What are Sacraments?
The Latin word sacramentum means "a sign of the sacred." The seven sacraments are experiences that point to what is sacred, significant, and important for Catholic Christians. They are special occasions for experiencing God's saving presence. That's what theologians mean when they say that sacraments are at the same time signs and instruments of God's grace. By being part of the sacramental life of the Church, we come to know God and are able to bring Him to others.
As we learn more about the sacraments, we can celebrate them more fully. To learn more about the individual sacraments and how they are celebrated in our parish community, please read below.
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
The RCIA Program is for adults seeking to become Catholic. The three sacraments of Christian initiation--Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist--which are conferred through this program together, combine to bring the faithful of Christ to their full stature and enable all of us to carry out the mission of the entire people of God in the Church and in the world. The equivalent of RCIA but for children is RCIC (Rite of Christian Initiation for Children). For more information on RCIA or RCIC, contact the parish office at 414-358-4600 or email@example.com.
Through the sacrament of Baptism all are reborn in Jesus Christ through water and the Holy Spirit. Parents must be registered members of the parish and attend a training class prior to the Baptism of their children.
Contact Lorrie Maples, tri-parish Christian Formation Director, to register for the Baptism class: 414-365-2020 ext. 14 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Baptisms can be scheduled during or after any Mass on Saturday or Sunday. One of the Godparents must be a Confirmed, practicing Catholic, and a member of a parish. Contact the parish office to schedule a Baptism, 414-358-4600 or email@example.com.
Recognition of God's Holy Spirit in our lives is celebrated in the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation. Together with the conferral of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and the laying on of the hands by the bishop, the newly confirmed are strengthened for a fuller life in Christ.
Confirmation takes place for our high school students in their Junior year following their 16th birthday. All students must have the appropriate spiritual and theological formation necessary as well as a suitable period of service to their family, church and community. For information on the high school program, contact Lorrie Maples, our tri-parish Christian Formation Director, at 414-365-2020, ext. 14 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adults who are not confirmed, but now want to explore Confirmation preparation, should contact the parish office at 414-358-4600 or email@example.com.
The sacrament of Marriage is where man and woman are joined together as one in the covenant of marriage before the altar of God. To celebrate the sacrament of Marriage at St. Bernadette, one of the parties must be a registered member of the parish and a practicing Catholic. Marriage preparation requires that the parish priest be notified at least six months before the anticipated wedding date. Contact the parish office for information about the required prenuptial program for engaged couples: 414-358-4600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This sacrament, in which the gathered community of believers experiences the true presence of the Lord Jesus and shares in the reception of the sacred Body and Blood of Christ, is the source and summit of the Christian life. Called by the Word of God, the assembly becomes that for which it is gathered, the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church.
The celebration of First Holy Communion takes place in the spring of each year. Second-grade students in both the day school and religious education classes are prepared for the reception of this Sacrament following their First Reconciliation. After receiving this sacrament, children are expected to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation with their families.
The sacrament of Reconcdiliation is offered on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month at 4:00pm or by appointment. It is a great sacrament from which we receive and experience the healing mercy of God, our loving Father. Catholics are expected to make use of the Sacrament of Penance at least once a year.
Children preparing for their First Holy Communion also receive preparation for the sacrament of Penance. Communal celebrations of the sacrament are offered during Advent and Lent.
Anointing of the Sick
Through this great sacrament, the Church cares for the sick. An annual communal anointing is also celebrated. Anyone wishing to receive the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick due to physical or emotional illness outside of this time should contact the parish office to make arrangements, 414-358-4600.
Holy Orders is the sacrament by which bishops, priests, and deacons are ordained and receive the power and grace to perform their sacred duties. The sacred rite by which orders are conferred is called ordination. The apostles were ordained by Jesus at the Last Supper so that others could share in his priesthood. Parishioners who are interested in ministering to God's people either as an ordained priest, deacon, or lay minister should contact the parish office for more information: 414-358-4600 or email@example.com.