The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments
Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1113

 

Mission Statement

The Office of Faith Formation is engaged in continuing the mission of Jesus Christ through evangelization and catechesis. We are called to make a positive difference in the lives of children and youth, empowering them to live the Gospel. Our committed volunteers bring enthusiasm, knowledge and compassion and together we continue to build up the Body of Christ.

 
Baptism
 

In Baptism, Christ unites us with himself. It is the Sacrament of regeneration in which Christ gives us Gods grace. Through Baptism, as through a door, we enter the Church, the Christian community. It is a celebration of initiation into Christianity. Just as Jesus died, was buried and rose again to a new life, so through the water of baptism one becomes dead to sin and alive in Christ Jesus. This is a privilege and a responsibility to bear. The decision to have a child baptized is not to be taken lightly by the Church or parents. That is why some preparations are required. Before a child is presented for baptism the parents should understand what baptism is all about and above all, be honest in their decision. Parents are to be in good standing and practicing members of the Christian community into which their child is to enter. If not, it is better to wait till they themselves are living that life. They are, as the rite of baptism says, “to be witnesses of the Faith, by what they say and do.” 

 

Parents who would like to have their infants baptized should allow at least three months for the required preparation. Sessions are conducted by parish staff. The Baptisms are celebrated communally with other families who have participated in the preparation program. Contact the office pastoral staff.

 

Eucharist – First Holy Communion 

 The Eucharist is the center and principal act of worship of the Catholic community.

In all four gospels we find episodes regarding the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper. At that very moment Jesus changed the bread and wine into his Body and Blood and then gave the command, “Do this in memory of me.” The apostles and early Christians took Jesus at his word. The Church today repeats and does what Jesus did 2,000 years ago. As in the early Church; we believe that whenever we assemble in the name of Jesus to celebrate the Eucharist; we believe there is that spiritual element, his presence, linked with the bread and wine. His words proclaim it, “This is my Body.”

This is a great mystery. For those with faith, no explanation is necessary, for those without faith, no explanation is possible. The Eucharist presence is not isolated. We do not say Christ is present, without asking, “for whom is Christ present?” He is our bread of life; he is our life.

Preparation for First Communion also includes preparation for First Reconciliation. Preparation for these sacraments for young children is provided through enrollment in St. Dominics school or St. Dominics Religious Education Program. There is also a separate program for older children who are preparing for first reception of these sacraments.

 

Confirmation 

 To live as mature Christians in the world takes a special gift of God. Christ offers this gift to us in the Sacrament of Confirmation. Confirmation completes and seals our baptismal decision for Christ, and confirms our baptismal promises in a special way.

We have already received the Holy Spirit in Baptism, now the Holy Spirit influences our lives more fully. “Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace.”

The promised Spirit of God came to the disciples on the day of Pentecost, 50 days after Easter. At that moment they experienced a great change. From a doubtful community they became a courageous community preaching Jesus Christ and witnessing him by their lives. They became truly disciples of Jesus to the full. We, like them, by virtue of the Sacrament of Confirmation become mature Christians.

Preparation for confirmation for young people is completed through the Religious Education Program. Adults who wish to be confirmed do so through participation in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA).

 

Reconciliation 

 Reconciliation is the Sacrament instituted by Christ for the remission of sin committed after baptism. At Baptism a complete change of mind and heart to God took place. That was our first conversion. But this conversion is not necessarily sustained throughout our lives. We tend to forget Gods love. Thats why Christ gave us the sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation, of “re-conversion.”

Reconciliation and forgiveness was central to the ministry of Jesus. The power to forgive, to act as ministers of Gods love and mercy was given by Christ to the Apostles (John: 20,22-23) and it has been passed on to their successors.

Every sin is social in character, since sin i
s the absence of love. It is not only an offense against God, but also against the Christian community, the people of God. The church is one. What happens to the individual, happens to the community. The priest represents the community of the Church. Only by confessing can we adequately restore ourselves to the community. The Sacrament of Reconciliation helps us to celebrate Gods love and forgiveness.

Confessions are heard every Saturday afternoon from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., or by appointment; contact the parish office.

 

Matrimony 

 The book of Genesis describes the love of husband and wife saying, that they are to cling to each other and become one physical, moral and spiritual person. The New Testament rediscovers and renews the loving union of Genesis. Christ raised this union to the dignity of a sacrament so that it might more clearly reflect his own unbreakable union with his Church, his holy bride.

The Church defines marriage as the sacrament which united a man and a woman as husband and wife, and gives them the grace to fulfill the duties of the married state. It is a visible sign of Gods invisible grace and presence in our lives. Christian marriage is meant to symbolize the Divine love that is free and faithful. Christ, with his grace makes it possible for the husband and wife to love as God loves, that is freely, joyously, without being forced; to love us as a free person.

Jesus who performed his first miracle at a wedding feast in Cana of Galilee will always provide the husband and wife with whatever guidance and strength they need. A marriage that lasts for life demands love and loyalty, Gods grace and peace.

Engaged couples are offered several options to choose from to prepare
themselves to receive the sacrament of marriage. Couples should contact the parish office 6 months in advance before the desired wedding date. Contact the parish office to schedule an appointment to talk to a priest.

 

Anointing of the Sick 

 “Is there any among you who are sick? Call the presbyters of the Church, let them pray, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, the Lord will raise him up, and if he committed sins, they will be forgiven.” Jas. 5:14-15.

Often Jesus asked the sick to believe. He made use of signs to heal and the laying on of hands. Power came forth from him and healed them all.

Potential candidates for receiving the anointing would be anyone with serious illness or in danger of death from old age. These should seek the sacrament. The fitting time has certainly arrived. In the sacraments Christ continues to touch us in order to heal us.

Do not wait until you go to the hospital or worse, to the emergency room. It is sad to anoint someone who is unconscious and unable to understand what is happening. The anointing of the sick could easily have been done at home or is the church, surrounding by loved ones participating in the celebration of the sacrament of healing. Anointing of the Sick is not a preparation for death, it is supportive prayer in the battle against illness.

Contact the parish office if you or someone you know would like to receive this sacrament.

 

Holy Orders 

Through the sacrament of Holy Orders the ordained minister receives the Holy Spirit to enable him to perform validly and worthily the sacred functions of the deacon, priest and bishop: “Lord grant this your servant the blessings of the Holy Spirit and the power of priestly grace.”

Christ is the High Priest, the source of all priesthood. The priest of the old law was a figure of Christ, and the priest of the new law acts in the person of Christ (St. Thomas Aquinas). The gospels attest that Christ gave to his apostles priestly power and authority. He sent them to preach, to exhort and to cast out devils and heal the sick (Mark 6:7-13). Then at the last supper he gave them the command to continue
his sacrifice: “Do this in memory of me.”

After the resurrection he gave them power of forgiving sins (Jn.20:20-23) In the Acts of the Apostles we read the apostles themselves marked out helpers and successors by the impositions of hands, a genuine signifying the transmission of power and authority. The apostles and their successors by the imposition of hands on the candidates conferred on them the office of Deacon, Priest, or Bishop.

St. Cyprian (258) declares that bishops are the successors of the Apostles by ordination. Through the ordained ministry, the presence of Christ as head of the church is made visible in the midst of the community of believers.

Please contact a priest if you feel you are being called.

Faith Formation Office

Deacon Errol Kissinger, Dir. Rel. Ed. 707-335-4674

 

Faith Formation Office Hours:

Saturday/Sunday: by appointment
Monday–Friday: 9:30am–4pm