"The sacraments of Christian initiation - Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist - lay the foundations of every Christ life ... The faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life."
- Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1212
The Sacraments of Initiation
The Catholic Church acknowledges the importance and efficacy of the Sacraments and encourages all Catholic to celebrate them frequently. The Sacraments of Initiation bring the person to fullness of life in Christ, these being Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion. All persons seeking to be initiated into the Catholic faith are asked to schedule a no-obligations meeting with the pastor to discuss the needs and process of each person.
- For infants, initiation into the Church begin with Baptism and continues as the child grows in age and faith.
- For unbaptized adults, the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) process assists those interested in learning about Jesus Christ and the Catholic faith, providing information, formation, and encouragement as one considers being baptized and living the Catholic faith.
- For baptized adults from non-Catholic Christian communities, the process is tailored to the specific needs of the individual.
If you would like to have your child receive the Sacraments here or if are inquiring into or seeking to join the Catholic faith yourself, you are asked to contact that parish office and schedule a visit with the pastor to discuss your intentions and to discern how best to proceed.
Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” - John 3:5
Baptism is the foundation of the Christian life and the gateway to life in Christ. It has the effects of uniting us to the Body of Christ (the Church), making us an adopted child of God, cleansing us from all sin, giving the Sanctifying Grace that promises us eternal life, and uniting us to the mission of Jesus Christ. All of that is simply to say that is an amazing rite and a joy to celebrate! It is truly one of the greatest gifts of God to us.
Children of Catholic parents ought to be baptized as soon as possible and be provided with the best possible godparents. The role of Godparents is far greater than simply assuming the name of ‘Nanny’ or ‘Parrain’ and ought to be prayerfully considered by the parents. Godparents have the duty of supporting the parents in their duty of raising the child in the Catholic faith and for that reason they are to be active members in the Church community and living a life of faith. It is an important task entrusted to them, but one of immense joy.
First Holy Communion
“And as they were eating, he took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.” - Mark 14:22-24
In Holy Communion, we receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and God. This belief distinguishes Catholics from other Christian communities and is foundational to our identity and practice of the faith because we believe it is Jesus Christ Himself. The first occasion of receiving Holy Communion is one which ought to be memorable and solemnly celebrated, but unlike the other Baptism and Confirmation, the reception of Holy Communion is to be repeated all throughout the course of life.
The normal age for children who received Baptism as infants is the age of reason - about 7 years old, typically the 2nd Grade. For children receiving catechism lessons at the parish, this means enrolling them in classes during their 1st & 2nd Grade year for proper instruction. For children attending Catholic Elementary, they are to enroll at the parish during their 2nd Grade year.
“Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.” Acts 8:14-17
The quote above from Acts tells us that even the early Christians understood that baptism and full reception of the Holy Spirit were different events. The latter, marked by the laying on of hands and anointing with holy oil, is what we have come to know as the Sacrament of Confirmation. This Sacrament is given its name by the effect it has on us: it confirms us in the mission of Jesus Christ and gives us the fullness of the gifts of the Holy Spirit to carry it out. The Second Vatican Council reminds us that "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.” (Lumen gentium, 11)
High school students celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation as part of our catechesis program in the parish. Catholic adult who have not received the Sacrament of Confirmation are encouraged to do so.