The Sacraments of the Church
The Seven Sacraments are initiated by Christ, and make present to us what they signify. God cannot be contained, but in Christ, God chose to be present to us in a way we can see, hear, and touch. Jesus gave us the Seven Sacraments as special way that He continues to be with us in ways we can see, hear, and touch, “Until the End of Time” (Mt 28:20).
The Sacraments of Initiation
In Baptism, we are born “Through water and the Spirit… from above” (Jn 3:5), and we become “God’s beloved” child (from Mt 4:17). We are “saved”, and receive eternal life. As we go down under the water, we die to self, and as we rise out of the water, we rise to new life with Christ.
In the Eucharist, that divine life received in baptism is nourished and grows. As the Israelites were fed with bread from heaven in the first covenant, we are fed in our journey to the promised land of heaven with Jesus “The Bread that came down from Heaven” (Jn 6:51). In the Mass, Jesus invites us to unite ourselves with Him in His sacrifice on Calvary, so that we too will be united with in his Resurrection, and like Him, pour out our life in Love to God and the world.
In Confirmation, like at the first Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13), we receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit, to empower us to proclaim Christ, and witness to the Kingdom of God in this world.
Adults who come to the Church receive all three sacraments at the Easter Vigil. However, by the faith of parents aware of the power and the Grace of the sacraments, and at their request on behalf of their children, we spread the three sacraments out over the years from birth to maturity.
If you want more information about becoming a Catholic or completing your Sacraments as an Adult contact the Parish Office at 510-537-0806. Marie Exberger coordinates our formation program for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. Consult the Bulletin for Inquiry Classes.
The Sacraments of Healing
Christ proclaimed the forgiveness of sin, and healed the sick. Often, he did both! (See Mt 9:4-7). Christ promised “When two or more are gathered in My name, I am present” (Mt 18:20). James tells us that we should “Confess our sins to one another” (Ja 5:16). Since all sin also hurts the community, sacramental Reconciliation to a priest, a representative of the community and in the person of Christ, is the fullest realization of Reconciliation between God and Neighbor.
As human beings we are enfleshed spirits. Body and Soul are united, when one is ailing, often both are. Anointing of the Sick is the sacrament of physical and spiritual healing. Let us do as the Apostle James has advised and, ‘Send for the Priests of the Church, and they shall pray for them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person and the Lord will raise him up again; and forgive them their sins.’ (cf Ja 5:13-15).
f you would like to receive the Sacraments of Anointing or Reconciliation please contact the Parish Office to make an appointment.
If you are going to have Surgery or have to go to the Hospital and would like to have the Sacrament of Anointing please contact Fr. Tom or Fr. Paul by calling the Parish Office at 510-537-0806, or talking to them after Mass.
Sacraments of Vocation
Our highest call and vocation is to be united in Love with Christ our Lord for all eternity. This relationship saves us, heals us, and transforms us to become one with Christ. Some are called to live that relationship more visibly as Husband and Wife, where the two become one in a lifelong faithful relationship open to be co-creators with God thus fulfilling our highest call in the image and likeness of God, who is creator and redeemer of all. In the sacrament of Matrimony, each like Christ, lays down their life for the other, in a lifelong covenant of faithful Love, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, until death do they part. God unites the two who become one with each other and together in Him. (See Mt 19:6, Eph 5:21-25).
In the Sacrament of Holy Orders, a man likewise lays down his life in faithfulness and love, in a very special way, as Christ did and acting in his person, for the life His Bride, the Church. The priest serves the greater Church, as a Father serves his very own Family. (See 1 Tim 4:14).
If you are seeking a Sacramental Marriage please Contact Fr. Tom or Fr. Paul at the Parish Office: 510-537-0806
If you are interested in joining the Franciscans please contact Fr. Paul Gawlowski OFM Conv.