SACRAMENTS

Baptism is the first of the seven sacraments, and is the gateway which allows us to receive the other sacraments. Being the first sacrament for the forgiveness of sins, both original and personal, Baptism unites us with Christ, who died for our sins and rose again for our justification. Baptism, along with Confirmation and Eucharist, constitute the “sacraments of initiation” which grants believers a new life in Christ and the Holy Spirit. The rite of Baptism consists of immersing the candidate in water, or pouring water on the head, while pronouncing the invocation of the Most Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Upon receiving the sacrament of Baptism, the newly baptized is welcomed into the Church, the body of Christ.

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EUCHARIST

Holy Eucharist is the mysterious center of the sacraments of initiation because of the historic sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, which is made present during the words of consecration. The Holy Mass revolves around the celebration of the Eucharist, and allows us to be joined again with the one Body of Christ, the Church. We willingly follow the commandment that Jesus placed upon His disciples during the Last Supper when He said “Do this in remembrance of me.” (1 Cor 11:24)

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In the wake of the Passion of Christ, the disciples hid in fear until the time of Pentecost. During Pentecost, the disciples were infused with the Holy Spirit and were compelled to begin their apostolic mission, so that others could receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The disciples received the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. The effect of Confirmation is a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit like that of Pentecost. During the Confirmation ceremony, the Bishop anoints the forehead of the baptized with the words, “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.” With these words, the newly Confirmed are strengthened with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and are called to carry on the external mission of the Church, and be soldiers of Jesus Christ. 

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RECONCILIATION

Though Baptism grants us grace and cleanses us of original and personal sin, it does not remove our human weaknesses and inclination to sin. As followers of Jesus Christ, we strive to maintain a state of harmony with the path that He has lain before us. When we stray from this path (sin), the only way we can be united again with Christ is by honestly acknowledging our sins, repent, and beg for forgiveness. The sacrament of Reconciliation is a celebration where the sinner is reconciled with God and the Church, both which are wounded by our sins.

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ANOINTING OF THE SICK

During his ministry, Jesus spent much of his time healing the sick. We believe that illness and suffering can help unite us in a very special way to the passion of Christ. When a Christian falls seriously ill and is in danger of death, they may receive the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. Performing this sacrament, the priest anoints the believer with blessed oil, and calls forth the grace of the Holy Spirit so that the believer is granted strength, peace and courage to overcome the difficulties that accompany serious illness or the frailty of old age. Additionally, this sacrament helps prepare for the passing over to eternal life by the forgiveness of sins, if the sick person is not able to obtain it through the sacrament of Penance

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The Sacrament of Matrimony is a covenant, a permanent lifelong union of a man and woman committed to faithfully loving each other and God.  The sacrament gives spouses the grace to love each other the same way Christ loved his Church. The sacrament of Matrimony is conveyed, not by a priest or bishop, but by the spouses themselves to each other during the marriage ceremony. Marriage is God’s instrument that encourages couples to bring forth, care for, educate and morally train successive generations of followers of Christ.

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HOLY ORDERS

The sacrament of Holy Orders, along with Matrimony, is a sacrament of service. Holy Orders are reserved for baptized men who hear and respond to the call of God to become shepherds of the Church’s flock. This sacrament successively confers the powers of deacon, priest, and bishop, granting increasing levels of sanctifying grace at each stage. The ceremony is performed by a bishop who has been granted the power of the priesthood through an unbroken line that can be traced all the way back to the Apostles.

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