The saving words and deeds of Jesus Christ are the foundation of what he would communicate in the Sacraments through the ministers of the Church. Guided by the Holy Spirit, the Church recognizes the existence of Seven Sacraments instituted by the Lord. They are the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist), the Sacraments of Healing (Penance and the Anointing of the Sick), and the Sacraments at the Service of Communion (Marriage and Holy Orders). Through the Sacraments, God shares his holiness with us so that we, in turn, can make the world holier.
Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission. (CCC 1213)
“Those who approach the sacrament of Reconciliation obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion.” (CCC 1422)
1st Reconciliation & Communion
It is customary at Good Shepherd to prepare for the first celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Reconciliation and the Sacrament of Holy Communion during the Second-Grade year. This is the earliest time that a person can prepare to receive these two Sacraments, not the only. The Church has established that children age 7 have reached the age of reason and are able to distinguish right from wrong. As such, they are deemed to be developmentally ready to enter formally into the Sacramental life of the Church.
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.” (CCC 1285)
Of the seven Sacraments that Catholics have, three complete our initiation into the faith; Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation. If you have not been Baptized, we can help you explore if Baptism is for you. If you are not Catholic and would like to learn more about how Catholics approach the Christian faith, we have an opportunity for you to learn more. The Order of Christian Initiation for Adults (OCIA, formerly known as RCIA) is an amazing process to explore your faith from an adult perspective and prepare you for any of the Sacraments of Initiation. Finally, if you would like to enhance your understanding of your faith and would like to journey alongside these candidates, this process might prove valuable to you!
Contact Marguerite Thompson should you be interested.
“The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between Baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a Sacrament.” (CCC 1601)
Anointing of the Sick
“By the sacred Anointing of the Sick and the prayer of the priests the whole Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them. And indeed she exhorts them to contribute to the good of the People of God by freely uniting themselves to the Passion and death of Christ.” (CCC 1499)
Holy Orders is the Sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the Sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate. (CCC 1536)
Contact Deacon Sandy should you be considering this vocation.