"The seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life: they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian's life of faith."
-Catechism of the Catholic Church 1211
The sacraments are the physical signs of invisible, sanctifying grace. More than mere symbols, they truly give grace to the one who properly receives them. The sacraments were given to the Church by God so that grace may be received in a sensible way, a way which is suited to the nature of man. Though God can and does work in each person outside of the sacraments, these are great gifts which He means for us to accept and make use of on the path to sainthood!
There are three kinds of sacraments: of initiation, of healing, and at the service of communion:
Initiation – Joining the Church
Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist
Healing – Help Along The Way
Penance & Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick
At The Service of Communion – Sanctification via Service
Holy Matrimony and Holy Orders
Baptism is the first Sacrament of Initiation into the Catholic faith. Being baptized opens the door to reception of the other sacraments. Those who are baptized die to their old way of life and are reborn as members of the Church, the united body of Christ; past sins are forgiven, and the Holy Trinity comes to dwell within the soul.
Following Baptism, Confirmation is the second Sacrament of Initiation. It serves to strengthen one's relationship with each member of the Holy Trinity—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and the Church. This sacrament serves as the completion of Baptism, further assisting the believer on the spiritual journey.
The final Sacrament of Initiation is the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Not a symbol, it is truly the Lord Himself, veiled under the appearance of bread and wine. To receive Holy Communion further strengthens our union with Christ and His Church, helping each member of His Body to persevere on the narrow path to Heaven.
PENANCE AND RECONCILIATION
Well aware of the weakness of humanity, Christ entrusted His Apostles with the ability to absolve members of the faithful of their sins. Penance and Reconciliation offers all members of the Church the opportunity to demonstrate remorse by the confession of their sins to the priest, thus opening themselves to forgiveness and the healing power of God's infinite, loving mercy.
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
This sacrament provides the sick person with spiritual strength to face their suffering in union with the passion of Christ and, if it will be good for the soul, physical healing. It is for those who are in danger of death, either from a specific illness or the generic risks of old age. It can be received multiple times, either when one's condition worsens or when, having recovered, one falls ill once more.
To schedule an Anointing of the Sick or to schedule Last Rites, please call the church office at 205-822-9125 ext. 58
In marriage, a man and woman become one. The two promise to give of themselves to the other, completely, and irrevocably, until death should separate them. Marriage is ordered toward the sanctification of the two spouses, along with the rearing and educating of children, and the graces of the sacrament strengthen the spouses to serve each other and said children each day.
Since the time of the Apostles, Christ has personally called forth men and women to dedicate their lives ministering to the People of God in the service of the Church as a priest, religious sister or brother, or deacon. The call to priesthood is a special one in which a man is consecrated to serve as an another Christ, a shepherd of the people of God. Priests are indispensable in the life of the Church, and the Lord is always calling young men to serve Him in this capacity.