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 your child to be baptised please contact Fr. Gerry. If your child is in school year 3 to school year 6 and has not yet been baptised then the baptism sacrament may be performed as part of the First Holy Communion program.
Adult baptisms can be performed as part of the program for the Order of Christian Intiation of Adult ( OCIA ).
For a child baptism please first agree a date with Fr. Gerry before completing the baptism application form.
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.
The program for children in school year 3 to year 6 to make their First Holy Communion in 2024 has now started and applications are now closed.
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.
Order of Christian Initiation of Adults (OCIA)
This is for adults who wish to be received into full communion with the Church and complete the journey through to Confirmation, or who may wish to explore the Catholic faith more deeply. It is open to all adults irrespective of whether or not they have been baptised or christened in another Christian tradition.
The journey of preparation is known as the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults. There is no set timescale for this, and there will be no obligation to make a commitment. It will be for each individual to decide when they have reached the stage of being ready to become Catholic. The course is run by a combination of lay people and the parish priest. You can be baptised, confirmed and make your First Holy Communion in one cerermony.
Rite of Reception into Full Communion
Regardless of your age if you have been Baptised or Christened in another Christian tradition which uses a valid rite of baptism that is saying ‘N. I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ and using water then after a period of preparation, similar to the OCIA above if you are an adult then when you are ready you are Received into Full Communion with the Catholic Church. As an adult in the same mass you would be Confirmed and make your First Holy Communion.
Children under 7 can be Received into the Catholic Church if one of their parents is Catholic. In school year 3 to 6 they would join the First Holy Communion Course and become Catholic during this course if one of their parents is Catholic and they wish to become Catholic themselves.
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.