Sacraments

"The saving words and deeds of Jesus Christ are the foundation of what he would communicate in the Sacraments through the ministers of the Church. Guided by the Holy Spirit, the Church recognizes the existence of Seven Sacraments instituted by the Lord. They are the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist), the Sacraments of Healing (Penance and the Anointing of the Sick), and the Sacraments at the Service of Communion (Marriage and Holy Orders). Through the Sacraments, God shares his holiness with us so that we, in turn, can make the world holier." - USCCB

 

The three sacraments of Christian initiation

These three Sacraments lay the foundations of every Christian life. "The sharing in the divine nature given to men through the grace of Christ bears a certain likeness to the origin, development, and nourishing of natural life. The faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life. By means of these sacraments of Christian initiation, they thus receive in increasing measure the treasures of the divine life and advance toward the perfection of charity."

 

 Baptism

     
The Baptism of children is ordinarily celebrated on the first Sunday of each month, following the 11:00 am Mass. A required seminar for parents and godparents of children to be baptized is held on each Tuesday following the first Sunday of the month,at 6:30 pm in the small meeting room in the Activity Center.

The Baptism of adults is ordinarily celebrated at the Easter Vigil each year, in conjunction with the parish process for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Special arrangements for Baptisms at other times may be requested due to particular circumstances.

For Baptism, at least one sponsor is required. The sponsor must be a baptized, confirmed and practicing Catholic, at least 16 years of age. In addition, there may be one other godparent, of the opposite gender as the sponsor. If Catholic, this other godparent must meet the same requirements of a sponsor. If not a Catholic, this other godparent must be a baptized Christian, fully practicing the faith of his/her denomination.

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Confirmation


Confirmation for youth is ordinarily celebrated during the Spring of a student's junior year of high school. Preparation for this sacrament begins in ninth grade and includes instruction (Catholic school or parish school of religion), spiritual formation (retreats and days of recollection), and development of a sense of sharing in community life (service hours in Church, school and community).

Confirmation for Adults is ordinarily celebrated at the Easter Vigil each year, in conjunction with the parish process for the Rite for the Christian Initiation of adults. A sponsor is required for Confirmation and that sponsor must meet the same requirements as a sponsor for Baptism.

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Eucharist


First Eucharist is ordinarily received during the Spring of that same school year. Preparation for both sacraments require that the student have completed first grade of religious education (Catholic school or parish school of religion) before entering into the specific preparation for these sacraments.

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The Sacraments of Healing

"Sin is before all else an offense against God, a rupture of communion with him. At the same time it damages communion with the Church. For this reason conversion entails both God's forgiveness and reconciliation with the Church, which are expressed and accomplished liturgically by the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation."

 

Reconciliation and Penance



Because of our natural tendency to sin, we break our relationship or our connection with God, choosing other things in favor of that relationship. We need to repair that bond with God and with the Church through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, better known as confession. The sacrament of Reconciliation is ordinarily received for the first time during the Fall of a student's second grade year.

Reconciliation is offered before daily Mass at 8:15 am Monday and  Wednesday through Friday. Reconciliation is also offered every Saturday at 3:00 pm. Father Rubin will also hear confessions by appointment if needed.

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Anointing of the Sick


If anyone in your family has a serious illness, the Church would like to celebrate this sacrament of God's healing love with that person. Please call the parish office to schedule this celebration. The priest will be happy to come to your home, the hospital, or wherever is most convenient for the ill person and the family. We encourage as many family members as possible to be present for this joyous celebration through which God heals, lifts up, and gives hope, peace and new life to His faithful people.

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The Sacraments at the Service of Communion

"Two other sacraments, Holy Orders and Matrimony, are directed towards the salvation of others; if they contribute as well to personal salvation, it is through service to others that they do so. They confer a particular mission in the Church and serve to build up the People of God."

 

Marriage


The sacrament of Marriage is celebrated throughout the year, with the exception of Sundays, holy days of obligation, and Holy Week (Palm Sunday through Easter). No marriages will be scheduled on Saturdays or the eve of holy days of Obligation after 1:30 P.M.

Diocesan regulations in the Diocese of Baton Rouge require at least a four-month period between the time the couple first approaches the priest and the date of marriage. During this time, the Pastor and Pastoral associate for Liturgical Ministries will work with the couple to prepare well for the celebration of this sacrament.

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Holy Orders & Religious Life


Men and women in the parish who think they may be experiencing a call to priesthood, permanent diaconate, or religious life should enter into a serious process of discernment concerning the possibility of such a call. If you are one of those, and there are certainly a number here at St. Mark's, please contact the Pastor to discuss how to go about the process of discernment. If indeed God is offering such a call to you, you have the potential for rendering great service to the human community through a life that is both satisfying and fulfilling in service to the Church.

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