The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that “Sacraments are ‘powers that come forth’ from the Body of Christ, which is ever-living and life-giving. They are actions of the Holy Spirit at work in his Body, the Church. They are “the masterworks of God” in the new and everlasting covenant.” (1116).
As Catholics, we are privileged to have a rich sacramental life whereby we can receive sanctifying grace and experience the love of Jesus Christ in a special way. Sacraments are not a “thing” to be received, but a life changing event that draws us ever closer to Christ as we continue on our journey of faith.
Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God, become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church, and share in His mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word” (CCC #1213).
During Advent and Lenten seasons Sacred Heart celebrates a communal Penance Service. In the Sacrament of Penance, the faithful “obtain from God’s mercy and pardon for having offended Him and at the same time reconciliation with the Church family which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity – example and prayer, seek their conversion. (Rite of Penance #4) Sacrament of Reconciliation is Saturdays: 2:30pm – 3:30pm and by appointment
Families with children preparing for First Eucharist need to be registered in the parish and be participating in regular classes either in the Faith Formation program or the Catholic school. In addition, immediately prior to reception of the sacrament, the child and parent attend sessions to prepare them for reception of the sacrament. It is a diocesan policy that sacramental programs be a two year process. For more information please call Sue Sferra, our Faith Formation Team Leader at (727)372-8600 Ext. 132. Jesus said, “‘I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh ” (John 6:51–52).”
Those who have been baptized continue on the path of Christian Initiation through the Sacrament of Confirmation. In this sacrament they receive the Holy Spirit whom the Lord sent upon the apostles on Pentecost. This giving of the Holy Spirit conforms believers more fully to Christ and strengthens them so that they may bear witness to Christ for the building up of his Body in faith and love. (Rite of Confirmation #1 and #2)
Importance and Dignity of the sacrament of Matrimony signifies and shares in the mystery of Christ-man unity and fruitful love which exists between Christ and his Church. Married partners help each other to attain holiness and rearing and education of children. They share a special gift and power of two (agreement) among the people of God. 6 months preparation is required. Call (727) 372-8600 or e-mail the parish to request our informational wedding brochure.
Those who receive the sacrament of Holy Orders are consecrated in Christ’s name “to feed the Church by the word and grace of God.” Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. There are three ranks of clergy: bishops (episcopate), priests (presbyterium or ‘elders’), and diaconate. Bishops have the care of multiple congregations and appoint, ordain, and discipline priests and deacons. Priests have the responsibility of teaching, governing, and providing the sacraments in a given congregation (1 Tim. 5:17; Jas. 5:14–15). Deacons are the assistants of the bishops and are responsible for teaching and administering certain Church tasks, such as the distribution of food (Acts 6:1–6).
Anointing of the Sick
“Last Rites” is still performed today immediately prior to death but also added is the Anointing of the Sick sacrament. Members of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church who are in need of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick should call (727) 372-8600 to make arrangements for a priest to come to you at home or in the hospital. If there is an emergency at night or on the weekend, when the office is closed, please call (727) 372-7460.
Information about Baptism, Reconciliation, and First Communion for children can be found at our Sacraments: Instruction & Preparation webpage.