Baptism is the foundation of all other sacraments. It is in the waters of baptism that we are given new life in the spirit and all the effects of original sin are washed away. That is not to say, of course, that from the moment of our baptism we no longer have to strive to do the will of God in order to attain our eternal life in Heaven. In fact, it is in baptism we are handed the promise of eternal life with God in heaven and are given the access to his grace that will sustain us in our life as Christians and members of the body of Christ.
Presenting a child for Baptism is a serious obligation and requires a faith commitment on the part of the parents and godparents. This commitment is exemplified by being a practicing, active Catholic. Parents are obligated to attend preparation sessions before a child’s baptism if they have not attended one in the past five years. Sessions are held at 12:15 p.m. on second Sundays of January, March, May, July, September and November, in the Parish Activity Center. Baptisms are at 12:15 p.m. on the third Sunday of every month.
Reconciliation is more than going to church and confessing sins to a priest. It is an ongoing process, a life long journey of recognizing when we have not loved as we should, when we have not followed Jesus’ way expressed in the Gospels. Then, it involves the desire to change, experience conversion and live the Gospel by loving others as Jesus did. After recognizing that we have sinned and desiring to change, then we go forth and celebrate in Church with a faith community of sinners, that God loves each of us. Catholics confess to God our sins through the priest so that we hear the words of forgiveness. “I absolve you from your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” We receive the grace of God, with fellow believers, giving us strength to love as God loves and sin no more. Do we sin again? Of course, but each time we go through the process of recognizing our short comings, celebrating God’s love for us despite ourselves and celebrating it with other believers, we come closer to loving as God loves.
Reconciliation is held on Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. in the church or anytime by calling the Parish Office 419-586-6648 for an appointment
The Catholic Church professes that in the celebration of Eucharistic Liturgy, the Mass, the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Christ is truly present under the appearance of bread and wine. Church documents refer to the Eucharist as the source and summit of who we are as Catholics. Eucharist is foundational to our faith. Jesus gives himself to us in the Eucharist as spiritual nourishment because he loves us. Through Eucharist we become united to Christ and to one another.
Through his death and Resurrection, Jesus has conquered sin and death and reconciled us to God. The Eucharist is the memorial of this sacrifice. We gather as a Church to remember and to be present at the sacrifice of Christ.
Before a woodworker completes a piece of furniture, he must first stain and then seal the wood. Unlike paint, which merely covers the surface of the wood, stain soaks into the wood, permanently altering it, changing its color, and showcasing its grain. But staining the wood is not enough. Before the piece can be used, it must also be coated with varnish, polyurethane, or a similar wood sealant. Only then, when the stain has been sealed and protected, is the wood able to withstand the damage done by repeated use, water, or sunlight. While the stain changes the wood, it is the sealant that perfects it.
In much the same way, Baptism and Confirmation work together to perfect us in faith – to make us “useful” for Christ and the Christian community. Like stain on wood, Baptism permanently changes us. The water of Baptism cleanses us of original sin, welcomes us into the Christian community, and marks us with the sign of faith forever. Confirmation, like a wood protectant, seals the mark of Baptism, perfecting the grace we have received, making us ready to withstand the challenges of living the Christian life.
At Immaculate Conception, Confirmation is given as sophomores. Preparation classes are held Sundays at 10:15 am in the Parish Activity Center.
Marriage in the Church celebrates that a spouse is a gift from God. It recognizes that the faith community of the parish (and even the entire Church) is there to support and pray for a couple as they enter into the Sacrament of Matrimony and throughout their married life together. Marriage in the Church gives the couple God’s grace, the presence of His strength of love within themselves and through their love so they in turn can love, serve and care for others, especially their children. This love, service and care of God expressed through the couple makes a difference in our world.
Please phone the Parish Office 419-586-6648 to set-up an appointment with a priest, in order to begin the sacramental preparation. Only after this initial meeting and assessment can a date be set for the wedding. The process requires at least six months.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders is one of two ‘Sacraments at the Service of Communion.’ The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes Holy Orders as ‘the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate.’ (CCC 1536)
Anointing of the Sick
Anointing of the Sick offers a special grace to those who are ill. This grace is believed to calm their spirits and strengthen their souls allowing them to bear their illnesses with dignity and, if it is God’s will, recover. The Sacrament connects those who are ill with the whole community and also with Christ.
Please call the Parish Office 419-586-6648 to set up a time.