Sacraments

          The Catholic catechism defines sacraments as “efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us.”  Having ascended to heaven, Christ now acts through the sacraments to bestow his grace, which finds its origin in his cross and confers the divine life of his resurrection.  There are seven sacraments celebrated in the Catholic Church.  We classify them as sacraments of initiation (baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist), sacraments of healing (reconciliation, anointing of the sick), and sacraments of  vocation (marriage, holy orders). 

          “Receive the sacraments” is a prescription for living a healthy Catholic life.  By that is meant:  receive the age-appropriate sacraments and then continue receiving the two sacraments of reconciliation and Eucharist regularly throughout the entirety of life.  Typically a child raised in the faith community receives baptism within a few months after birth, reconciliation in 2nd grade, First Eucharist later in 2nd grade, and Confirmation in 11th grade.