The seven sacraments were instituted by Jesus to give grace to mankind. The term “sacrament” is best defined as “an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace”. It has three parts:
- An outward sign: Because we are humans, the Lord uses material symbols that we humans can understand and/or perceive. These are the “things” we use (water and oil, words, and gestures) to confer a sacrament.
- Instituted by Christ: Jesus ‘created’ the seven sacraments by His actions during His life. After he died on the cross and ascended into heaven, that was the end to the creating of sacraments. We are not Jesus, so we can not create new sacraments.
- To give grace: the essential purpose of every sacrament is to give grace.
The seven sacraments created by Christ are divided into three categories: Christian Initiation, Healing and Vocations.
The Sacrament of Baptism is often called “the door of the Church,” because it is the first of the seven sacraments not only in time (since most Catholics receive Baptism as infants) but in priority as it is required for the reception of the other sacraments. Once baptized, a person becomes a member of the Church – and not just in this parish, but of the whole Catholic church worldwide.
Our Lady of Peace offers Baptism preparation courses and celebrate the sacrament at different times throughout the year. If you require more information regarding Baptism, please contact the office.
One Sponsor, male or female, is sufficient, but there may be two, one of each gender (c.873). The Sponsor must NOT be either the father or the mother of the one to be baptized (c.874). The Sponsor must have received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist, be a practicing Catholic and be at least 16 years of age (c.874).
Communion (Holy Eucharist)
Communion is when a person receives the body and blood of Christ (Holy Eucharist) into themselves via bread and wine.
“Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism, and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation, participate with the whole community in the Lord’s own sacrifice by means of the Eucharist.”
– The Catechism of the Catholic Church
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.
First Communion/Eucharist is usually celebrated in Grade Two.
Although many receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in their early teenage years, long after they have already received First Communion (Holy Eucharist), Confirmation is considered the second Sacrament of Initiation.
In some writings, Confirmation is considered to be the “perfecting” of the Baptism, in that the Baptized are “more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit.
Confirmation is offered to students grades 6-9 and other young adults wanting to receive the sacrament. The Sacrament of Confirmation registration is accepted in September at the church or school offices. Candidates require a copy of their baptism certificate at the time of registration.
Parents will be required to attend a parent meeting.
Please contact the Parish Office to register for the next preparation session.
Holy Orders / Ordination
The Sacrament of Holy Orders or ‘Ordination’ gives a person a sacred power to serve the people of God in the name and authority of Christ through the Holy Spirit.
There are three different kinds of ordination:
The bishop, who has the fullest of orders, has a three-fold ministry of prophet, priest and shepherd. As a prophet, the bishop speaks for God or on behalf of God.
In his priestly role, the bishop has responsibility for the proper celebration of the liturgy and the sacraments in his diocese. As a shepherd, the bishop cares for all people in the diocese where he is appointed to serve, especially the poor and the suffering. The bishop’s staff (crozier) symbolizes his role as a spiritual shepherd of his flock.
The main roles of the priest are preaching, celebrating the sacraments and leadership for building up the community of the church. The priest is called to serve his people in word and in sacrament and by leadership after the model of our Lord.
The Order of Priesthood gives the man ordained the office of offering the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist and of forgiving sins in the sacrament of Reconciliation. In and through the exercise of these ministries the ordained priest is further charged with celebrating the sacraments of Baptism, Matrimony and Anointing of the Sick.
Priesthood also embraces the exercise of spiritual leadership, the teaching of faith and morals, the formation of lay leaders and whatever other duties are deemed necessary by his Bishop or Religious Superior.
A deacon is ordained to serve the church through the ministry of word, worship, pastoral care and charity. A deacon may baptize, preach, and officiate at marriages and funerals, but cannot preside at Eucharist or give absolution. Before someone is ordained a priest, he is first ordained to the order of deacon.
Deacons enjoy a special relationship with the Bishop. They serve as he directs. This may be in a parish, or anywhere the Bishop discerns a need. Deacons are called to carry Christ and the Gospel to their workplaces, places of relaxation and to the heart of their family life. The work of the Deacon has been described as being commissioned by the bishop to discern the needs of people, and bringing back word of needs to the diocesan and/or parish community. Deacons were in early times referred to as “the eyes and ears” of the bishop.
A ‘permanent’ deacon has been ordained and functions as a deacon but will not be ordained to the priesthood.
What about nuns and sisters, as well as brothers, monks, and friars?
All of these are part of the church’s tradition of religious life. Religious life is in fact is “outside” of the hierarchy of the church. It is not part of ordained life (although some within religious life may happen to also be called to ordained life as well) and religious (the noun for people who are in religious life) do not have ecclesiastical authority and are not responsible for the administration of the church.
Individual religious may of course be involved in the hierarchy. The preeminent example, of course, is Pope Francis, who is a member of the religious community called the Society of Jesus, or ‘Jesuits’, and is also a bishop who is the head of the entire Roman Catholic hierarchy!
Women and men religious are of course leaders in their own right in many different ways. They may be pastoral leaders, prayer leaders, educational leaders, justice leaders, and so forth. Their chosen way of life means that they are publicly committed to ministry, outreach, growing in the spiritual life, living and giving witness to the Gospel, and celebrating the Catholic faith. They are very much ministers in that they give their lives to ministering to others, but not in the sense of being ordained (“Minister” is used in other Christian traditions to signify an ordained person).
So are nuns and sisters clergy? No. Are they Catholic leaders and ministers? Yes. Are we all working for the glory of God and the good of one another and all creation? Absolutely!
Congratulations on your decision to get married!
The institution of marriage is a beautiful vocation, the beginning of family life and a great adventure. The Catholic Church rejoices in your decision to marry and wants to journey with you in your preparations and assist you in growing in your love for each other as well as in your relationship with Christ. Each person is called to prepare as well as possible to live their faith in their marriage and in their lives.
Couples wishing to celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony should plan to meet with Father Joy Vadakkan Poulose five to six months prior to the wedding date, to help you as you begin this process.
Catholic marriage preparation is mandatory for marrying at any parish in the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton, and it is strongly recommended that the marriage course be taken at least 4-6 months before the wedding date.
During the marriage preparation process, you will receive:
- Information about what the Church believes and teaches about Catholic marriage and family life.
- Advice and practical assistance for your daily married lives together.
- An introduction to Natural Family Planning, a reliable method of planning your family that is both based on science and in harmony with God’s design for sexual intimacy and Church teaching. Natural Family Planning not only assists with planning or spacing births, but is also extremely effective in working with any infertility issues.
- The witness of married couples to the sacrament of marriage and how it is lived in their lives.
For more information about how to begin planning your wedding, please visit the parish or read Steps to Getting Married.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation or ‘confession’ is Jesus’ recognition that we are humans.
When we are baptized, our original sin is washed away and we receive the Grace of Christian Initiation. But Jesus knew that being human, many would forget their Baptismal promises and may fall into sin.
His mercy is infinite, it is natural that He would provide a way to receive His Grace through the heartfelt and mindful confession of our sins, and a genuine want for forgiveness through penance. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is typically celebrated in Grade Two before First Eucharist/Communion.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation registration is accepted at the beginning of January at the church or school offices. Candidates require a copy of their baptism certificate at the time of registration.
Confession is available 30 minutes prior to every mass.
Anointing of the Sick / Last Rites
The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, through the ministry of the priest, it is Jesus who touches the sick to heal them from sin and in some cases, from physical ailment. His cures were signs of the arrival of the Kingdom of God. The core message of his healing tells us of his plan to conquer sin and death by his dying and rising.
The Rite of Anointing tells us there is no need to wait until a person is at the point of death to receive the Sacrament. A careful judgment about the serious nature of the illness is sufficient.
When the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given, the hope is if it be God’s will, the person be physically healed of illness. But even if there is no physical healing, the primary effect of the Sacrament is a spiritual healing by the receipt of the Holy Spirit’s gift of peace and courage to deal with the difficulties that accompany serious illness or the frailty of old age.
In an emergency, during regular office hours, Tuesday to Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon, contact the parish office.
Please leave a clear, detailed message, which will be forwarded to our priest. He will contact you at his earliest opportunity.