The Sacraments

If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be for one reason: Holy Communion. -Saint Maximillian Kolbe

Christ instituted the sacraments of the new law. There are seven: Baptism, Confirmation (or Chrismation), the Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony. The seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life:1 they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian’s life of faith. There is thus a certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of the spiritual life.
Following this analogy, the first chapter will expound the three sacraments of Christian initiation; the second, the sacraments of healing; and the third, the sacraments at the service of communion and the mission of the faithful. This order, while not the only one possible, does allow one to see that the sacraments form an organic whole in which each particular sacrament has its own vital place. In this organic whole, the Eucharist occupies a unique place as the “Sacrament of sacraments”: “all the other sacraments are ordered to it as to their end.”2

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraphs 1210 and 1211 | 1Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III,65,1. | 2St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III,65,3.


Baptism

For adults seeking to receive the sacrament of Baptism, see the RCIA page for information on becoming Catholic.

Your baby’s Baptism is a time for celebration and joy. It is the initiation into the family of God and the beginning of a life of faith for your baby. The first step in the process is for parents to enroll in the Pre-Jordan course (Baptism prep) which will help you prepare for your baby’s Baptism in the best possible way. Parents are expected to attend instruction prior to their first child’s Baptism. The instruction class will give couples an understanding of the theology of Baptism, explain to them the ritual and their responsibilities and share with them some of the practical information regarding Baptism at the Parish. Godparents are also welcome.

Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.” –Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1213

Contact the Rectory: Arrangements for the Sacrament of Baptism are to be made at the Rectory after the parents (and Godparents if they’d like), have attended the Pre-Jordan program. Baptisms are typically held on the last Sunday of the month after the 12:00 Mass. Call the Rectory at (610) 687-3366 to schedule baptism preparation instruction.

Baptism  |  First Penance  |  First Holy Communion  |  Confirmation  |  Marriage  |  Holy Orders  |  Anointing of the Sick


Penance

For adults seeking to become Catholic, please see the RCIA page for more information.

Biblical references to the Sacrament of Penance are found in James 5:16, “confess your sins to one another” and John 20:23, where Jesus ‘breathing the Holy Spirit to the Apostles’ says, “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” (John 20:23).

The Lord never tires of forgiving. It is we who tire of asking for forgiveness. -Pope Francis

Students in CCD prepare for the reception of the sacraments of Penance and First Holy Communion in Grade 2. Both are received during the spring semester. See the CCD page for more information about receiving the Sacrament of First Penance. For information about going to Confession, click here.


Baptism  |  First Penance  |  First Holy Communion  |  Confirmation  |  Marriage  |  Holy Orders  |  Anointing of the Sick


Holy Communion

For adults seeking to become Catholic, please see the RCIA page for more information.

There is nothing so great as the Eucharist. If God had something more precious He would have given it to us. -Saint John Vianney

In Grade 2, the children review the sacrament of Baptism and begin study of the other sacraments. The students prepare for the reception of the sacraments of First Penance and First Holy Communion. Both are received during the spring semester. See the CCD page for more information.
“The holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation participate with the whole community in the Lord’s own sacrifice by means of the Eucharist.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1322)

“They say that you shouldn’t talk about personal things, but I can’t resist the temptation – today I am so thankful to the Lord because 70 years ago I made my first Communion. Let us all thank the Lord for our baptism, all of us thank him for our first Communion.” -Pope Francis, October 2014 speaking to a general audience in St. Peter’s Square

 Baptism  |  First Penance  |  First Holy Communion  |  Confirmation  |  Marriage  |  Holy Orders  |  Anointing of the Sick


Confirmation

For adults seeking to become Catholic, please see the RCIA page for more information.

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

From  the Catechism of the Catholic Church in paragraphs 1302–1303: It is evident from its celebration that the effect of the sacrament of Confirmation is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost. From this fact, Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace:

  • It roots us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15);
  • It unites us more firmly to Christ;
  • It increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us;
  • It renders our bond with the Church more perfect;
  • It gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross.

Recall then that you have received the spiritual seal, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the spirit of holy fear in God’s presence. Guard what you have received. God the Father has marked you with his sign; Christ the Lord has confirmed you and has placed his pledge, the Spirit, in your hearts.

CCD students in Grade 5 will study all seven sacraments, which are presented as sacred signs as well as celebrations. Students learn that God gave us the ultimate sacrament in Jesus – a visible sign of His Love. The Church is also seen as a sacrament – the sign to the world of God’s love for His people. People are seen as the best sign of God’s presence and all creation is seen as reflecting His existence. Additional classes for full initiation into the Church in the reception of Confirmation begins in the second semester of fifth grade.

Confirmation preparation continues in the program for grade 6 and 7. The student studies the relationship between Baptism and Confirmation. Emphasis is also placed on how the Gospels and the Sacraments are presented as links to or memory of, knowledge of, and relationship with Jesus today. During the second half of the semester, the students will become familiar with great people from the Hebrew Scriptures.

Over the two year program, the students will focus on the study of Jesus and on the sacraments. They will also look closely at being followers of Jesus and continuing in the Christian way of life. The Commandments and the Beatitudes will be explored in a new light to help guide the young teen in making good moral decisions in his or her life.

The program includes the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation. See the CCD page for more information.

Baptism  |  First Penance  |  First Holy Communion  |  Confirmation  |  Marriage  |  Holy Orders  |  Anointing of the Sick


Marriage

Arrangements for Marriage must be made at least six months before the intended wedding to allow time to gather the necessary documents and for pre-marriage preparation (Pre-Cana).

Pre-Cana is a ministry to prepare couples to enter the Sacrament of Marriage. The program is available through the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and helps engaged couples grow closer to each other and in their understanding of successful and sacramental marriage. Click here to sign up.

“The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.” –Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1601

Please pray for all couples participating and preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage!

Resources:

  • Click here for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia: Steps to the Altar.
  • Click here for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Marriage Resources.
  • Couples who are not married in the Catholic Church often want their union recognized by the Church at a later date. Click here to find out what it involves.

Baptism  |  First Penance  |  First Holy Communion  |  Confirmation  |  Marriage  |  Holy Orders  |  Anointing of the Sick


Be not afraid! Open wide the doors to Christ!

-Saint John Paul the Great

 


Holy Orders

Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate. – Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1536

Christ’s invitation to the priesthood

is an invitation to a way of life that is athletic in its intensity and heroic in its form. -Bishop Robert Barron

Priesthood – If a man thinks that God may be calling him to the priesthood, he is most welcome to talk with our parish priest or contact the Vocation Office of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Diaconate – If a man thinks that God may be calling him to the permanent diaconate, he is most welcome to talk with any of the parish clergy or contact the Department of Permanent Deacons.


Baptism  |  First Penance  |  First Holy Communion  |  Confirmation  |  Marriage  |  Holy Orders  |  Anointing of the Sick


Anointing of the Sick

“By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests the whole Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them and indeed she exhorts them to contribute to the good of the People of God by freely uniting themselves to the Passion and death of Christ.” –Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1499

If you or a loved one are in need of the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, please contact the rectory at 610-687-3366 for a priest to administer the Sacrament.

“And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose.”-Acts 9:34

Baptism  |  First Penance  |  First Holy Communion  |  Confirmation  |  Marriage  |  Holy Orders  |  Anointing of the Sick