The Sacraments

The Catholic Church believes that Christ instituted seven Sacraments, to aid us in this life and to give us the grace needed to remain faithful. The Church groups them into three sets. The Sacraments of Initiation, which include Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation, are the foundations for Christian life. The Sacraments of Healing, which include Confession and Anointing of the Sick, provide for spiritual and physical healing and give us the strength to endure. Finally, the Sacraments at the Service of Communion, which include Matrimony and Holy Orders, prepare us to live a virtuous life in service to the Church and to God.

Holy Angels can assist you in each of these sacraments. If you wish to become Catholic and partake in the Sacraments of the Catholic Church, we welcome you to read our "Becoming Catholic" page, as the process for you and your family might be slightly different than described below. Please contact us if you are in need of any of the Sacraments.

Sacraments of Initiation

"You have been enlightened by Christ. Walk always as children of the light."
Rite of Baptism


Baptism is the first step in our lives as Christians, and the first Sacrament of Christian Initiation. Through the waters of Baptism, we are washed of all sin, and given new life in Christ.

The graces bestowed in Baptism include the forgiveness of all sins, including original sin, and all punishment for sin. Through this Sacrament, they are washed completely away. We become incorporated into the Body of Christ, united by the Sacrament with every other Christian, and are called "Christian" for the first time. Additionally, each baptized Christian is sealed with an indelible spiritual mark that can never be undone or erased, and for that reason, Baptism can only be administered once.

Our parish program is designed to support and encourage new parents in leading their child to God as they grow in the Catholic Christian life. The program involves discussion, reflection, and prayer. Parents are encouraged to register for the program in the first or second trimester to allow adequate time for preparation.

The preparation program is offered on the fourth Mondays of January, April, July and October, upstairs in the Religious Education Office, 121 East Water Street, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. Call the rectory for more information and to register so that information packets can be sent to you in advance of the program.



First Communion celebrates the first time that this member of the Church receives the Eucharistic Body and Blood of Christ. It also celebrates the fact that this member approaches the table as an initiated member of the worshiping community. It is a celebration of incorporation.

The preparation for this sacrament begins in the family. Preparation also involves the love and help of the Christian community as the children gather to celebrate Liturgy week after week, and take part in the communal life of the assembly.

The formal preparation for first communion takes place during the first and second grade school years. Immediate preparation takes place during the second grade year.

First Eucharist is celebrated on a Sunday in May.

"The Eucharist is the center and heart of Christian life for both the universal and local Church and for each Christian. All that belongs to Christian life leads to the Eucharistic celebration or flows from it." (National Catechetical Directory #120)



Confirmation is that sacrament which confirms the action of God in Baptism and is the threshold into the Eucharistic community. Through the Sacrament of Confirmation, we complete our initiation into the Church and receive the fullness of the Baptismal graces that began at Baptism. It increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and  gives us a special strength to spread and defend the faith. It leaves an indelible spiritual mark similar to Baptism, and for that reason can only be administered once.

Preparation for Confirmation has continued throughout the life of the candidate as he/she has grown in faith in the family and gradually become more fully incorporated into the life of the church.

Immediate preparation for Confirmation ordinarily occurs during the 8th Grade school year. It is usually celebrated in the spring of each year with the Archbishop or his representative presiding.


Sacraments of Service

"May God who has begun the good work in you bring it to fulfillment."
Rite of Ordination

Holy Orders

The Sacrament of Holy Orders is a Sacrament of apostolic ministry, and by this Sacrament, men are ordained to serve the Church in the orders of the Diaconate, Presbyterate (priesthood), and the Episcopate (bishops).

The Catholic Church has an unbroken Apostolic succession, beginning with Peter and the other apostles, and continuing down through the ages to our present Pope, Francis. Through this apostolic succession, men succeeding the original Apostles were ordained for service in the Church, to administer the Sacraments, and to guide the Church in her mission to spread the Gospel of Christ.

While the Catholic Church only ordains celibate men to the priesthood, the Church also has a thriving Permanent Diaconate program, where married men serve as Deacons in their local parishes, assist at Mass, and Baptize and celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Closely related to Holy Orders are religious orders where both men and women who are called to give their lives in service to the Church are formed, often taking vows of celibacy, poverty, and obedience.

For more information on these vocations, please contact the Archdiocesan Vocations Director at


Holy Matrimony

The Holy Angels Marriage Preparation Program helps prepare engaged couples for the commitment of the sacrament of matrimony. With the direction of the parish priest, the program uses a team of married couples, called sponsor couples, who work with the engaged couple one on one. The sponsor couples facilitate discussion about various aspects of daily married life through the use of the FOCCUS program. The engaged couples also participate in a Pre-Cana program given by the Family Life Office.

If you are interested in getting married, you should contact one of the priests or deacons at least six months prior to your proposed wedding date. No date for a wedding will be given until the engaged couple has met with the priest or deacon.


Sacraments of Healing

"May God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit..."
Rite of Penance


In the Sacrament of Confession or Reconciliation, we celebrate God's mercy and forgiveness. In this Sacrament, we go before a priest and confess our sins, seeking God's mercy and forgiveness. If we have sinned mortally, we are reunited with the Church, and given the grace to persevere through our trials and temptations in this life. All Catholics are encouraged to go frequently to Confession, but are required by the Precepts of the Church to make at least one Confession a year.

Preparation for this first celebration begins in the family. The children learn as they experience family members giving and receiving forgiveness in the home. The formal preparation for the Sacrament begins in first grade. The immediate preparation takes place in second grade. First Reconciliation is celebrated on several Monday and Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. during Advent. The sacrament is celebrated with their class. This celebration includes the children with their parents.


Anointing of the Sick

Throughout the life of Jesus, we see Him ministering compassionately to the sick and those in need. Over one hundred men and women have been trained and commissioned to bring Holy Communion to the sick and those in need. Holy Communion is brought every day to Catholic patients in Wilson Memorial Hospital by our Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist.

If you or a loved one is being admitted to the hospital, be sure to inform the hospital staff that you want your name on the list for pastoral visits or you could be missed. Holy Communion is distributed weekly at the four local nursing homes and twice a month to shut-ins in their own homes.

If you or anyone you know is in need of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, please call the rectory.

For more information on any of the Sacraments, please refer to the Catechism of the Catholic Chuch, available online here, from which much of the information above was gathered.