The seven sacraments are outward signs of inward grace given to us by Christ to make us holy. “The seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life: they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian’s life of faith” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1210).
Sacraments of Initiation
Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist (received during Holy Communion) bring us into the life of Christ and his Church. Baptism is always the first sacrament received. Children receive the Eucharist at their First Communion and are later Confirmed. Baptized adults receive Confirmation and First Communion at the same time.
Baptism ushers us into the divine life, cleanses us from original and actual sin, and initiates us as members of the Christian community. It is the foundation of the sacramental life. Ordinarily administered by a priest, this sacrament takes the form of a triple immersion or sprinkling with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Baptism is open to both adults and children who have never been Baptized. Those who have been validly Baptized in a non-Catholic Christian community are not Baptized again in the Catholic Church. As we say in the Nicene Creed, “I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins.”
Adults prepare for Baptism though the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) and are ordinarily Baptized at the Easter Vigil Mass. Contact Carla Niziolek, Director of Discipleship, at 616-399-1062 ext. 114 or email@example.com to register and learn more.
Baptism for Children
The Church urges parents to have their children Baptized shortly after birth. Infant Baptisms take place throughout the year at OLL. Older children who have never received the sacrament can also be Baptized. Parents should contact Carla Niziolek, Director of Discipleship, at 616-399-1062 ext. 114 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment for a Baptism interview. We encourage you to do this before your child is born. After the interview, you will be invited to attend a Baptism preparation class. Your Baptism date will be scheduled once your paperwork has been completed, including the selection of godparents.
In Confirmation the Christian is sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit and strengthened for service and evangelization. All Baptized persons can and should be Confirmed. Confirmation is administered by the laying on of hands and anointing with chrism (holy oil) accompanied by prayer. The bishop ordinarily administers this sacrament, but he usually delegates the task to pastors for adult Confirmations administered at the parish.
Both adult Catholics who have never been Confirmed and adults who were Baptized in a non-Catholic Christian community should contact Carla Niziolek, Director of Discipleship, at 616-399-1062 ext. 114 or email@example.com to learn more about the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA).
Young Catholics typically prepare for and receive Confirmation in eighth grade. Whether or not your child is the typical age, please contact Adam McNutt, Youth Ministry Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 616-399-1062 ext. 123 for more information about Confirmation and Middle School Ministry.
The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Lumen Gentium 11). Through the ministry of a priest, bread and wine are transubstantiated into the whole Christ, Body, Blood, soul, and divinity. The faithful participate in Christ’s sacrifice, receive him in Hol Communion, and are united with him and his Church.
All Catholics have the joyful duty to participate in the Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation. Catholics are obligated to receive Holy Communion at least once a year during the Easter season, but they are encouraged to do so frequently as long as they are in a state of grace. Those who are not receiving Holy Communion during Mass may remain seated or receive a blessing from the priest. All Baptized persons can participate in the prayers of the Mass, and everyone is welcome to attend. At OLL, we have two Sunday Masses (9 and 11 a.m.) as well as a vigil Mass at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Mass is also celebrated on Tuesdays at 12 p.m. and Thursdays and Fridays at 9 a.m. Wednesday Mass is celebrated at the parish during the summer and at Corpus Christi Catholic School during the school year. Check our calendar and our Mass schedule for more details.
First Communion for Adults
Both adult Catholics who have never received First Communion and adults who were Baptized in a non-Catholic Christian community should contact Carla Niziolek, Director of Discipleship, at 616-399-1062 ext. 114 or email@example.com to learn more about the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA).
If you or someone you know wants to receive the Eucharist and/or the Anointing of the Sick in the hospital, at home, in a facility, or in an emergency situation, please fill out the Sacramental Emergencies Form or call 616-399-1062.
First Communion for Children
At OLL, we strive to make First Communion preparation and celebration a special time for children and their families. First Communion celebrations take place in May. Young Catholics typically prepare for and receive First Communion in second grade. Whether or not your child is the typical age, please contact Carla Niziolek, Director of Discipleship, at 616-399-1062 ext. 114 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about First Communion and Children’s Ministry.
Our expectations for parents:
- Support your child in active participation and completion of the curriculum in one of the options for Discipleship Classes.
- Attend Mass every Sunday (or the vigil on Saturday).
- Assist your child in memorizing the prayers listed in the Parent Handbook (Sign of the Cross, Hail Mary, Our Father, and Glory Be).
- Attend the Sacramental Parent Meeting in November and complete the checklist distributed at this meeting.
What parents can expect from us:
- We will be well prepared for the Sacramental Parent Meeting and First Communion Retreat.
- We will provide the most up-to-date resources for families to supplement classroom preparation at home.
- We will provide clear handouts and schedules.
- We will offer consistent and supportive communications throughout the process. All parents are encouraged to speak with us or meet with us as needed.
- We will prepare children to receive the sacrament while also assisting families in reverently and profoundly experiencing this beautiful celebration.
At OLL, all are welcome to pray before the tabernacle during regular hours (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays). We have Eucharistic Adoration every Thursday from 3-9 p.m. and the first Friday of each month from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. OLL also has an annual Eucharistic procession and benediction on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.
Sacraments of Healing
Reconciliation (also known as Confession and Penance) and the Anointing of the Sick are the tools that Christ the physician uses to heal our souls and bodies. Children go to Reconciliation before they receive First Communion; adults are encouraged to frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Catholics of any age can receive the Anointing of the Sick if they are in need.
In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, also called Confession and Penance, we tell our sins to a priest, receive God’s forgiveness, and repair our relationship with him and the whole Body of Christ. Jesus gives us the grace to live a renewed life in him and to receive him worthily in the Eucharist. All Catholics have the joyful duty to confess their sins at least once a year, and they are encouraged to do so frequently. It is most important to confess mortal sins in order to return to a state of grace.
Reconciliation at OLL
Fr. Michael is available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Saturdays from 9-10 a.m. or by appointment. He also schedules additional periods for Reconciliation during Lent and Advent. The Reconciliation Room is located in the chapel. If the candle is burning outside of the door, Father is present. If the door is open, you are welcome to enter. You may confess behind a screen or face-to-face.
First Reconciliation for Adults
If you are Catholic but have not been to Reconciliation for some time, we are eager to help you overcome any uncertainty you may be experiencing. Jesus wants to give you his mercy! You may want to contact Fr. Michael at email@example.com or 616-399-1062 ext. 106. Adults who were Baptized in a non-Catholic Christian community should contact Carla Niziolek, Director of Discipleship, at 616-399-1062 ext. 114 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA).
First Reconciliation for Children
Young Catholics typically go to Reconciliation for the first time during second grade before receiving First Communion. If you have questions, please contact Carla Niziolek, Director of Discipleship, at 616-399-1062 ext. 114 or email@example.com.
Anointing of the Sick
The effects of the Anointing of the Sick are “the uniting of the sick person to the passion of Christ, for his own good and that of the whole Church; the strengthening, peace, and courage to endure in a Christian manner the sufferings of illness or old age; the forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the sacrament of penance; the restoration of health, if it is conducive to the salvation of his soul; and the preparation for passing over to eternal life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1532). The Anointing with holy oil is administered by a priest. It is accompanied by prayer and the laying on of hands.
“The Anointing of the Sick is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death. Hence, as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for him to receive this sacrament has certainly already arrived. If a sick person who received this anointing recovers his health, he can in the case of another grave illness receive this sacrament again. If during the same illness the person’s condition becomes more serious, the sacrament may be repeated. It is fitting to receive the Anointing of the Sick just prior to a serious operation. The same holds for the elderly whose frailty becomes more pronounced.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1514-1515)
We recommend scheduling the sacrament shortly after you have been diagnosed with a serious illness or have scheduled a major surgery. Anointings may be celebrated at the parish, at your home, or in a hospital room. Family and friends may be present. To request the Anointing of the Sick, call the parish office at 616-399-1062 or fill out the Sacramental Emergencies Form.
Sacraments at the Service of Communion
Marriage and Holy Orders “are directed towards the salvation of others… They confer a particular mission in the Church and serve to build up the People of God” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1534).
Marriage is a covenant and partnership between a man and a woman that is ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children. Two Baptized persons confer this sacrament on each other before a representative of the Church, usually a priest or deacon.
Marriage Preparation at OLL
Congratulations on your engagement! As you begin this period of preparation, it is our goal to provide you a clear and easy path forward. Our guidelines will support you in navigating the requirements and help you ensure that your preparations for your upcoming wedding day and sacramental marriage are as seamless as possible.
Marriage is a lifelong bond. An annulment is a declaration by the Church that what appeared to be a valid sacramental marriage was actually invalid. If you have questions about annulments, please contact Carla Niziolek, Director of Discipleship, at 616-399-1062 ext. 114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Men who receive the sacrament of Holy Orders as a deacon, priest, or bishop are consecrated in Christ’s name “to feed the Church by the word and the grace of God. The discernment of a vocation is above all the fruit of an intimate dialogue between the Lord and his disciples” (Pope Benedict XVI, Response to questions by the bishops of the United States, April 16, 2008).
We encourage men in our parish to pray about a vocation to the priesthood or diaconate. To learn more about life as a priest, contact Fr. Michael Burt at email@example.com or 616-399-1062 ext. 106. For more information about Holy Orders, visit the website of the Diocese of Grand Rapids Office of Priestly Vocations.