The liturgical life of the Catholic Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments. There are seven sacraments in the Church: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Matrimony, and Holy Orders.
The purpose of the sacraments is to make people holy, to build up the body of Christ, and finally, to give worship to God; but being signs, they also have a teaching function. They not only presuppose faith, but by words and object, they also nourish, strengthen, and express it; that is why they are called “sacraments of faith.” The sacraments impart grace, but, in addition, the very act of celebrating them disposes the faithful most effectively to receive this grace in a fruitful manner, to worship God rightly, and to practice charity.
Worship is integral to our lives as Christians. When we engage in the prayer and ritual of the Church, we are formed as Church. Our sacramental rites are of primary importance while we are gathered.
Click on the Tabs below to learn more about each Sacrament.
GUIDELINES FOR BAPTISM IN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
As you are seeking the baptism of your child in the Roman Catholic Church, the following guidelines are presented to help you embark upon this journey of faith with Christ and his Church.
A. The Sanctifying Role of the Church (Code of Canon Law, c. 842, 849; Catechism of the Catholic Church 1213, 1263, 1265, 1267-1270)
Through Baptism, God enables us to participate in his life in Jesus Christ and makes us his children. It is through this sacrament that we receive the Holy Spirit and become members of the People of God, of the Body of Christ, which is the Church. Baptism becomes our commitment to grow in this new life and to strive to acquire spiritual maturity. By baptism, God purifies us from sin.
Baptism is the sacrament of faith which has the Risen Christ as its source, and it is the offer of salvation for all people. Intimately linked to Confirmation and to Eucharist, Baptism is, with these two sacraments, Christian Initiation. The child is baptized in the faith of their parents, godparents and of the Church.
B. Basic Guidelines and Information for Infant (to include young children) Baptism (Code of Canon Law, cc. 867-868; Catechism of the Catholic Church 1251)
Parents are responsible for bringing their child to the Sacrament of Baptism as soon after birth as possible. Except in case of necessity, the church is the usual place of baptism.
In order that a child be baptized, it is necessary that the parents consent, or at least one of them, or someone legally standing in their place, and that there is reasonable hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic Faith.
GODPARENTS: A person may only have one or two godparents (also called sponsors); if two are chosen, they must be male and female.
In order for someone to be eligible as a godparent they must be chosen by the parents, have the ability and the intention to fulfill the role, be at least 16 years of age, and be a confirmed Roman Catholic, who has already received the Most Holy Eucharist, is leading a life in harmony with the Catholic Faith (including Marriage) and will be a good role model for the one being baptized, and be neither the father nor the mother of the child.
A baptized person who belongs to another Christian community may be admitted only as a “Christian witness” (not a godparent) provided that there is at least one Roman Catholic godparent who fulfills the above criteria. A non-baptized person cannot be a witness (Code of Canon Law, cc. 872-874; Catechism of the Catholic Church 1255).
C. Baptismal Preparation in your Parish (Code of Canon Law, c. 851;)
In order to respect your request for the baptism of your child, you are invited to follow closely the stages of preparation offered below:
- Contact your parish office and express your desire to have your child baptized.
- Introduce yourself to the parish priest if you do not already know him personally.
- Open yourself to the invitation to actively join the faith community of your parish. If you are not registered parishioners, please consider becoming involved in the prayer and celebration of the Sunday Eucharistic community.
While baptismal preparation varies from parish to parish, you will be invited to participate in some manner of faith formation prior to the baptism of your child. This may take the form of a meeting(s) with the pastor, pastoral assistant, or participation in a baptismal preparation session for parents. It is extremely important to take your faith-life seriously because, before God, you have taken on an awesome responsibility for the salvation of another—your own child! Your commitment and openness to baptismal preparation will help develop the faith-life of your child as they mature.
D. Other Information (Code of Canon Law 857)
Are you living in a parish other than the one in which you wish to have your child baptized?
You are required to take your Baptismal Preparation in the parish in which you reside and then receive a testimonial letter from your Parish Priest to have your child baptized in another parish. This requirement respects the reality that pastors normally have sacramental jurisdiction only over their own parishioners. Therefore, when one seeks a sacrament outside of one’s parish, the proper pastor’s permission is necessary. Furthermore, the invitation to connect with one’s own proper parish first is founded on the hope that the faith-life of the family and of the one(s) to be baptized will be lived in community and not in isolation.
Your marital status will be clarified during the baptismal preparation process. Baptism is not denied if the parents are unmarried or not married in the Roman Catholic Church. However, there may be reason to postpone Baptism if parents are not practicing the Faith, or have no intention of living a Catholic life in harmony with the Gospel. If your status is not in harmony with the Roman Catholic understanding of sacramental marriage, please inquire as to how we may help you enter into proper sacramental marriage or, if need be, seek a declaration of nullity by the Church.
All of the above information applies to Baptism of an infant or young child only. If you have a child to be baptized who has reached catechetical age/the age of reason (Grade 2 or 7 years), you and they will receive different preparation. Having sufficient understanding, the preparation will now be for the full complement of the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.
Those children already baptized in other Christian communities will be prepared to make a profession of faith into the Catholic Church and will receive the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation in the rite of Reception into Full Communion with the Catholic Church.
If you would like to baptize your baby at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church, please call the parish office. Our office number is on the right sidebar of this page. Baptismal classes are required and are offered every month. Parents should be active in their faith and registered in the parish. Baptisms are usually held on the 1st & 3rd Sunday of the month, after the 9:00 a.m. Mass.
Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist
The third of the three sacraments of initiation, the Sacrament of Holy Communion is the reception of Christ’s Body and Blood. This sacrament is the source of great graces that sanctify us and help us grow in the likeness of Jesus Christ. Catholics believe the 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.
The doctrine of the Holy Eucharist consists of that of the Eucharistic sacrifice, the sacrificial meal, and the sacrificial food, or to express it otherwise, it consists of the doctrine of the Mass, of Communion, and of the Real Presence. There is no presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament that is not meant first and foremost as food for the faithful people, and there is no sacramental union with Christ in Holy Communion that is not to be thought of as a sacrificial meal: ‘For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord, until he comes’ (1 Cor. 11:26). The Eucharistic meal can only be prepared in the sacrifice of the Mass.
First Holy Communion
The sacrament of Eucharist brings to completion the Christian process of initiation. In this sacrament we remember what Jesus did for us in his life, death and resurrection. We remember particularly the Last Supper, that final meal Jesus shared with his disciples. At that meal Jesus gave us the Eucharist so that we could remember him in a special way. When we receive Communion, we believe that we receive the person of Jesus into our very beings. We become one with him, and we become one with each other. As a community we become ‘the body of Christ’.
The Sunday Eucharist (Sunday Mass) is the highpoint of our worship as a parish. Communion is taken to the sick and housebound after each Sunday Mass by Ministers of Communion. Because the Eucharist is our great sign of unity as a community, one must be a Catholic to receive the Eucharist.
We invite you to join us in receiving the Holy Eucharist at Mass in our parish. Here are the Mass times.
Saturday: 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 7:00, 9:00, 11:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m. (Spanish Mass) & 6:30 p.m.
Monday | Wednesday | Friday 6:30 a.m. and 8:15 a.m.
Monday 7:00 p.m. (Spanish Mass)
Tuesday |Thursday, 6:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m
First Saturday of Every Month 9:00 a.m.
Tuesday | Thursday 5:00 – 5:20 p.m.
Saturday 3:30-4:30 p.m.
First Communion and First Reconciliation
Visit our First Communion and First Reconciliation Page for calendar of events.
How to Make a Good Confession
Just as Jesus saves Peter from drowning, He can also save us through the Sacrament of Reconciliation
The basic requirement for a good confession is to have the intention of returning to God like the “prodigal son” and to acknowledge our sins with true sorrow before the priest.
Sin in my Life
Modern society has lost a sense of sin. As a Catholic follower of Christ, I must make an effort to recognize sin in my daily actions, words and omissions.
The Gospels show how important is the forgiveness of our sins. Lives of saints prove that the person who grows in holiness has a stronger sense of sin, sorrow for sins, and a need for the Sacrament of Penance or Confession.
The Differences in Sins
As a result of Original Sin, human nature is weakened. Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ’s grace, takes away Original Sin, and turns us back toward God. The consequences of this weakness and the inclination to evil persist, and we often commit personal or actual sin.
Actual sin is sin which people commit. There are two kinds of actual sin, mortal and venial.
Mortal sin is a deadly offense against God, so horrible that it destroys the life of grace in the soul. Three simultaneous conditions must be fulfilled for a mortal sin: 1) the act must be something very serious; 2) the person must have sufficient understanding of what is being done; 3) the person must have sufficient freedom of the will.
If you need help-especially if you have been away for some time-simply ask the priest and he will help you by “walking” you through the steps to make a good confession.
Be truly sorry for your sins. The essential act of Penance, on the part of the penitent, is contrition, a clear and decisive rejection of the sin committed, together with a resolution not to commit it again, out of the love one has for God and which is reborn with repentance. The resolution to avoid committing these sins in the future (amendment) is a sure sign that your sorrow is genuine and authentic. This does not mean that a promise never to fall again into sin is necessary. A resolution to try to avoid the near occasions of sin suffices for true repentance. God’s grace in cooperation with the intention to rectify your life will give you the strength to resist and overcome temptation in the future.
Examination of Conscience
Before going to Confession you should make a review of mortal and venial sins since your last sacramental confession, and should express sorrow for sins, hatred for sins and a firm resolution not to sin again.
A helpful pattern for examination of conscience is to review the Commandments of God and the Precepts of the Church:
- Have God and the pursuit of sanctity in Christ been the goal of my life? Have I denied my faith? Have I placed my trust in false teachings or substitutes for God? Did I despair of God’s mercy?
- Have I avoided the profane use of God’s name in my speech? Have I broken a solemn vow or promise?
- Have I honored every Sunday by avoiding unnecessary work, celebrating the Mass (also holydays)? Was I inattentive at, or unnecessarily late for Mass, or did I leave early? Have I neglected prayer for a long time?
- Have I shown Christlike respect to parents, spouse, and family members, legitimate authorities? Have I been attentive to the religious education and formation of my children?
- Have I cared for the bodily health and safety of myself and all others? Did I abuse drugs or alcohol? Have I supported in any way abortion, “mercy killing,” or suicide?
- Was I impatient, angry, envious, proud, jealous, revengeful, lazy? Have I forgiven others?
- Have I been just in my responsibilities to employer and employees? Have I discriminated against others because of race or other reasons?
- Have I been chaste in thought and word? Have I used sex only within marriage and while open to procreating life? Have I given myself sexual gratification? Did I deliberately look at impure TV, pictures, reading?
- Have I stolen anything from another, from my employer, from government? If so, am I ready to repay it? Did I fulfill my contracts? Did I rashly gamble, depriving my family of necessities?
- Have I spoken ill of any other person? Have I always told the truth? Have I kept secrets and confidences?
- Have I permitted sexual thoughts about someone to whom I am not married?
- Have I desired what belongs to other people? Have I wished ill on another?
- Have I been faithful to sacramental living (Holy Communion and Penance)?
- Have I helped make my parish community stronger and holier? Have I contributed to the support of the Church?
- Have I done penance by abstaining and fasting on obligatory days? Have I fasted before receiving communion?
- Have I been mindful of the poor? Do I accept God’s will for me?
After examining your conscience and telling God of your sorrow, go into the confessional. You may kneel at the screen or sit to talk face-to-face with the priest.
Begin your confession with the sign of the cross, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. My last confession was _______ weeks (months, years) ago.”
The priest may read a passage from holy Scripture.
Say the sins that you remember. Start with the one(s) that is most difficult to say. (In order to make a good confession the faithful must confess all mortal sins, according to kind and number.) After confessing all the sins you remember since your last good confession, you may conclude by saying, “I am sorry for these and all the sins of my past life.”
Listen to the words of the priest. He will assign you some penance. Doing the penance will diminish the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven. When invited, express some prayer of sorrow or Act of Contrition such as:
An Act of Contrition
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell. But most of all because I have offended you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.
At the End of Confession
Listen to the words of absolution, the sacramental forgiveness of the Church through the ordained priest.
As you listen to the words of forgiveness you may make the sign of the cross with the priest. If he closes by saying, “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good,” answer, “For His mercy endures forever.”
Give thanks to God for forgiving you again. If you recall some serious sin you forgot to tell, rest assured that it has been forgiven with the others, but be sure to confess it in your next Confession.
Do your assigned Penance.
Resolve to return to the Sacrament of Reconciliation often. We Catholics are fortunate to have the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is the ordinary way for us to have our sins forgiven. This sacrament is a powerful help to get rid of our weaknesses, grow in holiness, and lead a balanced and virtuous life.
Confirmation, together with Baptism and Eucharist, form the Sacraments of Initiation that are all intimately connected. In the Sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized person is “sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit” and is strengthened for service to the Body of Christ.
The prophets of the Old Testament foretold that God’s Spirit would rest upon the Messiah to sustain his mission. Their prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus the Messiah was conceived by the Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus on the occasion of his baptism by John.
Jesus’ entire mission occurred in communion with the Spirit. Before he died, Jesus promised that the Spirit would be given to the Apostles and to the entire Church. After his death, he was raised by the Father in the power of the Spirit.
Those who believed in the Apostles’ preaching were baptized and received the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands. The Apostles baptized believers in water and the Spirit. Then they imparted the special gift of the Spirit through the laying on of hands. “‘The imposition of hands is rightly recognized by the Catholic tradition as the origin of the sacrament of Confirmation, which in a certain way perpetuates the grace of Pentecost in the Church'” (CCC, no. 1288, citing Pope Paul VI, Divinae Consortium Naturae, no. 659).
By the second century, Confirmation was also conferred by anointing with holy oil, which came to be called sacred Chrism. “This anointing highlights the name ‘Christian,’ which means ‘anointed’ and derives from that of Christ himself whom God ‘anointed with the Holy Spirit'” (CCC, no. 1289, citing Acts 10:38).
Visit our Confirmation Page for information and forms.
For Catholics, the Sacrament of 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.
The Code of Canon Law recognizes that, “a valid matrimonial contract cannot exist between the baptized without it being by that fact a sacrament” (Code of Canon Law 1055 §2). So there are two requirements for a marriage to be a sacramental marriage: (1) the marriage must be valid; and (2) both parties must be baptized.
To be in a valid marriage, Catholics must meet certain requirements of canon law including the obligation to observe the Church’s form of marriage celebration or to be dispensed from that form. This applies to every Catholic, even when marrying a non-Catholic.
All valid marriages between Catholics are sacramental because you can’t be Catholic without being baptized. However, a valid marriage between a Catholic and a baptized non-Catholic is sacramental, while a valid marriage between a Catholic and a non-baptized person is not.
Non-Catholics are not generally under the authority of canon law concerning marriage, so marriages between non-Catholics are generally recognized to be valid unless proven otherwise. Some of these marriages are sacramental (when both parties are baptized) and some are not (when one or both are not baptized)
If you are interested in getting married at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church, please contact Fr. Mike Swanton or Fr. Mike Keating at lease six months prior to the date of the wedding.
Anointing of the Sick
Anointing of the sick is a very powerful Sacrament! The anointing of the sick is administered to bring spiritual and even physical strength during an illness. If you are sick, or going to have surgery, please consider calling the parish office and setting up a time with the priest to get anointed.
Does a person have to be dying to receive this sacrament? No.
The Catechism says, “The anointing of the sick is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death. Hence, as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for him to receive this sacrament has certainly already arrived” (CCC 1514).
Sacrament of Holy Orders
The supreme task which Christ had to fulfill was his priestly work of atonement which he completed as mediator between God and man. By the union in himself of humanity and divinity Christ is by nature the mediator. As a man from among men, Christ is our mediator with the Father; yet he is also capable of offering a worthy sacrifice to God because, by virtue of the union of his human nature with the Second Person of the Godhead, his human actions have in infinite value. In this fullest sense, the priesthood belongs to Christ alone.
But if Christ wished to live on and continue his work in the Church, the first thing he had to do was to provide for the continuance of his sacerdotal and mediatory function. Above all, if Christ wished to renew the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the ages and all over the world as the sacrifice of the New Law in the Holy Mass, he had to allow other men to share in his priesthood. For if there is to be a true sacrifice, there must be a priesthood ordained and authorized by God from whose hands God will accept the sacrifice.
All attacks on the priesthood of the Catholic Church thus go back to denial that the Holy Mass is a true sacrifice, entrusted by Christ to his Church, and ultimately to denial of any visible Church to which Christ entrusted his work as mediator and redeemer. So the attacks of Wycliffe, the Reformers and the “liberal” historians regarded the setting up of an official priesthood as the result of the evolution of Christian life in the early Christian communities.
The priesthood is ordained in the first place for the offering of sacrifice and therefore for the solemnization of the Church’s formal worship. The arrangements for these celebrations demand also a corresponding ministry and thus graded ministers to the altar. This grading of the ministry goes in part back to direct institution by Christ, but in part was introduced by the Church.
The degrees of order – the four minor and three major orders with the highest of all, that of Bishop – signify an order of rank in the mediation of grace. It must be distinguished from the other order of rank which concerns jurisdiction, magisterium and pastorate. The latter are not essentially linked with the powers of mediation of grace, but in the concrete order established by God there are close relationships between the two kinds of power. For example, the fact that the power of forgiving sins exists in the Church does not, in itself, say anything about who has this power. But in the divine order, only a priest can have it.
Besides the conflict about the fact of the sacrament of order, its institution by Christ and its hierarchical structure, it has always been a principal concern of the Church to raise the priesthood to the high moral level suitable to its sublime duties. In the West, a most important stem in this direction was the insistence on celibacy. But as we are concerned here solely with doctrinal matters, documents on this are not given.
THE CHURCH THUS TEACHES
Order is a true sacrament instituted by Christ who ordained the Apostles at the Last Supper. It is administered by the laying on of hands and the key phrases of the ordination preface. Only a Bishop can validly ordain. Order is a purely ecclesiastical concern. The effect of the sacrament of order is to impart the Holy Spirit and to impress an indelible character, which permanently distinguishes those in orders from the laity. The laity also has a part in Christ’s priesthood, but in another manner. The office of Bishop is above the priesthood (which in turn is above the diaconate) and gives special powers of consecration. To the priesthood belong the celebration of Holy Mass and the power of forgiving sins. The subdiaconate belongs to the priesthood and diaconate to the ‘major orders.’ In addition, the four ‘minor orders’ were instituted by the Church. Conditions for the valid reception of order are baptism and being of the male sex.