The Latin word sacramentum means “a sign of the sacred.” The seven sacraments are ceremonies that point to what is sacred, significant and important for 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.
If you learn more about the sacraments, you can celebrate them more fully.
First Reconciliation, First Communion and Confirmation are generally received by children in the Religious Education Program, however adults who have not received all of these Sacraments of Initiation may be interested in our R.C.I.A. program which runs annually generally starting in late August or early September. To arrange a Baptism, Marriage, Anointing of the Sick or to learn about the path to Holy Orders contact the Parish Office by phone or email through the link below.
For Catholics, the Sacrament of Baptism is the first step in a lifelong journey of commitment and discipleship. Whether we are baptized as infants or adults, Baptism is the Church’s way of celebrating and enacting the embrace of God.
Catholics believe the Eucharist, or Communion, is both a sacrifice and a meal. We believe in the real presence of Jesus, who died for our sins. As we receive Christ’s Body and Blood, we also are nourished spiritually and brought closer to God.
The Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation (also known as Penance, or Penance and Reconciliation) has three elements: conversion, confession and celebration. In it we find God’s unconditional forgiveness; as a result we are called to forgive others.
Confirmation is a Catholic Sacrament of mature Christian commitment and a deepening of baptismal gifts. It is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation for Catholics. It is most often associated with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
For Catholics, the Sacrament of Marriage, or Holy Matrimony, is a public sign that one gives oneself totally to this other person. It is also a public statement about God: the loving union of husband and wife speaks of family values and also God’s values.
Commonly Asked Questions
When should we contact the parish regarding our marriage?
Please notify us at least six months in advance of your preferred wedding date. Please do not reserve your reception hall or photographer, etc., until after the date is set at a church. Until our building is completed we will assist you in securing a church. Do not hesitate to contact the parish office prior to the six month requirement.
How do we establish a time for our wedding?
A lot will depend upon the church selected for your wedding. Generally most weddings are held on Saturday afternoons as most churches reserve Saturday mornings for funerals. Exceptions to this general policy can only be made by the Pastor of St. Katharine Drexel and the Pastor of the host church. No weddings are celebrated during the season of Lent.
What initiates the marriage preparation process?
When you call the parish office you will schedule an appointment to meet with the Pastor. At that time you will also be given information about meeting with the ministers of the parish marriage ministry. In addition you will be encouraged to attend an Engaged Encounter Weekend and required to attend a Natural Family Planning seminar.
What happens at the initial interview with the Pastor?
The interview provides the priest and the couple an opportunity to get to know one another and to discuss any questions regarding the marriage preparation program.
What is the Engaged Encounter Weekend?
This gathering invites you to address important questions and to make mutual decisions regarding your life together.
What is the Natural Family Planning Seminar?
The Natural Family Planning Seminar is an opportunity for engaged couples to gain a meaningful insight into the church teaching on marriage and family, with an emphasis on family planning. Married couples give personal witness to the value and benefits of following church teachings. Certified NFP instructors introduce couples to NFP in this three hour seminar.
What documents do we need to provide?
- A newly issued baptismal certificate from the parish of baptism issued no earlier than six months prior to the wedding. All other sacramental information should be notated on the certificate. If the parish of baptism does not have record of confirmation please contact the parish of confirmation for a current
- If one party is non-Catholic, it will be required of the Catholic party to sign a document promising that the children will be raised Catholic as prescribed by the Code of Canon Law 1136.
- Witness affidavits will be required as requested by the Pastor.
- A civil marriage license must be obtained from the county where the church is located and is only valid for 60 days.
- Other documents may be needed.
What fees or stipends are requested?
Each parish has their own requirements for use of the church. Please contact the parish directly The priest performing the marriage and altar servers customarily receive a donation. The stipends for any
professional contracted independently are agreed upon with the parties concerned.
The Church desires that your marriage genuinely reflects God’s love for the world and Christ’s love for the Church. The community of St. Katharine Drexel believes in the grace of God freely offered through the celebration of the Sacraments. May these days of preparation begin to lay a firm foundation for your married life together.
In the Sacrament of Holy Orders, or Ordination, the priest being ordained vows to lead other Catholics by bringing them the sacraments (especially the Eucharist), by proclaiming the Gospel, and by providing other means to holiness.
Anointing of the Sick
The Catholic Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, formerly known as Last Rites or Extreme Unction, is a ritual of healing appropriate not only for physical but also for mental and spiritual sickness.