The sacraments of the Catholic Church are, the Church teaches, ‘efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us’.
Holy Baptism is the basis of christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. We are freed from sin. We become members of Christ and are incorporated into the Church. Baptism is a Sacrament of regeneration through water and the Word.
If you would like to get baptised, or would like it for your child please contact Fr. Gerry.
For a child baptism please first agree a date with Fr. Gerry before completing the baptism application form.
The Holy Eucharist for an adult completes the Christian initiation. At the Last Supper Our Saviour instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his body and blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages, a memorial of his death and resurrection. A sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity. Those who have been raised by Baptism may participate with the whole community in the Lord’s sacrifice by the means of the Eucharist.
Confirmation is a sign that a person has reached maturity. It strengthens baptismal grace and the believer receives the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Sacrament of Confirmation is conferred by the Bishop through the laying on of hands and the anointing with Chrism.
Sin is before all else an offence against God; a rupture of communion with him. At the same time it damages communion with the Church. For this reason conversion entails both God’s forgiveness and reconciliation with the Church, which are expressed and accomplished liturgically by the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.
Our parishes offer the opportunity for private confession. Times are given in the newsletter.
The Sacrament of Marriage joins a man and woman together in a loving covenant with God. A marriage in the Catholic Church must be permanent, exclusive and open to the possibility of having children and raising them within the Church. Marriage is a gift from God, an effective sign of the covenant of Christ with the Church. Therefore husband and wife should grow together in love and trust. Marriage is a sacrament for life not just a wedding.
The Catholic Church believes that the commitment to this sacrament warrants active involvement and support during the build up and so asks all couples getting married in the Catholic Church to go through a marriage preparation programme. We see marriage as a sacrament presided over by God and so it warrants preparation.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders is the continuation of Christ’s priesthood, which He bestowed upon His Apostles. Therefore the Catechism of the Catholic Church refers to the Sacrament of Holy Orders as ‘the sacrament of apostolic ministry’.
If you feel you are being called to pastoral service please visit the vocations page on the diocese web site. You may also contact the vocations department at the diocese. The department encourages and supports vocations to the priesthood, the religious life, the consecrated lay life and single life, and to the Permanent Diaconate.
Anointing of the Sick
The Church believes and confesses that among the seven Sacraments there is one specially intended to strengthen those who are being tried by illness: the Anointing of the Sick. The Anointing of the Sick is not a Sacrament only for those who are at the point of death. Hence as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for them to receive this Sacrament has certainly already arrived.
If a sick person who received this Anointing recovers their health they can in the case of another later illness receive this Sacrament again. If during the same illness the person’s condition becomes more serious this Sacrament may be repeated. It is also fitting to receive the Anointing of the Sick just prior to a serious operation. The same holds for the elderly whose frailty becomes more pronounced.
If you or a member of your family would like to receive the Sacrament of the Sick please contact Fr. Gerry.