God speaks to his people through a variety of ways. One of the most powerful ways in which he acts and speaks is through the sacraments that Jesus instituted. If you would like more information about participating in a certain sacrament, please call the rectory at 306-287-3260.
Baptism is the first sacrament in the life of the church. It is the sacrament that makes us Christian, where God himself comes to free us from sin and lives within us. The word, “baptism” comes from the Greek word “baptizein” which literally means “to plunge” and in baptism we are “plunged” into the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus – into the love of God!
Because we enter into the very life of God, our baptism is a mystery we could spend our lifetime reflecting upon and barely scratch the surface. As a result, before ourselves or our children are baptized, we should spend some time preparing for what it is that is being received. If you are expecting a child or have had a child recently, please speak to Fr. Francis to set up an appointment where we can talk about this preparation.
We also welcome those who are older children, teens, and adults to investigate baptism through something called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). If this interests you, please call or email us for more information.
In Acts chapter 2, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the apostles, strengthening them for their life and mission as followers of Jesus. Since then, the Church has prayed for a special blessing from the Holy Spirit for its people and anointed them with oil as an integral part of one’s initiation as a Christian.
Through the centuries this has traditionally happened before first communion (usually during the same Mass), and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon has returned to this practice. Children typically receive confirmation in grade 2 or 3. The bishop is usually the celebrant of confirmation.
The Eucharist is the gift of Jesus – all that he is – to us in the form of nourishment. By the power of the Holy Spirit and through the prayer of the priest, ordinary wheat bread and grape wine is changed into the body, blood, soul, and divinity of our Lord. This mystery is found in the Bible in Matthew 26.26-29, 1 Corinthians 11.23-26, and elsewhere. Since the very beginning, Christians have gathered together on the day that Jesus rose from the dead to celebrate this mystery.
Participating in the Eucharist is also the completion of our initiation into the Church. First communion is usually celebrated during the same celebration as confirmation.
Our Lord remains present in the Eucharist in the tabernacle, and people are welcome to come to their parish to pray and spend time with Jesus. We also have solemn exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in Watson, usually on the last Wednesday evening of the month. Please check the bulletin for more details.
Jesus came to “seek out and save” those who were weighed down by sin (Luke 19.10). He alone provides the forgiveness for our sins and we should turn to him when we seek forgiveness.
However, Jesus also knew that our sins not only affect our relationship with God but also with others. Because of this, he made his apostles instruments through which his forgiveness could come (John 20.19-23). The apostles and their successors – the bishops and priests – represent Jesus and the Church and are instruments through which the forgiveness of Jesus comes.
When we confess to a priest, we are assured of God’s forgiveness. The psychological benefit of talking about our sins with another person is also often helpful for us who are seeking to move beyond a particular sin.
Priests are never allowed to speak to anyone at any time about what they’ve specifically heard in confession, under the pain of excommunication. Also, know that priests themselves are sinners and need to go to confession as often as anyone else – and so we understand what it is to sin! Even more, we understand the immense relief and grace that comes from hearing those words spoken to us in the sacrament: “I absolve you from your sins!”
Scheduled confessions are usually held on Saturday mornings from 11am-12pm in Sacred Heart Parish in Watson and Tuesday evenings from 6:45-7:15pm in Englefeld. Check the bulletin for more details. Alternately, please call the rectory at 306-287-3260 to set up an appointment.
Anointing of the Sick
The healing stories from the gospels are among the most popular stories that are told. We all want to be healthy and find it difficult when we are sick. Jesus understands this fully. He experienced healthiness and also the sickness and death of those around him. He also experienced human suffering when he went to the cross.
Jesus therefore has tremendous compassion on those who suffer and since the beginning, his Church has prayed for those who were sick. The letter of James (5.13-15) describes this prayer and anointing with oil, which we now call the anointing of the sick.
If you or someone you know wishes to receive this anointing, please call the rectory at 287-3260.
From the beginning, human beings have entered into marriage as a lifelong bond that is for the good of the couple and for the procreation and upbringing of children. It is therefore a sacred institution that Jesus has raised up to be a sacrament. As Jesus has loved his Church and gave himself for her, so also husbands and wives give of themselves for each other (Ephesians 5.25-33).
Because marriage is such an important, life-long commitment, it is vitally important that couples be prepared to enter into marriage. Marriages must be booked with the parish at least 6 months in advance. In addition, it is required that a marriage preparation course be taken. St. Peter’s Abbey (306-682-1777) offers such a weekend. More preparation programs are offered throughout the diocese. Find out more information at http://www.saskatoonrcdiocese.com/marriage-and-family-life.
To book your wedding and plan your liturgy, please talk to Fr. Francis at 306-287-3260. I look forward to hearing from you!
God continues to call men to become priests. God calls everyone to a certain vocation in life, whether that is as a priest, religious brother or sister, married person, or single person in the world.
If you for more information or are wondering about your vocation, please feel free to call the rectory. The leader of the diocesan vocations team is Myron Rogal and more information about this team can be found at http://www.saskatoonrcdiocese.com/office-vocations.