Sacraments

The Sacraments are the bedrock of our Catholic faith.

They are the lifeblood of everything we consider to be a part of the church.

Sacraments of Initiation

BAPTISM

By Baptism we become members of the church, the Body of Christ. Through Baptism – whether by full immersion, pouring, or sprinkling, and regardless of one’s age – we are reborn by water and the Holy Spirit, becoming a new creation in Christ.  The stain of original sin inherited from Adam and Eve is removed, and for adults all personal sins committed up to that time are washed away.  Through Baptism, we are adopted as children of God, able to share now in His divine nature as fellow heirs with Christ.

CONFIRMATION

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. Confirmation deepens our baptismal life that calls us to be missionary witnesses of Jesus Christ in our families, neighborhoods, society, and the world.

We receive the message of faith in a deeper and more intensive manner with great emphasis given to the person of Jesus Christ, who asked the Father to give the Holy Spirit to the Church for building up the community in loving service.

EUCHARIST

In the celebration of the Eucharist, bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit and the instrumentality of the priest, acting in the person of Christ. The whole Christ is truly present — body, blood, soul, and divinity — under the appearances of bread and wine, the glorified Christ who rose from the dead. This is what the Church means when she speaks of the “Real Presence” of Christ in the Eucharist.

Sacraments of Healing

SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION

Jesus entrusted the ministry of reconciliation to the Church.  The Sacrament of Penance is God’s gift to us so that any sin committed after Baptism can be forgiven.  In confession, we have the opportunity to repent and recover the grace of friendship with God. It is a holy moment in which we place ourselves in his presence and honestly acknowledge our sins, especially mortal sins.  With absolution, we are reconciled to God and the Church. The Sacrament helps us stay close to the truth that we cannot live without God. “In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).

ANOINTING OF THE SICK

In the Rite of Anointing of the Sick, the hoped-for effect is that, if it is God’s will, the person be physically healed of illness. But even if there is no physical healing, the primary effect of the Sacrament is a spiritual healing by which the sick person receives the Holy Spirit’s gift of peace and courage to deal with the difficulties that accompany serious illness.

Persons of advanced age, persons anticipating surgery, and those with illness may be anointed.  Persons may receive Anointing of the Sick more than once.  There is no need to wait until a person is at the point of death to receive the Sacrament. 

VIATICUM

Viaticum’ is a Latin word that comes from ‘via’, which means ‘road’ or ‘way’. ‘Viaticum’ refers to the provisions that one brings on the way. The Eucharist as viaticum is, first and foremost, the Eucharist. It is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ really present in the sacrament Jesus instituted at the Last Supper. 

When receiving the Eucharist as viaticum, one is united with Jesus and, “passing over from death to life, from this world to the Father.” In the Eucharist as viaticum, Jesus is the food for the final journey: the road from death to life.  The Eucharist as viaticum is “the last sacrament of the Christian.” But it is not isolated from the other sacraments of healing.

The Eucharist as viaticum for a person preparing for death, is almost always right after celebrating the sacraments of Reconciliation (aka ‘Confession’ or ‘Penance’) and the Anointing of the Sick.

Sacraments of Service

MATRIMONY

Matrimony is a sacrament where the ministers of Christ’s grace is the couple, each to the other, expressing their consent and covenant before the Church, blessed by a priest or deacon. The couple must be free to marry, not under any coercion, and not impeded by any natural or ecclesiastical law. Marriage is a lifelong commitment and marriage preparation helps couples develop a better understanding of the sacrament; to evaluate and deepen their readiness to live married life, and to gain insights into themselves as individuals and as a couple.

HOLY ORDERS

Holy Orders is the sacrament by which a man, called by God, becomes part of the ministerial priesthood. Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the recipient is configured to Christ by a special grace of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands, becoming another Christ (alter Christus) so that he can stand in the very Person of Christ (in persona Christi) among those he serves.

The grace of ordination imparts a permanent seal or mark on his soul that conforms him to Christ in a deep and particular way. There are three degrees of Holy Orders, Bishop, Priest, and Deacon.

Sacraments at St. Leonard’s are by appointment only. Contact the office to schedule a Sacrament.