The Sacraments

They are “the masterworks of God” in the new and everlasting covenant. 

~ Catechism, #1116

In faith, we are called to look for and discover the goodness of God.  We see as it is reflected in the unfolding of our own human lives – in the love we share, in relationships of friendship and family  and in moments both big and small.  We experience it in both the grandeur and fragility of the natural world, as well as  in the simplicities of bread, oil, wine and water, in word and gesture.  We discover it in beauty and truth.  Most extraordinarily we see the God’s goodness and mercy in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, the Word made flesh. It is him we hear, see with our own eyes, watch and touch with our hands in the sacramental life of the Church. It is his life we share when we participate in the sacraments of the Church.

God’s life is our life, it is the life the Church and the sacraments are the means through which we can experience this. We all know how life-giving and transforming it is to hear good news and more so when it is delivered in a way that helps us feel that we are part of that good news and is celebrated with joy and affection. The sacraments of the Church are among greatest means through which we hear the best of ‘good news’ and are touched and embraced by God in ways which lead us to life.

St. Augustine gave us the classic understanding of our belief in the sacraments when he spoke of sacraments as outward and visible signs of inward and invisible grace.  Outwardly, the sacraments involve words, physical symbols and actions, while inwardly they are direct means by which we experience God’s grace – gift of salvation –  in our lives.  

Of course, human experience of God comes about not solely through the sacraments. All sorts of experiences convey God’s presence and love and hence are in a sense ‘sacramental’. Some of these include:

  • the beauty and order of the world,
  • human relationships; our friendships, our families,
  • joyful, sorrowful experiences,
  • generosity, self-giving.

Simple things like candle light, a sunrise, the scent of a rose, the laughter of a child all speak to us of God who is the Giver of all good things. These experiences allow us to ‘touch the face of God’ and to experience our connection to something much bigger, mysterious, yet inherent in our ordinary lives.

Yet the sacraments we celebrate are more than simple ritual or symbols and memories of events that happened long ago, they are a vital source of help that God freely offers us in our faith.   Each of the seven sacraments was instituted by Jesus Christ, and they are the primary way for us to engage in our faith and to grow in our relationship with God.  The Father gave his Son out of absolute and perfect love for us, and in the sacraments we encounter the Son’s self-giving and saving love.  As we participate in the life of the Church and receive the sacraments, the Holy Spirit  works in us to make us more life Christ.   This is what it means to say that Sacraments are outward signs of inward grace instituted by Christ for our salvation.

The Sacraments at Divine Mercy

Through faith you are all children of God in Jesus Christ.  For all of you who were baptized in Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 

~ Galatians 3:26-27

In Baptism, we are born into and made sharers in the life of God and the Church.  Through baptism we become God’s sons and daughters.  Not only is Christ present to us, but He lives His own life within us.  We become configured to Christ and participate in his mission of redemption.  A baptized person belongs forever to Christ.

Baptism, as the first sacrament we receive,  the “gateway to the whole Christian life,” forgives all sins and opens the way to live and grow with God and the Church through the other sacraments.


Sacrament Preparation & Celebration at Divine Mercy

Baptism for Infants and young children to the age of 7

The Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion)  for Older Children (ages 7 and up) and Teens

Sacraments of Initiation for Adults


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  

~ Romans 15:13 

The second Sacrament of Initiation, Confirmation is deeply tied to the Sacrament of Baptism.  In the Catechism we learn that “by the sacrament of Confirmation, the connection of the baptized to the Church is rendered more perfect and they are enriched by a special force of the Holy Spirit and thus obliged more strictly to spread and defend the faith by word and by action as true witnesses of Christ.” 

If in Baptism we are drawn into and immersed in the inner life of God, Confirmation “strengthens that relationship and stirs it up.”  This is so the baptized believer can spread and defend the faith by word and action.


Sacrament Preparation & Celebration at Divine Mercy

Children’s Confirmation Program

Sacraments of Initiation for Adults


The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Love; It signifies Love, It produces love. The Eucharist is the consummation of the whole spiritual life.

~ St. Thomas Aquinas

In the Eucharist we come to the “heart and summit of the Church’s life. When we receive the Holy Communion, we are nourished by Christ’s own being, present to us in the bread and wine.  This sublime expression of divine intimacy and love transforms us into what we are given to share – the Body of Christ.  It transforms us into what we are celebrating – into the Body that will be broken and poured out.  In it we remember Christ’s saving work – his mission – his total self-emptying, out of love for the Father, for the world – for us.  “I have longed to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, because I tell you I shall not eat it again, until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 22:15-16)

Sacrament Preparation & Celebration at Divine Mercy

Children’s 1st Holy Communion Program

Sacraments of Initiation for Adults


Confession is an act of honesty and courage – an act of entrusting ourselves, beyond sin, to
the mercy of a loving and forgiving God.

~ St. John Paul II

Because of human weakness, we can sometimes fail as baptized believers to live up to our dignity as sons and daughters of God.  The Sacrament of Reconciliation celebrates the forgiveness and mercy of God as the sinner humbly acknowledges and confesses his or her sins.  The sacrament also repairs or reestablishes a person’s unity with and membership in the Church.  In the sacrament, the priest represents both Christ and the Church, and speaks consoling words of absolution in the name of both.  


Sacrament Preparation & Celebration at Divine Mercy

Children’s 1st Confession Program

Adults Returning to the Sacrament or Experiencing the Sacrament for the First Time


Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 

~ James 5:14-15

From our earliest tradition, outreach to those suffering from illness was understood as an important element of Christian community.  Significant to healing is the support and prayers of the faith community as well as the reintegration of the sick person into the fullness of community.  In both the Sacrament of the Sick and in the corporal act of mercy to visit the sick, we experience the intertwining of our human experience with the saving love of God.

In the celebration of the Sacrament of the Sick, there is a laying on of hand – a ancient gesture which symbolizes and confers the giving of the special grace of the Holy Spirit.  In the sacrament, the anointing with the Oil of the Infirmed marks the individual out for the Holy Spirit’s special care. 

Sacrament Preparation & Celebration at Divine Mercy

Are you in need of the Sacrament of the Sick, or know someone who could benefit from the sacrament?  Please contact the Parish Office, 709-726-9924.  

A Communal Celebration of the Sacrament of the Sick takes place at Divine Mercy Parish annually near February 11 – the World Day of Prayer for the Sick.  


Love is the most beautiful sentiment the Lord has put into the souls of men and women.

~ St. Gianna Molla

The Sacrament of Matrimony, or marriage, is a unique sacrament because it is the man and the woman that mutually administers the sacrament upon each other in the presence of a priest or deacon and other witnesses. 

It is a sacred covenant, a public promise made by the husband and the wife to be true to each other until death parts them. In order for a marriage to be valid, the couple must be entering into the covenant out of their own free will, without fear or coercion. They are also asked to honour and be true to each other for the rest of their lives, as well as to accept children lovingly from God and bring them up according to the law of Christ and His Church. 

Sacrament Preparation & Celebration at Divine Mercy

Information and Requirements for the Sacrament of Marriage

Marriage Preparation Program

Information on Previous Marriages and the Annulment Process


He made them, the vicars of his love. 

~ St. Ambrose

The Sacrament of Holy Orders continues in the Church the apostolic ministry that the Lord gave to the Apostles. This sacrament, also called Ordination, consists of three degrees: diaconal (deacons), presbyteral (priests) and episcopal (bishops). Men who are ordained receive from God the grace to carry on the mission entrusted by Christ to his Apostles – bishops and priests participating in the priesthood of Christ and deacons in his ministry of service. While it takes years of formation and experience to prepare priests and deacons for Ordination, ultimately it is Christ who works in and through them.


Sacrament Preparation & Celebration at Divine Mercy

If you or someone you know is interested in discerning a call to the priesthood, the permanent diaconate or other consecrated vocations, please speak with our pastor or contact the parish office 709-726-9924 or email


The sacraments are at the heart of our Catholic faith, and we want to encourage you to receive the sacraments as often as you are able. If you have any questions or would like to receive any of the sacraments, please contact the parish office at 709-726-9924 or email and we would be happy to assist you.