Baptism is the first of the seven Roman Catholic sacraments. It is considered to be the first because it is usually received early in life, removes original sin and makes the recipient a member of the Church. The other Catholic sacraments cannot be received by a person until they have been baptized. Even though the majority of people are baptized as infants, there are no age restrictions; you cannot be too old or too young to be baptized.
As Catholics, we are blessed to have the sacrament of Penance, and is considered a continuation of Baptism. This sacrament is a celebration of God’s healing love and forgiveness. In preparing for Reconciliation we look carefully at our actions and our friendships. We seek to restore peace and harmony to our relationships. We look for the help of the Holy Spirit in examining our lives. We confess our sins, express our sorrow, receive absolution (forgiveness) and do a penance to make up for our sins. Second graders learn all the steps of Reconciliation and the Act of Contrition prayer. Celebration of Forgiveness is an in-school day with movies, activities and prayer focused on the Scripture’s stories of forgiveness and reconciliation. Students must be baptized before receiving Reconciliation. Reconciliation is offered to third through eighth grate students during Advent and Lent.
At the Last Supper Jesus blessed and shared bread and wine that became his body and blood. Each time we gather for Mass, we are honoring these words of Jesus, “Do this in memory of me” (Luke 22:19). When we receive Holy Communion, we grow in holiness. As we leave Mass, we can imitate Jesus by bringing his concern, love and generosity to others. Second graders learn the parts of the Mass and how to receive communion.
Jesus Day is held the Friday before First Communion. This is a day of activities, practice, bread baking, and prayer that are designed to help them better understand the Eucharist and be prepared for First Communion Sunday. Students must be baptized and have received Reconciliation before First Communion.
Confirmation draws its meaning from Baptism, which it seals, and from the Eucharist, in which the fullness of participation in the Body of Christ is expressed.
By our Baptism, we have already been called to witness the faith, which we have received from God through the Church.
The emphasis in Confirmation is on the responsibility to take part in the Church’s missionary life. Confirmation is the communication of the Spirit for a particular task and for a special challenge. It strengthens us to confess our faith before the world, to bear witness to the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and to continue the work of bringing all persons to the Father.
Confirmation is not only a sacrament for the individual. Confirmation benefits the whole Church and the whole parish community, as well as the individual involved. The celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation brings the individual into fuller participation in the ongoing life of the Church.
Because of this relationship with the parish community, many of the preparation activities will take place as part of the parish life. Eighth grade students are prepared to receive the sacrament in class but have additional preparatory activities outside the classroom.
Updated: October 3, 2021