At the heart of our lives as Catholics – and at the heart of our parish’s life – is the celebration of the sacraments. The sacraments were instituted by Jesus Christ as unique gifts through which divine life is breathed into us through the power of the Holy Spirit. There are seven sacraments of the Catholic Church: Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Matrimony, and Holy Orders.
“Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit… and the door which gives access to the other sacraments” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1213).
Saint Patrick Parish is a community of baptized disciples of Jesus Christ who live and practice our faith in the everyday of our lives. We give glory to God through our actions and recognize the presence of Christ in others, especially those who are most vulnerable among us.
“Confirmation perfects Baptismal grace; it is the sacrament which gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us more firmly into Christ, strengthen our bond with the Church, associate us more closely with her mission, and help us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1316).
Our parish community witnesses the transforming presence of the Holy Spirit as many of our members every year complete their Christian initiation and receive the sacrament of Confirmation. Most of them are young women and men who choose to live a life of grace guided by the same Spirit they received in the sacraments.
The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1324).
Our diverse community becomes one every time we celebrate the Eucharist. As we break the Eucharistic bread, we remember that we are one community. As we receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ, we renew our desire for communion with God and with one another.
“Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1446).
As we walk through the journey of life, we become increasingly aware of the moments of strength and weakness, grace and sin, that often define our human existence. Being part of a parish community is a unique opportunity to support one another ‘s experiencing reconciliation, especially in a sacramental way.
Anointing of the Sick
Anointing of the Sick “By the sacred Anointing of the Sick and the prayer of the priests, the whole Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them. And indeed she exhorts them to contribute to the good of the People of God by freely uniting themselves to the passion and death of Christ” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1499).
Illness and old age are reminders of the unavoidable limitations of our human existence. Our parish community is committed to accompany those among us who struggle with illness and advanced age. We visit them, we pray for them, and we seek the best care for them. Our priests make sure that part of that care is being available to offer them the Sacrament of the Anointing Sick.
“The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1661).
The grace received through the Sacrament of Matrimony strengthens family life in powerful ways. Through this sacrament, Catholic men and women, with the help of the Holy Spirit, are empowered to build Church and society with their witness. The love of married spouses inspires other couples to live likewise. Married families provide safe and nurturing spaces to raise faithful children.
“The ministerial priesthood… confers a sacred power for the service of the faithful. The ordained ministers exercise their service for the People of God by teaching (munus docendi), divine worship (munus liturgicum) and pastoral governance (munus regendi)” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1592).
The presence of priests and deacons in our parish is a clear reminder that God calls some baptized to lead faith communities through witness and service in a consecrated manner. As a community, we have the responsibility to pray for them, support them, and ask that God continue to call many others to similar vocations.