A Sacrament is a ‘visible sign of invisible grace’.
This was the definition of Saint Augustine (AD 355-430) which is still helpful today. The grace is seen as ‘the presence and action of God’.
Guided by the Te Wairua Tapu Holy Spirit, the Catholic Church recognizes the existence of Seven Sacraments ordained by Christ and entrusted to the Church. Each Sacrament contains significant symbols and symbolic actions and is important because it links to the past as well as with the present and the future. The seven Sacraments remind us that all of life is holy – from womb to the tomb.
Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist)
Sacraments of Healing (Reconciliation and theAnointing of the Sick)
Sacraments of Service (Marriage and Holy Orders)
Through the Sacraments, the holiness of God is shared with us so that we, in turn, can create a more spiritual world.
Originally, for baptism it was not enough to pour a little water on the forehead. The baptisteries of the first century were quite large cisterns, often in the form of a cross. The catechumen went down one side by a series of steps, was immersed in the water, and came out the other side. This helps us to understand better how baptism is both:
Baptism preparation occurs every 3 months at the parish.
We invite all whanau parents and godparents who have plans to have their child(ren) baptized in the coming months to attend our compulsory course Saturday 14th October 2023 at the parish (classroom) from 10.30am to 12.00pm.
Children between the ages of 3 and 15 will need to attend a special course. This is held in consultation with the teacher of the programme and can be arranged through the parish office.
Baptisms are usually held on Saturdays.
To register, please email the Parish Office firstname.lastname@example.org
Confirmation & First Holy Communion
Do you have a tamariki/child or rangitahi/young person who is ready to receive their first Holy Communion?
The Catholic Church considers children between the ages of 7 and 8 ready to complete their Sacraments of Initiation which began with Baptism. Our parish also welcomes young adults up to the age of 16 in this programme. Anyone over the age of 16 will join the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adult (RCIA).
As whānau you must have proof of their baptism before they can receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and First Holy Communion.
We take enrolments early each year; although you may express interest at any time for the Sacramental Programme. We inform the community of the process for enrolment in the Sacramental Programme through weekend notices in Mass, the parish newsletter and website. The timing of the sessions depends upon the availability of the bishop to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation, but usually begins from mid-May until end of July. There are a number of sessions for parents, sponsors (for Confirmation), children and young adults to attend.
Each year we hope for the presence of the Bishop of Auckland for the celebration of Confirmation and First Holy Communion. However, this is not always possible due to his commitments; he will therefore nominate a priest to fulfil this important duty.
For general enquiries, please contact/email the Parish Office:
Ph: 818-6325 (Mon-Fri 9am-3pm)
Lyn Smith (Coordinator):email@example.com
Reconciliation (or ‘Penance’) reflects the practice of restoring sinners to the community of the faithful that was associated with the earliest discipline of the penitential rite. Those who sinned seriously were excluded from Holy Communion until they showed repentance.
Reconciliation is Te Atua God’s gift to us so that any sin committed after baptism can be forgiven. In confession we have the opportunity to repent and obtain pardon from God through the intercession of a priest. It is a holy moment in which we place ourselves in God’s presence and honestly acknowledge all of our sins (including mortal sins).
Being granted absolution, the Catholic Church recognizes this practice as an act of forgiveness – your sin is forgiven and forgotten.
Anointing of the Sick
Long known in English as ‘extreme unction’ or ‘last rites’ this sacrament helps unite those who are suffering with God’s saving and healing power. It reminds us that God wants to give comfort to the suffering and wants us to relieve suffering where we can. Through this sacrament people receive forgiveness for their sins; they are restored in spirit. It is administered by anointing the forehead and hands with holy oil (blessed by the bishop at the Chrism Mass during Holy Week) followed by a prayer. The priest anoints the seriously ill, injured or the elderly. For a dying person (terminal illness), the sacrament is preparation for passing over to eternal life. Anointing often takes place in homes, nursing homes, hospitals, churches or in a community setting. The sacrament may be received more than once, such as when a sick person’s condition worsens.
In the rites of the Anointing of the Sick, the priest anoints the sick person on the forehead, saying “Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” He also anoints the sick person on the hands, saying “May the Lord frees you from sin, save you, and raise you up. Amen.” The “raising” refers to spiritual healing as well as any physical healing that may take place.
“Love is the most beautiful sentiment the Lord has put into the souls of men and women.” – St Gianna Beretta Molla.
Marriage (or ‘holy matrimony’) is a Sacrament of commitment. A covenant by which a man and a woman form an intimate connection of life and love with each other and with God. The celebration of marriage is also a liturgical act appropriately held in a public liturgy at church. Catholics are urged to celebrate their marriage within the Eucharistic Liturgy. The most important aspect of a Catholic wedding is what is commonly known as the exchange of vows. These words are the essential element of the sacrament of marriage; they form the covenant that establish the couple’s marriage.
The Catholic Church has requirements before Catholics can be considered validly married in the eyes of the Church. A valid Catholic marriage results from four elements:
(1) Both spouses are free to marry
(2) Both spouses freely exchange their consent
(3) In consenting to marry, they have the intention to marry for life, to be faithful to one another and be open to the idea of procreation
(4) Their consent is exchanged in the presence of two witnesses and before a properly authorized church minister.
“We are not meant to live in isolation, but to find and fulfil ourselves through the love of others.” Gen 2:18
Marriage & Family Life
Through the Marriage and Family Office the Diocese offers approved Marriage Preparation Courses.
Are you getting married?
Please book your Diocesan Marriage Preparation Course at https://www.aucklandcatholic.org.nz/discipleship/our-courses/
- If getting married in NZ – 1 year in advance your wedding date.
- If getting married overseas – 18 months in advance your wedding date.
Couples via Zoom
Are you dating, engaged or a married couple and want to improve and deepen your communication with your partner/spouse?
This is a free course and you do not have to be a Catholic to register.
Please go to https://www.aucklandcatholic.org.nz/alpha_couples/
To find out more, please email Gerry Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is process which initiates adults and children (over the age of 15) into the community of the Catholic Church.
While we still use the acronym RCIA, it was changed in 2021 to Order of Christian Initiation of Adults (OCIA), or Ordo Initiationis Christianae Adultorum to reflect greater fidelity to the original Latin.
This programme is open for anyone of any age who would like to have a deeper understanding of their faith or has issues that they are struggling with. It is also for those who wish to receive the Sacraments including Baptism, Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist.
For more information, please email the Parish Office: email@example.com