Sacraments 'Signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the church, by which divine life is dispensed to us.' CCC1131
Baptism Baptism is truly the most precious gift children receive as they enter into the world to begin their life’s journey. Baptism initiates us into: the life of the Spirit, union with Christ, and membership in the Church. Baptism is at the heart of who we are as a Catholic Community. Through Baptism children become members of the Body of Christ, the parents profess their commitment to make a home where the gospel is lived, the god parents and all the community promise to support the parents in this. This is a serious covenant into which we enter. This is the perfect time for parents to have the opportunity to share their thoughts, reaffirm their own baptismal commitment and deepen their faith. The life of faith means having a personal relationship with Christ through grace which is nurtured by God’s Word and the sacramental life of the Church.
To arrange for infant or child baptism at St. Mary's, please contact Beth May, Baptism Coordinator at 315-853-6110.
Reconciliation In any healthy relationship, open and honest communication is a necessity. Each of us must request and offer forgiveness when necessary, to maintain mutual respect, trust, and faith in one another. Our relationship with God is no different. One of the best ways to maintain the health of this relationship is to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation on a regular basis. It is the preventative medicine that strengthens and heals our souls. In preparing our children for their First Reconiciliaton, we show them the unconditional nature of God’s love for us, His children. No matter what the wrong, He shows His mercy and is always ready to forgive. Even though God knows the secrets we all carry, it is in naming these things aloud in the Sacrament of Reconciliation where we open our hearts to receive the grace of God’s forgiveness. The priest, acting in the person of Jesus through the Church, through prayer and gesture, absolves us of our sin which restores our good relationship with God, others and ourselves.
First Communion In Baptism we have been called to form but one body. The Eucharist fulfills this call: "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Cor 10:16-17) It is said that Holy Communion is the greatest of the Sacraments. In it, Jesus is wholly and personally present. At each Mass, during consecration, the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist comes into being. In the receiving Holy Communion, we proclaim our belief in Jesus Christ’s presence in our Amen when receive the Eucharist. What does it mean to say that Jesus Christ is fully present in the Eucharist? How do we explain this concept to a second grader? How do we explain this to anyone? Are we expected to fully understand? No. “The presence of the risen Christ in the Eucharist is an inexhaustible mystery that the Church can never fully explain in words.” (www.usccb.org). In preparing our students to begin to participate fully in the Mass, we are planting the desire within them to search for the answers to this mystery and develop their relationship with God. We hope to instill a sense of awe at the fullness of God’s love for them and hope that through regularly experiencing the Mass and the receiving of Communion, they will grow in understanding, appreciating and strengthening their faith.
If your child is not currently enrolled in St. Mary's Faith Formation program and would like to receive the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Communion, please contact Mary Lou Lauchert, Director.
Confirmation 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. 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 intensive 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. ~from the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults
Youth of our parish begin their journey to confirmation during the fall of 9th grade. This two year program involving group study, personal reflection and service to our community culminates with a beautiful celebration of Mass presided by Bishop Lucia.
Adults who have not yet been confirmed are encouraged to arrange a meeting with Father Abe regarding necessary preparations, so that they too may receive the gift of the Holy Spirit as celebrated yearly at the Easter Vigil mass.
Matrimony The Sacrament of Marriage is a covenant, which is more than a contract. Covenant always expresses a relationship between persons. The marriage covenant refers to the relationship between the husband and wife, a permanent union of persons capable of knowing and loving each other and God. The celebration of marriage is also a liturgical act, appropriately held in a public liturgy at church. Catholics are urged to celebrate their marriage within the Eucharistic Liturgy. ~from theUnited States Catholic Catechism for Adults
Couples planning to be married at St. Mary's are asked to schedule an appointment with Fr. Abe at least 6 months before the desired date. Wedding dates cannot be scheduled over the phone. One of the parties being married and/or their parents must be registered members of St. Mary’s. Pre–marriage instruction is required.
Anointing of the sick In the Church's Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, through the ministry of the priest, it is Jesus who touches the sick to heal them from sin – and sometimes even from physical ailment. His cures were signs of the arrival of the Kingdom of God. The core message of his healing tells us of his plan to conquer sin and death by his dying and rising. The Rite of Anointing tells us there is no need to wait until a person is at the point of death to receive the Sacrament. A careful judgment about the serious nature of the illness is sufficient. When the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given, the hoped-for effect is that, if it be God's will, the person be physically healed of illness. But even if there is no physical healing, the primary effect of the Sacrament is a spiritual healing by which the sick person receives the Holy Spirit's gift of peace and courage to deal with the difficulties that accompany serious illness or the frailty of old age. ~from theUnitedStatesCatholicCatechismforAdults
A communal anointing mass will be celebrated at St. Mary's two times per year (tbd). If you or a loved one would like to be anointed prior to a serious medical procedure or during an emergency please contact Father Abe.
Further information regarding each of the Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church can be found here.