The seven sacraments are the powerful masterworks of God in
the new and everlasting covenant (Catechism of the Catholic Church,
A great urgency pervades our time, our chaotic culture touching
every family. We strive to be productive and pursue happiness but
can sometimes feel lost. Christ knows this, and he invites us to be
refreshed by the sacramental life of St. Joseph Parish.
sacraments come from Christ. In them Christ himself is at work.
As Catholics, we believe that these seven sacraments are powerful
mysteries that nourish, strengthen and celebrate our faith. They
are a great treasure and immense gift entrusted to the Church. And
they are for all Catholics who believe in and worthily seek
The Seven Sacraments
Anointing of the Sick
The Sacrament of
The apostles were told by Jesus, after His resurrection "to make
disciples of all nations, to baptize them and teach them all that I
have commanded you" (Mt. 28:19-20). Baptism is the initiation into
a life of discipleship.
St. Paul in his letter to the Galatians proclaims, "all of you
who were baptized in Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ"
(Gal. 3:27). This new clothing is not just for outward appearances;
it is a new transformation of the soul for all to see.
In Baptism we are welcomed into a sacramental unity with the
Body of Christ - the Church. The whole organism of the supernatural
life brings life-giving grace, the powerful gifts of the Spirit,
the courage and goodness to grow in virtue (Catechism of the
Catholic Church, 1266).
Baptism is the first step on a lifelong journey toward holiness.
In this new life, "there is no separation between faith and works
in our daily response to the universal call to holiness ... the gap
between faith and life must be bridged. Where this gap exists,
Christians are such only in name" (Pope John Paul II, The
Church in America, 26).
The Eucharist (Holy
"We must proclaim that this communion is the magnificent
plan of God the Father" (Pope John Paul II, The Church in America,
In the words of the Mass the priest says, "On the night he was
betrayed, Jesus took bread ... " This was the night before his
passion and death. In this dark hour of loneliness and abandonment,
Jesus made a new and everlasting covenant with all who believe. At
this moment in time, Jesus gave us "the most precious possession
which the Church can have in her journey through history - the
Eucharist" (Ecclesia de Eucaristia, 9). When all seemed
lost and he was about to leave this earth, Jesus accepted God's
will to be the sacrifice for our sins.
The Eucharistic Sacrifice is "the source and summit of the
Christian life" (Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium,
11). The Eucharist is the outstanding moment of encounter with the
living Christ ( Pope John Paul II, The Church in America,
35). The Eucharist is an immense gift. Everyone is invited to
participate actively and worthily at St. Joseph on Sundays,
Holy Days and throughout the week.
"Who among us has not tasted the peace that comes from living in
communion with God and our brothers and sisters? There is a longing
in the human heart for joy, peace and the serenity of communion.
There is a corresponding ache in the human heart when that
communion is lacking" (Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, Jesus
Christ, the Divine Physician, 11).
Jesus always welcomed the sinner. The parable of the prodigal
son illustrates the joy with which the father receives his
repentant son. When the relationship with the father is restored,
joy and peace enter in.
A personal encounter with Jesus in Confession restores baptismal
grace and reconciles the penitent with the Church. The sacrament
results in bringing peace and serenity to the individual and a
revitalization of the community.
When our grandparents were confirmed they were told they
were to become "soldiers for Christ." We may no longer prefer
the military imagery, but the point remains the same.
Confirmation prepares us for spiritual warfare. (Peter Kreeft,
Catholic Christianity, 315).
Baptism, the Eucharist and the sacrament of Confirmation
together constitute the "sacraments of Christian initiation."
Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace.
Enriched with the special strength of the Holy Spirit, the baptized
are obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1285).
Throughout the centuries we see the saints doing this. Men and
women, young and old, from every corner of the globe, have given
witness to their faith. "In saints one thing becomes clear: those
who draw near to God do not withdraw from men, but rather become
truly close to them" (Pope Benedict XVI, God is Love,
The Sacrament of Confirmation perpetuates the grace of
Pentecost. The apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit and began
to proclaim the mighty works of God promised by Christ.
Pope Benedict ends this encyclical with the beautiful prayer to
Mary who was with the apostles on Pentecost when they received the
Holy Spirit: "Show us Jesus. Lead us to him. Teach us to know and
love him. So that we too can become capable of true love and be
fountains of living water in the midst of a thirsting world"
The love of man and woman "tends to rise 'in ecstasy'
towards the Divine, to lead us beyond ourselves" (Pope Benedict
XVI, God is Love, 5).
St. Joseph parish invites couples to find nourishment in their
personal journey to become witnesses of holiness and charity. Where
family life is strong and healthy, it helps build that
"civilization of life and love" which must be everyone's aim. When
the family is weak, all human relationships are exposed to
instability and fragmentation (Pope John Paul II, Springtime of
The Sacrament of Marriage is a covenant between the spouses. The
consent the man and woman freely and mutually give to each other
creates an eternal institution. Their love is a reflection of
divine love. This love is confirmed, purified and completed in
Jesus Christ, given through the Sacrament of Matrimony.
The intimate union of marriage, conjugal love involves a
totality, in which all the elements of the person enter - appeal of
the body and instinct, power of feeling and affectivity, aspiration
of the spirit and will. A deeply personal unity demands
indissolubility, faithfulness in mutual giving and openness to
fertility. Children then are the supreme gift of marriage
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1638 - 1651).
One of the first responsibilities of the priest is "to pray on
behalf of those entrusted to him. Daily he intercedes for them
before the throne of grace" (Pope John Paul II, Springtime of
The ordained ministry makes the presence of Christ visible in
the community ... in a real person, the priest. In the celebration
of Mass and the consecration of bread and wine, we experience the
unfolding of God's grace in our lives. It is the priest who makes
this possible-the one chosen by God. "In the service of the
ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his
Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock ... Teacher of
Truth" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1548).
St. Joseph Parish enjoys the great gift of priests who help each
person and every family "respond to the call to holiness and
fulfill their vocation to transform the world in the spirit of the
Gospel ... encouraging them to see the Gospel as the principal
force for the renewal of society - the vast and complex world of
politics and economics, but also the world of culture, of the
sciences and the arts" (Pope John Paul II, Springtime of
Anointing of the Sick
"The first grace of this sacrament is one of strengthening,
peace and courage to overcome the difficulties that go with the
condition of serious illness or the frailty of old age" (Catechism
of the Catholic Church, 1520).
Christ's compassion toward the sick and his many healings of
every kind of illness are a splendid sign that "God has visited his
people" (Lk 7:16). His preferential love for the sick draws special
attention to all those who suffer in body and soul. Often Jesus
asked the sick to believe because he came to heal the whole person.
He gave us this sacrament of comfort and hope.
The Anointing of the Sick strengthens the person against the
temptation to discouragement and anguish in the face of death.
United in the passion of Christ, a person who suffers participates
in the saving work of Jesus. It is given to anyone suffering
serious illness not just to those at the point of departing this
life. The power of the sacrament is meant to heal the soul, and
also the body if it is God's will.
The Second Vatican Council stated that the Anointing of the Sick
no longer needed to be reserved for the dying.
priest at St. Joseph to arrange for an anointing.
having your child Baptized at St. Joseph Church.
How to become Catholic
Books and articles on Baptism
Mass times at
St. Joseph Parish
Hours of Eucharistic Adoration
ministers will bring the Eucharist to the sick and elderly
How to make a
Sins against love
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2093)
"It is time now to wake from sleep, because our salvation is
closer than when we first became believers" (Romans, 13:11).
Times for Confession at St. Joseph and other
nearby parishes (need link to this)
Choosing a Confirmation Name
Anointing with oil of
Chrism by the Bishop
"Marriage is going through a deep crisis and today must face
numerous challenges. It is consequently necessary to defend, help,
safeguard and value it in its unrepeatable uniqueness. If this
commitment is in the first place the duty of spouses, it is also a
priority of the Church" Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus (February 4,
2007). Read more about the defense of marriage.
Pope John Paul II's theology of the body and the experience of
faithful Catholic couples have given Catholics in the United States
a uniquely powerful and compelling opportunity to be witnesses of
the truth about human sexuality. The Theology of the Body Institute
exists to promote the revolutionary teaching of Pope John Paul II
on the divine meaning of the human body and human sexuality. Read
more at The Theology of the Body
Office of Vocations, Archdiocese of
Anointing of the Sick
Apostolic Constitution on the Sacrament of Anointing of the