Sacraments: Outward Signs that Give God’s Grace
Most people know that much of Roman Catholic teaching and practice is based on Sacraments. The Catholic Church, they say, is a Sacramental Church. The word “sacrament” means sign. We believe that the Church herself is a sign of Christ’s continuing presence among us. So in this most general sense the Church herself is a sacrament because the Church, as the People of God, signifies Christ as the risen Lord present in our world today.
But the Church is a special kind of sign. And she very actively lives her role as a sign of Christ’s presence by helping us encounter Christ. One specific way is through seven rituals or ceremonies that hold a very privileged place in the life of Catholic Christians. Through them we worship God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; and through them we encounter Him. These actions are called the seven Sacraments — and each in its own way signifies God reaching out to his people.
The Sacrament of Baptism is celebrated on Sundays after the 11:00 a.m. Mass. Before a Baptism can be scheduled, the parents of the child must meet with the Pastor. To schedule a meeting, please call the Parish Center (347-6108).
Arrangements to receive the Sacrament of Marriage should be made personally by the bride and groom at least eight months before the desired wedding date. A Pre-Cana Program, Christian Sexuality Workshop and FOCCUS evaluation are required, as is an ongoing preparation period with a member of the Parish’s Clergy. Call the Parish Center (347-6108) for information about available wedding dates and to begin the process.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is usually received by High School students who have completed a two-year preparation program during their Junior High years.
The Sacrament of the Eucharist (Communion) is usually celebrated by Elementary students in Second Grade, after a preparation period that includes their receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Anointing of the Sick
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is administered by one of the Priests of the Parish to faithful who are experiencing an illness, an upcoming surgery, or have been admitted unexpectedly to the hospital. Please call the Parish Center (347-6108) to set up an appointment with a Priest, or to inform us of a medical emergency.
Daily visitations to Pekin Hospital are made by Clergy and/or Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to offer Holy Communion to, and pray with, sick parishioners. Visits to nursing homes, shut-ins and the home bound are made on a regular basis as well. Please call the Parish Center (347-6108) to schedule a visit or for more information about visitations.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is offered in the church on Saturdays from 3:30-4:30 p.m., or you may call the Parish Center (347-6108) to schedule an appointment.