Outward Signs that Give Grace
Most people know that much of Roman Catholic teaching and practice is based on sacraments. The Catholic Church, they say, is a Sacramental Church.
The word “sacrament” means sign. We believe that the Church itself is a sign of Christ’s continuing presence among us. So in this most general sense the Church itself is a sacrament because the Church as the People of God signifies Christ as risen Lord present in our world today.
But the Church is a special kind of sign. And it very actively lives its role as a sign of Christ’s presence by helping us encounter Christ. One specific way is through seven rituals or ceremonies that hold a very privileged place in the life of Catholic Christians.. Through them we worship God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; and through them we encounter Christ. These actions are called the seven sacraments. And each in its own way signifies Christ reaching out to encounter his people.
Baptisms are held on Sundays, intermittently throughout the year. Attendance at a Baptism Preparation Class is required before the Baptism of a family’s first child. Call the Parish Center (347-6108, ext. 210) to register for the class and to discover when the next Baptism class is scheduled.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is offered in the church on Saturdays from 3:30-4:30 p.m., or you may call the Parish Center (347-6108) to schedule an appointment.
The Sacrament of the Eucharist (Communion) is usually celebrated by Elementary students in Second Grade, after a preparation period that includes their receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is usually received by High School students who have completed a two-year preparation program during their Junior High years.