the sacramental life
a life of sanctifying grace
Life in the Catholic Church revolves around the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the sacraments of which there are seven: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance (Confession), Anointing of the Sick (Unction), Matrimony, and Holy Orders. Added to these vitally important things are sacramentals. Sacramentals do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that the sacraments do, but by the Church’s prayer, they prepare the faithful to receive grace and dispose them to co-operate with it. The chief sacramental is the sign of the cross! If you’re interested in celebrating the sacraments or sacramentals at St. John’s, click on the links below to discover more.
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (Holy Communion/Eucharist) is the source and summit of the Christian life. God is all around and Jesus Christ promised to be with us always, but He promised to be with us in a very tangible way — body, blood, soul and divinity — in every tabernacle and upon every altar of the Catholic Church.
Mass is normally celebrated every day at St. John’s but there are interruptions from time to time. Below is this week’s schedule. Click [here] for our ordinary schedule. Please forward Mass intentions to Mrs. Susan Travis, our Parish Secretary, at 403.265.5072 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The suggested donation is $10. Click [here] to find out more about the Mass.
We have a number of opportunities (as scheduled or by appointment) to partake of this life-giving sacrament at St. John’s. A sign to the right of the confessional will indicate if a priest is inside waiting to hear confessions and absolve sins. If it’s been a long time since you’ve been to confession, or if it’s your first time, Father will guide you through the process. The seal of the confessional is absolute: draw near to God, confess your sins, and experience the salvation that God’s peace brings. There is no sin too big to bring to the confessional. Click [here] to learn more.
Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through water and the Holy Spirit, men and women are freed from the power of sin and death and are reborn as sons of God and members of Christ's body, the Church. Find out more about baptism at St. John’s [here].
Those who have been baptised continue on the path of Christian initiation through the Sacrament of Confirmation. In this sacrament they receive the Holy Spirit whom the Lord sent upon the apostles on Pentecost. Find out more [here].
We at St. John’s make a special welcome to Anglicans who feel called home to the Catholic Church.
The decision to get married is one of the most significant steps in a person’s life. Perhaps it is the most significant: two people make vows to each other to remain exclusively together for the rest of their lives. St. John’s is a beautiful place to be married, find out more [here].
Are you a Catholic man who feels a call to the Priesthood? Have others told you that you’d make a good Priest or Deacon? Are you unsure how to even start exploring a sense of call? If so, contact Fr. Robert-Charles Bengry and he will point you in the right direction. Contact him through our parish secretary [email@example.com].
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
The anointing of the sick is done by a Priest to bring spiritual and even physical strength and healing during a serious illness, especially near the time of death. In the case of an emergency call our Priests, Fr. Robert-Charles Bengry at: 403.764.6827.
Death is a consequence of original sin — if we had not sinned then our bodies would go straight to heaven, as our Lord did in his Ascension, and Our Lady did at her Assumption. However, since Christ has conquered death on the Cross, our sorrow is tempered by the hope of the Resurrection. We trust that on the last day our mortal bodies will rise again to be with Our Lord. Find out more about Catholic funerals at St. John’s [here].
All blessings are sacramentals. The blessings of deacons, priests, and bishops, such as the consecration of Churches, the absolution contained in the Confiteor at Mass, the Asperges, and the blessings bestowed on palms, candles, or ashes are all sacramental actions.
Lay Catholics are free to bless objects, and we do so often in blessing our children, blessing meals, blessing Advent wreaths or Mary Gardens, etc. However lay blessings act asplea to God whereas clergy alone have been given the power to bless with a guarantee, as it were, and it is they and they alone who can take a new crucifix or rosary and turn them into sacramentals with the power and prayers of the entire Church behind them.
If you would like a blessing, or would like an object blessed, the easiest way is to come to the St. John’s and ask the clergy after Mass, or contact our secretary and make an appointment: [firstname.lastname@example.org].
When the Church asks publicly and authoritatively in the name of Jesus Christ that a person or object be protected against the power of the Evil One and withdrawn from his dominion, it is called exorcism. Jesus performed exorcisms and from him the Church has received the power and office of exorcizing. In a simple form, exorcism is performed at the celebration of Baptism. The solemn exorcism, called “a major exorcism”, can be performed only by a priest (normally a priest specifically trained for the purpose) and with the permission of the bishop. The priest must proceed with prudence, strictly observing the rules established by the Church. Exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation from demonic possession through the spiritual authority which Jesus entrusted to his Church. Illness, especially psychological illness, is a very different matter; treating this is the concern of medical science. Therefore, before an exorcism is performed, it is vitally important to ascertain that one is dealing with the presence of the Evil One, and not an illness.