There are seven Sacraments in the Catholic Church. These are special moments of grace where we are drawn deeper into the mystery of God's life and love.
There are three "types" of Sacraments:
• Sacraments of Initiation (Sacraments that make us full members of the Church,)
• Sacraments of Healing (Sacraments that offer us God's forgiveness and strength,)
• Sacraments of Christian Commitment (Sacraments that strengthen us in our calling in life.)
Below, is a brief description of each Sacrament and how these are celebrated at Our Lady of Peace Parish.
Sacraments of Initiation: (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist)
Baptism makes us a Child of God and a member of the Church. Through the waters of life, sin is washed away and we become a new creation. Baptism is the "door" to all the other Sacraments in the Catholic Church. We believe that Baptism is necessary for salvation and that it gives us the promise of Life Eternal.
The Baptism of infants takes place after the parents attend a required pre-baptismal class. This class helps them understand what Baptism is and what their responsibilities are as Catholic Christian parents. The parents of the child must be registered members of OLOP Parish or some other Catholic Parish. This is required by the laws of the Catholic Church. Baptisms can take place at or after a weekend Mass or at any other special time by request. For more information, please contact the Parish Office at (906) 932-0174.
The Baptism of adults usually takes place at the Easter Vigil. This happens after the person has attended our RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.) RCIA sessions usually run every other week from September through June. To become a convert to the Catholic Faith, please contact the Parish Office at the number listed above.
Confirmation "completes" baptism. We are given the Holy Spirit when we are baptized, but the fullness of that Spirit comes when we are Confirmed. The Spirit comes to guide and help us in our daily life as Christians. Secondly and most importantly, the Eucharist becomes the focal point and apex of our initiation. As the Second Vatican Council stated, "The Eucharist is the source and summit of all life in the Church." This means that the Eucharist is the center of our life as Catholics. In recieving the Eucharist, we are called to become the living, breathing and acting Body of Christ in the World today.
Confirmation is usally done by the bishop of the diocese, but sometimes it can be done by a priest who has been given special faculties (permission) to so do.
The center of our faith is the Eucharist. In the breaking of the bread and the sharing of the cup, we Catholics believe that Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, is truly present under the forms of bread and wine. Our sharing in the Eucharist stengthens us and empowers us to bring Christ into our everyday lives. Each weekend, we gather around the Table of the Lord to listen to God's Word and to share the Sacred Feast where Jesus comes to us. Usually those in second grade are prepared to make their First Holy Communion. This is around the age of seven.
All of life flows from the Eucharist!
And we bring all that we are to the Eucharist!
We do this in memory of Him who died and rose to bring us Eternal Life!
Jesus IS the Bread of Life and the Cup of Eternal Salvation!
Eucharist is celebrated daily at Our Lady of Peace with either Mass or a Communion Service, please see our schedule by clicking here. Please be aware that Mass times do change for special holidays and holy days.
Sacraments of Healing: (Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick)
Reconciliation, or Confession, as it is popularly called, is the Sacrament whereby we are forgiven our sins and transgressions. The love of God and his mercy come to us when we come before God and confess our sins. Catholic believe that Jesus gave the Church the power to forgive sins when He stated to Peter: "To you I give the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you declare bound on earth will be held bound in heaven and whatever you declare loosed on earth, will be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16:19) This power to grant forgiveness has been passed on through the generations through the ordinations of priests and bishops.
When a person approaches a priest or bishop for Confession, they are not only approaching a human being, they are approaching God as well. Sitting in the place of Jesus, the priest or bishop offers words of counsel and advice as well as offering the person the forgiveness of sins.
It has been often thought that we can confess our sins directly to God. While this is true, we must remember that Jesus did give the Church (acting in the priests and bishops) the power to forgive sin. Not only that, each and every sin affects not just our relationship with God, but our relationship with other human beings. So, the priest or bishop offers us both God's forgiveness and human forgiveness. One should never forget this! (See HOW TO GO TO CONFESSION farther down on this page)
Students normally prepare for First Reconciliation (First Confession) in preparation for First Communion. This usually takes place in second grade or around the age of seven.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered weekly on Saturday's from 11:00 A.M. until noon in the Reconciliation Room in Church. If this time is not convenient, people can always call and make an appointment for time best suited for their schedules.
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
When someone gets sick, they need the love, support and help of those around them to get well. The Catholic Church has a beautiful Sacrament to offer in such times as well. The Anointing of the Sick is for anyone who suffers from illness, disease or other debilitating circumstances. Years ago, this anointing was thought to be the "Last Rites," the rites that were celebrated when someone was about to die. The thinking and theology of this Sacrament has changed considerably! This Sacrament is now for anyone who needs the healing and affirming touch of God's love. This is shown as the priest lays his hand on the sick person's head. Then, using blessed oil, the priest anoints the forehead and hands of the sick person offering them God's healing love and prayerful support in their illness.
Those who are in need of sugery, or suffer a critical illness (cancer, etc.), addictions, mental problems, a chronic affliction (like diabetes, etc.) are all welcome to this Sacrament of Healing. If the need is immediate, the person themselves or family members should contact the Parish Office as soon as possible. We also offer a "communal anointing of the sick" at one the weekend Masses in the late spring. But again, if there is immediate need, please contact the parish at 932-0174, night or day.
Sacraments of Commitment: (Holy Matrimony and Holy Orders)
Holy Matrimony (Marriage) is the Sacrament by which a man and woman are joined together as one. At the beginning of time, God created the human race, male and female, in His image and likeness. In Matrimony, man and woman fulfill their destiny in mirroring the love God has for His people and the love that Jesus Christ has for His Church.
Marriage does not change a person, but rather gives them a partner to help them fulfill God's plan for their lives. Two people joined together in Marriage are called to show forth love, compassion and committment to those around them.
Marriage is also the Sacrament where God shares His creative power with the human race. In married love, a woman and a man are given the power to bring new life into the world. Their love overflows and brings to birth a new human being made in the image and likeness of God.
Marriage is a big step for a couple to take and in order to help them prepare for that step, the Church assists them in the preparation for the life-long committment. Contrary to public and popular opinion, Marriage is forever! The vows that are made on the wedding day are sacred and binding until death. The Church teaches that a couple needs to be well-prepared for all that married life entails.
To that end, every couple who plans to marry in the Catholic Church must attend a pre-marriage instruction program. Here at Our Lady of Peace, that is done by each couple meeting with the pastor for this preparation. Preparation takes place in three areas - assessment, discussion and planning. The assesment is done using a questionnaire called F.O.C.C.U.S. This questionnaire helps the couple to look closely at their relationship and examine the strengths and weaknesses. It also helps the couple to discuss what is needed prior to the committment they make in the wedding vows. By use of discussion, the couple learns what marriage is, what is expected of each other and what the Church expects of them. The planning is not just for the wedding day, but rather a planning for the future of marriage in the couple's life.
A couple planning to marry must contact the pastor at least six months in advance of the proposed wedding date. No other plans (renting a hall, hiring a caterer, band, etc.) should be done until the date is tentatively set with the pastor. Only one wedding is allowed on a Saturday. Weddings can take place on days other than Saturdays (unless Church regulations prohibited it.) Friday evening weddings are a possibility. All persons who are baptized must have proof of their baptism. There are some official forms that are required and a marriage license from the State of Michigan is also required.
For more information, please contact the Parish Office at (906) 932-0174.
Specifically, this Sacrament deals with the ordination of men to become priests, deacons and bishops. But on a general level it also reminds us that there are men and women who desire to dedicate and consecrate their lives to the service of the Church. This would be as religious brothers, sisters, nuns and monks.
Focusing on the specific nature of this sacrament, this is the sacrament whereby a man becomes a deacon,priest or bishop in the Catholic Church. The event or action by which a man becomes a deacon, priest or bishop is called an "ordination" (although for bishops it is usually called a "consecration.")
To receive Holy Orders validly, it is necessary that the recipient be a baptized male and that he be acting voluntarily. He must also be qualified according to canon law (the official law of the Church.) to be free from all impediments (things that would impede or prevent him from being ordained.) The sacrament is conferred by a bishop; but an abbot (the head of a major religious order) also have the power to ordain members who join their order.
In order to be prepared, a man must attend a seminary where courses in Scripture, theology and pastoral care are taken.
To learn more about becoming a priest or deacon, please contact our Diocesan Vocation Director.
HOW TO GO TO CONFESSION
Prepare to go to Confession by examining your life and things that you have done wrong. Think about how you have offended God by not following the Commandments and/or the teachings of the Church. Think about how you have not lived up to your calling as a Child of God by your choice of actions, words or thoughts. (You can ask yourself the questions on listed below.) Make a firm commitment not to sin again. Pray and ask God for help:
Come, Holy Spirit! Come into my heart and soul. Enlighten my mind that I know the sins I ought to confess. Grant me your grace to confess them fully, honestly, humbly and with a contrite heart. Help to firmly resolve not to commit these sins again. O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus my Redeemer, help me so that I may make a good confession. All you Angels and Saints of God, pray for me a sinner! Make my heart united with yours in God’s eternal love! Amen!
When you enter the reconciliation room, close the door and choose if you will go to confession behind the screen or face-to-face. The priest then will welcome you and invite you to make your confession. Begin by saying:
Priest: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen!
Penitent: Bless me, father, for I have sinned. My last confession was (here, tell how long it has been since your last confession).
-Then tell your priest the sins you wish to confess. (The priest is strictly bound to keep the "Seal of Confession" and cannot divulge anything you tell him in confession to anyone. So be honest!)
-In order for a sin to be forgiven, it must be mentioned in confession.
-The priest may offer you some counsel and you may ask questions, if needed.
-The priest will assign you a penance to be done. The penance may be prayer or some action to be done.
The penitent prays the Act of Sorrow (Act of Contrition.) Note: There are many forms of the Act of Contrition, use whichever one you are most comfortable with.
If you do not know an Act of Contrition, you may use the following one:
- My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
- In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good,
- I have sinned against you,
- Whom I should love above all things.
- I firmly intend with Your help, to do penance, to sin no more and to avoid
whatever leads me to sin.
- Our Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered and died for us, in His name, my God,
have mercy. Amen!
The priest then, prays the Prayer of Absolution. At the end of which he will say something like:
Priest: Give thanks to the Lord for he is good!
Penitent: For His mercy endures forever!
Priest: Go in peace!
Be sure to do your penance as soon as possible after leaving Confession.
SOME QUESTIONS TO HELP EXAMINE ONE’S CONSCIENCE:
(based on the Ten Commandments)
I: I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me.
Do I give time every day to God in morning and/or evening prayer? Do I put my trust in superstitions, good luck charms, rather than God alone? Have I rejected any Church teaching or denied that I was Catholic in any way?
II. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Have I used the words "God" or "Jesus" in anger or irreverently? Have I used foul or ugly language? Have I wished evil on another?
III. Remember to keep holy the Lord's day.
Have I missed Mass on any Sunday or any holy day of obligation through my own fault? Do I arrive at church late or leave early? Do I try to be reverent and pay attention during Mass? Do I avoid unnecessary work on Sunday? Do I try to make Sunday a day of prayer or rest?
IV. Honor your father and your mother.
Do I respect and obey my parents or those in authority over me? Have I dishonored or mistreated them by word or deed? Do I try to get along with members of my family or others? Do I give a good example to others, especially my children or those younger than I? Do I respect others in authority: civic leaders, priests, nuns, police, old people, my boss or work supervisor, others?
V. You shall not kill.
Do I do anything to harm another person, either physically, emotionally or spiritually? Do I say cruel things, or make fun of others to hurt their feelings? Do I say mean things about others behind their backs? Have I stopped speaking to anyone? Do I encourage others to do bad things? Do I try to love all people, born and unborn? Have I spoken up for the right to life of every human being, especially the unborn? Do I take care of my body or do I abuse it with drugs, excessive drinking, overeating, unsafe behavior or actions, etc.?
VI. You shall not commit adultery.
Do I treat my body and other people's bodies with purity and respect? Do I think about impure things or have lustful thoughts? Do I look at television shows, movies, magazine or pictures that are not proper to my calling as follower of Jesus? Am I modest in my speech and the clothes I wear? If I am married, have I done anything against my marriage vows? If I am single, have I done anything against the purity of my body, mind and soul?
VII. You shall not steal.
Have I taken things that were not mine from a store, another person or my place of work? Have I destroyed or misused another person's property just for fun? Do I return things that I borrow? In good condition?
VIII. You shall not commit false witness against your neighbor.
Am I honest in all that I do? Do I tell lies to make myself look good? Do I tell lies to protect myself from punishment? Do I tell lies that make another person look bad or get them in trouble? Do I stand up for truth and right?
IX. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.
Do I look at members of the opposite gender and desire things that are not allowed? Do I keep my mind from thinking impure thoughts about other people? Do I get mad when I have to spend time with my spouse, family, loved ones and others? Do I make fun of people because of how they look, speak or because of their nationality?
X. You shall not covet your neighbor's goods.
Am I jealous or envious of the things or abilities that others have? Am I thankful to God for all that He has given me? Do I share the things I have with my family, friends and poor people? Am I stingy in sharing my time, talents and treasure with my God, my Church, my family and others? Do I really appreciate all that others do for me?