WHAT IS A SACRAMENT?
When Saint Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthians he said that they should consider him (and the other apostles) "servants of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God" (1 Cor 4:1). When the word mystery was translated from Greek into Latin, it was normally translated as sacramentum; thus the sacraments are the mysteries of Christianity.
A sacrament is what brings the life of God into the life of a human. As important as faith is (and it is essential), God doesn't merely want us to believe and trust in Him, rather He wants to live inside of us: "It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me" (Galatians 2:20). Through faith, hope and love, together with the sacraments, we as Christians not only trust God, but we live in Him and He in us (John 15:1-11, John 6:56, Romans 6:3-4, 2 Cor. 4:10-12, etc.)
Jesus gives his followers 7 sacraments which bring his presence and life into ours, and which draw us into the great mystery of the life of God; these 7 are listed below.
Baptism is so much more than a symbol. Jesus gave us this sacrament as the entrance point into both a relationship with God and his family, the Church. Baptism is also how we come to share in the graces Jesus won for us on the cross (Romans 6:3-4). For the Baptism of a child, please call our office at 303-722-6861. As part of the process we will ask you and the Godparents to attend a class on baptism so we can help you understand why this sacrament is so important.
Confirmation is the sacrament whereby God completes the graces of a person's baptism and deepens His seal within them, marking them as belonging to Him (2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13-14). When received within a life of faith, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit through confirmation empowers us to live the Christian life, which we simply couldn't do otherwise. Thus, it is not a person's "adult choice to be Catholic", rather it is God who chooses us, and we can then choose Him day by day. For information on our program, call the parish office at (303) 722-6861.
The Eucharist is the most important thing in the entire Christian life because it is Jesus himself. Many Christians today speak of "having a relationship" with Jesus, and we couldn't agree more; Jesus loves us so much he actually desires to live physically inside us through this sacrament. As our Lord says himself: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him." (John 6:53-56)
The New Testament abounds with references to the Eucharist; indeed the body of Christ under the appearance of bread and wine has been the center of Christianity from the earliest days of the nascent church.
For first communion requirements, call the parish office. If you'd like to learn more about the Eucharist and why Catholics believe what they do, please check out our RCIA class which runs from September through April, and is open to Catholics and non-Catholics alike
Sacramental confession of one's sins to a priest is one of the more difficult things for most people to understand. A common question is "why can't I just confess my sins to God?" One of the strangest truths about God is that He shares what is properly His with human beings. He worked through Moses to liberate Israel from slavery, He used the prophets to proclaim his word, and in confession, He works through priests to forgive our sins. Saint Paulconsiders himself to be a steward of the mysteries of God (1 Corinthians 4:1); and even goes so far as to say that God gave to him and others the "ministry of reconciliation"(2 Corinthians 5:18). In other words, God works through people, he reaches us through others, and he gives authority to certain ministers in the church - namely priests. Jesus gave the apostles (the first priests) the authority to forgive sins (John 20:21-23) and that gift has been alive in the Church ever since.
Confessing our sins out loud to another human being is good for us. The chief sin of mankind is pride, and confession is humbling - which is a good thing. There is also such a grace and joy to hearing a priest pray the words of mercy: "May God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you of your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
Confession happens at Our Lady of Lourdes every Saturday from 3pm to 4:15pm, and Sunday evenings from 5:15 until 6.
Congratulations! Come see Father Brian as soon as you can after getting engaged. Normally, the marriage prep process takes about 8 months. The marriage prep process is designed not just for a beautiful wedding day, but to build the type of marriage that will last till death do us part. Contact Mary Rogers at the parish office at 303-722-6861 to set up an appointment with Father Brian.
Catholics believe that the one true priest is Jesus Christ, but that in His earthly life, Jesus gave a share in his priesthood to the 12 apostles. The apostles in turn ordained other men to share in the priesthood of Christ (2 Timothy 1:6), and the priesthood has thus been handed on through the authority of the Church for two millennia.
The priesthood is not a position of power, but of service (Matthew 20:25-28, John 13:2-20). The modern, secular world tends to view the priesthood from the perspective of politics and power, but Jesus specifically rejects such a view in the Gospels.
Priests carry on the ministry of Jesus through the sacraments and the preaching of the Gospel, they are called to strengthen the people of God so they might be the light of the world. If you think God may be calling you to priesthood, contact Mary Rogers at the parish office at 303-722-6861 to set up an appointment with Father Brian, and check out the webpage for priesthood in Denver.
Please call the parish office at 303-722-6861 if someone is ill or hospitalized and would like to be anointed. Anointing is not to be delayed to the last minute, but is for any serious illness, or before a surgery. A person who has been anointed once does not need to be anointed again within the same illness. It is also important for someone who is anointed to be prepared to go to confession when the priest arrives (if they are able).