The Sacramental Life of the Catholic Church
Sacraments are essential in the Catholic Church, as they foster community, promote learning, and deepen our relationship with God. They encompass worship, service, and comfort, and some believe they align with the rhythms of daily life.
The term ‘sacrament’ originates from the Latin word ‘Sacramentum,’ which predates Christianity and originally referred to a token or pledge of loyalty. Saint Augustine later defined a sacrament as a visible sign of an invisible grace, a definition that has influenced Christian thought for centuries.
The Church officially established the seven sacraments we recognise today in the 12th Century. These sacraments include baptism, confirmation, eucharist, penance (reconciliation), anointing of the sick, marriage, and holy orders.
Sacramental celebrations provide a meaningful way to acknowledge God’s presence in our lives. They invite us to reflect on the significance of our experiences, allowing us to appreciate life’s events and relationships through the lens of Jesus’ teachings.
Sacraments communicate the discovery of God and the purpose that God imparts to our lives through Jesus. They speak to us through the Word of God and employ symbolic language to express the tangible presence of our creative God.
Baptism purifies, blesses, and welcomes us into the community, with promises of guidance and support from our parents, grandparents, and the Church. In the Eucharist, we receive Christ’s ultimate act of love and mercy, and we also offer ourselves and our actions to God. Reconciliation grants us the opportunity to experience and celebrate God’s grace, love, mercy, and forgiveness within ourselves and as part of a community. Confirmation challenges us to be visible representatives of the body of Christ, with God confirming our membership in the body and granting us the freedom to choose.
At Santa Maria College, we are fortunate to assist students on their sacramental journeys. This year, eight students from Years 7 to 10 will receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist, and Confirmation under the guidance of Sister Breda O’Reilly. Sister Breda serves as pastoral minister and catechist, providing support to both staff and students at the College.
This term, Sister Breda has prepared two students for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and is currently working with four others who will receive the Sacrament of Eucharist in June. In August, preparations will commence for three students receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. The College has partnered with St Benedict’s parish in Applecross, where Father Nelson Po will administer and celebrate the sacraments with the students.
We extend our blessings to each student as they embark on their sacramental journey, celebrating the abundant love that God offers us all.
Melissa Trolio, Director of Mission