirmation, The Eucharist, Penance, The Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. The seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life: they give birth and increase healing and mission to the Christian’s life of faith. There is thus a certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of the spiritual life.¹
Sacrament of Baptism: Parents seeking to have their children baptized should be registered with our parish. Applications for Baptism can be found here. Once your application is completed and submitted to the office you will be registered for the Baptismal class and then will be able to schedule your child’s Baptism.
Confession: Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace. It is to them the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace.
² Confession at St. John’s is Saturday at 4:00PM, 1st Saturday at 9:30AM or by appointment. Confessions at St. Bernadette’s is Wednesday 6:30PM or by appointment.
Holy Communion: It was above all on “the first day of the week,” Sunday, the day of Jesus’ resurrection , that the Christians met “to break bread”. From that time on down to our own day the celebration of the Eucharist has been continued so that today we encounter it everywhere in the Church with the same fundamental structure. It remains the center of the Church’s life.³ If a member of your family is in the hospital or is ill and is homebound, please call the Parish Office to make arrangements to receive Holy Communion.
Confirmation: It is evident from its celebration that the effect of the sacrament of Confirmation is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost. From this fact, Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace: ~it roots us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry, “Abba! Father!” ~it unites us more firmly to Christ; ~ it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us; ~ it renders our bond with the Church more perfect, ~ it gives us special strength of the Holy Spirit to speed and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses to Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly and never to be ashamed of the Cross”.¹¹
Holy Matrimony: “By reason of their state in life and of their order,[Christian spouses] have their own special gifts in the People of God.” This grace proper to the sacrament of Matrimony is intended to perfect the couple’s love and to strengthen their indissoluble unity. By this grace they “help one another to attain holiness in their married life and welcoming and educating their children.”¹² Arrangements for Marriage must be made one year in advance by contacting a Parish priest to set the wedding date and to plan for pre-Cana instruction.
Holy Orders: This sacrament configures the recipient to Christ by a special grace of the Holy Spirit, so that he may serve as Christ’s instrument for his Church. By ordination one is enabled to act as a representative of Christ, Head of the Church, in his triple office of priest, prophet , and King.¹³ If you believe you have, or someone you know has, a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, please contact Fr. Norman Carroll at 302-573-3113
Anointing of the Sick: A particular gift of the Holy Spirit, the first grace of this sacrament is one of strengthening, peace and courage to overcome the difficulties that go with the condition of serious illness or the frailty of old age. The grace is a gift of the Holy Spirit who renews trust and faith in God and strengthens against the temptations of the evil one, the temptation to discouragement and anguish in the face of death. This assistance from the Lord by the power of His Spirit is meant to lead the sick person to healing of the soul, but also of the body if such is God’s will. Furthermore , if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven (Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 1510). Please contact the Parish Office to request the sacrament for your loved one.