Sacraments are an integral part of the story of who we are as Catholics. The sacraments enable us to be aware of and encounter the presence and action of God in key moments in our life journey and to take part more fully in the life of the Church.
Children who are baptised Catholic are eligible to enrol for the sacraments in the following years:
- Year 3 – Reconciliation (Celebrated in Term 4)
- Year 4 – Eucharist (Celebrated in Term 2)
- Year 6 – Confirmation (Celebrated in Term 3)
Children participate in an intensive program in the weeks preceding the sacrament. Important aspects of the sacramental program take the form of a Parent Faith Night, Commitment Mass, Family Activity Night, Journey Mass, Reflection Day and celebration of the Sacrament.
Baptism is initiation into the Body of Christ. In Baptism, we publicly profess our faith expressed in the creed. (In case of infants, this is professed on our behalf by our parents and godparents.) Water is poured on our heads to express our death to self and new birth in Christ. Our white garments also indicate that we are cleansed of all that would keep us from Christ. We are presented with a candle lit from the Paschal Candle to remind us that we must always walk in his light.
In Baptism we become a child of God the Father as we are reborn spiritually. We use the symbol of water to signify this rebirth (recalling the waters of our natural birth). Many of the prayers of baptism express belonging, being part of the family of God, and being an heir in God’s kingdom, just like a real son or daughter.
Jesus said to [His disciples] again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” ~ John 20:21-23
In Reconciliation we offer a public sign to our faith community that we are sorry for the ways we have undermined the unity of the Church and that we desire to renew our relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
“Lord Jesus, Who in the Eucharist make your dwelling among us and become our traveling companion, sustain our Christian communities so that they may be ever more open to listening and accepting your Word. May they draw from the Eucharist a renewed commitment to spreading in society, by the proclamation of your Gospel, the signs and deeds of an attentive and active charity,” ~ Pope John Paul II
At our first Communion we unite with Jesus. When we eat his body and drink his blood, his body and blood mingles with ours and we become ‘one flesh’. That’s why it’s called ‘communion’: we become one body and one spirit with Jesus.
Initiation into the Christian community for Catholics begins when parents present their children for Baptism. In the sacrament of Holy Eucharist, these children are brought more deeply into Christ’s church. Confirmation is the sacrament in which Catholics complete their initiation. After Confirmation a person is completely and fully a member of the church.
In Confirmation, we recommit to our baptismal vows (made on our behalf by our parents and Godparents) and consciously welcome the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We are empowered as adult members of the Church to live the Christian life with conviction.