Baptism is the first step in a lifelong journey of commitment and discipleship. Whether we are baptized as infants or adults, Baptism is the Church's way of celebrating and enacting the embrace of God. The Baptismal Enrichment Program is held the 2nd Wednesday of the month in the Rectory Basement at 7:30 p.m. Call 425.5354 ext 203 to register. Baptisms are held on the first and third Sundays of the month at 12 noon.
· Christian Initiation of Children
Baptism of infants usually takes place within the first few months after birth. The faith of parents, at least one being Catholic, together with the intention to raise their child in the Catholic faith, is a necessary prerequisite for celebrating the sacrament.
· Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) involves preparation for and the celebration of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, which manifest the intimate relationship of these sacraments to one another. The process usually takes place within the context of a parish community or an intentional Catholic worshipping community, i.e. at a college or University. The dual foci of the RCIA for unbaptized adults are: the deepening conversion to Christ and full communion with the Church.
Eucharist or Communion, is both a sacrifice and a meal. We believe in the real presence of Jesus, who died for our sins. As we receive Christ's Body and Blood, we also are nourished spiritually and brought closer to God.
Reconciliation (also known as the Sacrament of Penance, or Penance and Reconciliation) has three elements: conversion, confession and celebration. In it we find God's unconditional forgiveness, and as a result we are called to forgive others. Reconciliation is held on Saturdays at 4 p.m. and Wednesday following the morning Masses. Our Parish also celebrates Communal Reconciliation Services during the Seasons and Advent and Lent. Dates and times are listed in the Weekly Bulletin.
We are encouraged to receive the Sacrament of Penance frequently, even monthly, throughout our lifetime so that we can benefit from the graces we obtain through reception of this sacrament.
Formal instruction for Penance is to be separate and distinct from preparation for the reception of First Eucharist. The value of this practice is to catechize the children, from the age of reason, to the true Christian spirit of penance and conversion, to growth in self-knowledge and self-control, to a true sense of sin, even venial sin, to the necessity of asking pardon from God, and above all to a loving and confident abandonment to the mercy of the Lord.
Communities and individuals preparing to celebrate the Eucharist and to receive Holy Communion should be mindful to hold the Blessed Sacrament in highest honor and to reverence the Sacrament with the greatest adoration. Genuflections, respectful silence and other signs of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament are appropriate recognitions of God's mysterious gift of Christ for us in this Sacrament.
The determination of readiness to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist for the first time is a primary responsibility of the pastor as well as the child's parents and/or guardian(s). They are to see to it that children who have reached the use of reason are correctly prepared for and are nourished by Communion. Traditionally, children are prepared for reception of the Eucharist during second grade in their parish.
The regulation for fasting is considered a means of spiritual preparation for receiving the Eucharist and a symbol of reverence for the Sacrament. The Eucharist Fast is limited to one hour before actually receiving the Eucharist. It pertains to solid food and all drinks, except water. Taking medicine does not break the fast. The fast applies to priests who celebrate the Mass and by the faithful, regardless of what time of day the Mass is celebrated and Communion is received. Those who are sick, in hospitals - even if not confined to bed - and those caring for the sick, may receive communion even if they have taken food during the previous hour.
Confirmation is a sacrament of mature Christian commitment and a deepening of baptismal gifts. Like Baptism and Eucharist, it is a Sacrament of Initiation for Catholics and a Sacrament of faith in God's fidelity to us.
In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Confirmation is always celebrated within Mass to express more clearly the fundamental connection of this sacrament with the entirety of Christian initiation, which reaches its culmination in the Eucharist. Students in the Archdiocese of Chicago are to be confirmed during their Junior High or High School years. Adults who have not been confirmed should contact their parish priest in order to participate in a period of catechesis within the parish or a Vicariate Adult Confirmation program.
Marriage or Holy Matrimony, is a public sign that one gives oneself totally to this other person. It is also a public statement about God: the loving union of husband and wife speaks of family values and also God's values.
A couple wishing to marry should contact their parish priest or deacon no later than six months prior to the anticipated date of the wedding, earlier if possible. The purpose of this period of time is to involve the couple actively in a process through which they appreciate their readiness to marry and the nature of the sacrament for themselves and for the Church.
Holy Orders or Ordination, the priest being ordained vows to lead other Catholics by bringing them the sacraments (especially the Eucharist), by proclaiming the Gospel, and by providing other means to holiness.
"The whole Church is a priestly people. Through Baptism all the faithful share in the priesthood of Christ. This participation is called the 'common priesthood of the faithful'. Based on this common priesthood and ordered to its service, there exists another participation in the mission of Christ: the ministry conferred by the sacrament of Holy Orders, where the task is to serve in the name and in the person of Christ the Head in the midst of the community." - Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1591
"The ministerial priesthood differs in essence from the common priesthood of the faithful because it confers a sacred power for the service of the faithful. The ordained ministers exercise their service for the People of God by teaching, divine worship, and pastoral governance." - Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1592.
"Since the beginning, the ordained ministry has been conferred and exercised in three degrees: that of bishops, that of presbyters, and that of deacons." - Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1593.
Anointing of the Sick
Anointing of the Sick formerly known as Last Rites or Extreme Unction, is a ritual of healing appropriate not only for physical but also for mental and spiritual sickness.
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is the proper sacrament for those Catholics who have attained the use of reason and whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age. Through this sacrament, the Church comforts and supports the person who is suffering and continues the healing ministry of Christ. Only a priest or bishop can administer the Anointing of the Sick. Communal Anointing of the Sick takes place each Spring and Fall at the 4:30 p.m. Mass on Saturday. Dates and times are listed in the Weekly Bulletin.
For those who are about to die, the Church, in addition to the Anointing of the Sick, offers the Eucharist as viaticum - food for the journey home.