The seven sacraments of the Catholic Church are special instances of God’s grace which “touch all the important moments of Christian life.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 12:10). The sacraments give us grace at particular stages in our life, or for some particular task or as part of our daily needs.
The sacraments can be divided into three areas:
Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist
Healing – Penance, Anointing of the Sick
Communion and Mission – Holy Orders, Matrimony.
In Baptism we receive new life in Christ. Baptism takes away original sin and gives us a new birth in the Holy Spirit.
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In the Eucharist we offer bread and wine to God and it becomes, through the power of the Holy Spirit the body and blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ which we then receive in Holy Communion. This sacrament unites us with Jesus and with one another. The Eucharist is the high point of our Christian worship together. “It is the source and summit of all Christian life.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1324)
Children will make their Holy Communion at roughly the age of 7yrs and it will be arranged through the school if they attend a Catholic Primary. Any Children who do not attend a Catholic school will need to contact the Parish Priest to find out when the classes will take place. Classes normally start towards the end of February
Confirmation renews and confirms the promises which at Baptism were generally made on our behalf There is a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit just as there was on the Apostles at Pentecost. We are prepared for our life as full members of the church and are given special strength to witness to the Christian faith.
Children at Catholic schools are prepared for Confirmation in their final year at primary school. Children, who are taught in non-Catholic schools, are helped to prepare by the Parish Catechist.
Adults prepare for this Sacrament by coming along to the Credo talks on a Thursday evening at 8pm in the Conference Room and speaking to a member of the clergy.
The sacrament of Reconciliation, also known as Confession or Penance, is a sacrament of healing. Following examination of conscience and repentance for sins, confession is made to a priest who, through the power of the Holy Spirit, forgives us our sins and reconciles us to God. A penance is imposed, usually in the form of prayer.
Confessions are heard at the times shown here. Parishioners with personal problems are always welcome to seek counsel and advice from a priest. Penitential Services are held in the parish twice each year, with one in Advent and one in Lent.
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
This is the second sacrament of healing. It gives comfort, peace and courage to a sick person, preparing “the sick person for the journey to the Father’s house.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1520). It reminds the Christian community of its responsibility to care for the ill and dying..
The Sacrament of the Sick is for anyone who is suffering from a serious illness or who has grown weak and infirm through the passing of the years.
Although the sacrament is not just for those who are dying,neither is it for someone who just has a cold. Through the Sacrament of the Sick, by God's grace, the church continues Christ's ministry of healing and responds to the call of the Apostle James to “send for the priests of the church” (James 5:14).
If you know of someone who is sick and would like to be anointed please contact the hospital chaplain (details on the back of the newsletter) or let your priest know. The sacrament can be given more than once to the same person. If, for example, a person's condition deteriorates, or they recover and have a relapse or they grow weaker and more infirm (perhaps with old age); all these are situations when the sacrament would be given again. Each year there is a special “Service for the Sick” at St Dunstan’s.
If you know of anyone too sick to attend Mass then also please contact the presbytery/ Parish Priest to arrange for the Blessed Eucharist to be brought to them.
HOLY ORDERS (ORDINATION)
This is one of the two sacraments which confer a special grace for a particular vocation .The believer dedicates himself to serve God and the church. In this sacrament a man is ordained as a deacon, priest or bishop. Ordination to the priesthood enables the priest to act in the name of Christ, and consecrates him to preach the Gospel, to celebrate divine worship, especially the Holy Eucharist, and to act as a pastor to the faithful.
Priests are usually ordained in their own parishes. In the last 30 years, the parish has been privileged to host five ordinations.
This is the second sacrament for a particular vocation. Through the vows taken a man and woman are joined together for life. They are given the graces they need to share a Christian life of love and witness, open to creating and raising a family.
Weddings are by arrangement with the Parish Priest. There are pre-marriage courses for couples who want to marry.
Every month a special Mass is said during which couples married in that month are invited to renew their marriage vows.
For any more information please contact the parish administrator or volunteers.