“The seven sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church
“The sacraments of Christian initiation – Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist – lay the foundations of every Christian life.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1212)
Baptism of infants is to take place within the first few weeks after birth. The faith of parents who are Catholic, together with their intention to raise their child in that same Catholic faith, is a necessary prerequisite for celebrating this sacrament. The 1980 Instruction on Baptism and Canon Law both call for catechesis for parents and godparents regarding the responsibility they take upon themselves when they present their children for Baptism. Please contact a priest to make arrangements.
The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) involves preparation for and celebration of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, which manifests the intimate relation of these sacraments to one another. The primary focus of the RCIA is the Christian initiation of unbaptized adults. The Rite also provides for the initiation of unbaptized children of catechetical age, as well as for welcoming baptized Catholics and non-Catholics into full communion with the Church. Please contact Father Dan Leary to learn more about RCIA instruction.
Traditionally, children are prepared for reception of the Eucharist during second grade in the parish school or Faith Formation classes. 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. They are to see to it that children who have reached the age of reason are correctly prepared for and are nourished by Communion. In no circumstances should a child receive First Communion without first having received the Sacrament of Penance. Adults who have not received First Communion should contact Father Dan Leary to receive instruction.
Students in the Archdiocese of Washington are confirmed in the 7th or 8th grade after preparation through parish school or Faith Formation classes. Confirmation for adults is celebrated annually in the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle on the Feast of the Pentecost. Adults who have not been confirmed should contact Father Dan Leary to receive instruction.
“The Lord Jesus Christ, physicians of our souls and bodies, who forgave the sins of the paralytic and restored him to bodily health (Cf. Mk2:1-12), has willed that his Church continue, in the power of the Holy Spirit, his work of healing and salvation, even among her own members. This is the purpose of the two sacraments of healing: the sacrament of Penance and the sacraments of Anointing of the Sick.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1421)
After having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year.’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1457.) However, we are encouraged to receive the Sacrament of Penance monthly throughout our lifetime so that we can benefit from the graces we obtain through reception of this sacrament.
The Sacrament of Penance is offered Monday through Friday following the 8:30 AM Mass, Saturday at 9:30am and from 4:00 – 4:45pm, or contact a priest for an appointment. Additional opportunities for confession are offered during some Masses and Nights of Reflection and at specified times in Lent and Advent.
The Sacrament of Penance is to precede First Communion. Formal instruction for Penance, through parish school or Faith Formation classes, is to be separate and distinct from preparation for the reception of First Communion. The value of this practice is to catechize the children, from 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 of venial sin, to the necessity of asking for pardon from God, and above all, to a loving and confident abandonment to the mercy of the Lord.
The Sacrament of 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.
Anointing of the Sick is offered on one Saturday each month in the church after the 9:00am Mass. Please check the website calendar for dates.
Please contact the rectory when a relative or fellow parishioner is sick or hospitalized.
“Two other sacraments, Holy Orders and Matrimony, are directed towards the salvation of others; if they contribute as well to personal salvation, it is through service to others that they do so. They confer a particular mission in the Church and serve to build up the People of God.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1534)
The Office of Worship, the Office for Priestly Vocations and the Office for the Diaconate of the Archdiocese of Washington collaborate in the preparation and celebration of the rites of Ordination. If you are considering your vocation and wondering if you are called to the priesthood, contact a priest or the Archdiocese of Washington Vocations Director to discuss what God may have in store for you.
Couples wishing to marry should contact one of the parish priests at least six months prior to the anticipated wedding date. The purpose of this period is to involve the couple actively in a process through which they can judge not only their readiness to marry, but also their ability to communicate on vital issues. Preparation time allows the couple to come to a deeper knowledge of each other and of the sacrament they will receive, including the reasons for its indissolubility.