The Sacrament of Baptism is the first step in a lifelong journey of commitment and discipleship. Whether we are baptized as infants or adults, Baptism is the Church’s way of celebrating and enacting the embrace of God.
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.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation, also known as the Sacrament of Penance, is where we find God’s unconditional forgiveness, and as a result we are called to forgive others. We are encouraged to receive the Sacrament of Penance frequently throughout our lifetime so that we can benefit from the graces we obtain through reception of this sacrament.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is a mature Christian commitment and a deepening of baptismal gifts. Like Baptism and Eucharist, it is a Sacrament of Initiation for Catholics and a Sacrament of faith in God’s fidelity to us.
The Sacrament of Marriage, or Holy Matrimony, is a public sign that one gives oneself totally to this other person. It is also a public statement about God: the loving union of husband and wife speaks of family values and also God’s values.
Vocational guidance and information is available for men who are discerning a call to the Diaconate or Priesthood. Please speak to a priest about this. The Diocese also has a Director of Vocations and an Office to assist in this, as well as help with vocations to the consecrated life of sister or brother. Cathedral Preparatory Seminary is a High School in Elmhurst that assists young men in discerning a vocation while offering a standard high school curriculum. Cathedral Residence in Douglaston and the John Paul II Residence in Brooklyn assist college-age and older men in preparing for the major seminary. Visit www.brooklynpriests.org for more information regarding Vocations in Brooklyn.
Anointing of the Sick
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, formerly known as Last Rites, is a ritual of healing appropriate not only for physical but also for mental and spiritual sickness. Through this sacrament, the Church comforts and supports the person who is suffering and continues the healing ministry of Christ. For those who are about to die, the Church, in addition to the Anointing of the Sick, offers the Eucharist as viaticum – food for the journey home.