As Catholics, one of the most profound ways we encounter Jesus Christ is in the Sacraments. The sacraments are signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. There are seven sacraments.
- The Sacraments of Initiation are Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist
- The Sacraments of Healing are Penance/Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick
- The Sacraments at the Service of Communion are Holy Orders and Matrimony
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Baptism signifies the baby’s entrance into the Church, becoming adopted children of the Father. The community of believers and the parents make a commitment to care for and teach this child as he or she is raised in the Catholic faith.
The person being baptized is anointed with two oils; the oil of catechumens is put on the chest, and chrism is put on the top of the head. Oil is a symbol of strength and healing.
A candle is lit during the celebration. This shows that the person baptized is asked to keep the flame of faith alive in his or her heart.
Through Baptism a person receives forgiveness of original sin as well as personal sins. The newly baptized person receives sanctifying grace and is sealed with a permanent spiritual mark. This is why Baptism can be celebrated only once.
Reconciliation is held at St. Helen’s on Saturday from 4:30 to 5:00 PM in the church (Except Holy Saturday) or by appointment.
The steps to reconciliation are:
- The priest greets us and we pray the sign of the cross
- We confess our sins. The priest may counsel us.
- The priest gives us a penance which maybe prayers to pray or an act of kindness to go forth and perform.
- The priest asks us to pray the Act of Contrition
- We receive absolution. The priest says, “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” We respond Amen
- The priest dismisses us by saying “Go in Peace”
Jesus says, “I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)
The liturgy of the Eucharist is celebrated during the mass. Members of our community bring forward our gifts of bread and wine for which we give thanks to God and give God praise: “Blessed be God forever!”
The Eucharistic Celebration is set in the context of prayers and acclamations that recall God’s loving deeds on our behalf, culminating in the death and resurrection of Jesus. In the course of the Eucharistic Prayer, we invoke the power of the Holy Spirit to transform these gifts of bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus. We then ask the Spirit to enable us to become “one body, one spirit, in Christ.” Together we respond Amen.
We pray the Lord’s Prayer and then give expression to our true feelings toward one another, family, friends and strangers alike: “Peace be with you!” In this spirit of love and friendship, we approach the Table of the Lord to eat and drink the Body and Blood of Christ together.
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In the sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized person is “sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit” and is strengthened for service to the Body of Christ.
St. Helen’s has a two year confirmation program in which the candidates are confirmed in the 10th grade. For more information on this please contact Mr. Michael Fusco.
Confirmation deepens our baptismal grace. Through Confirmation our personal relationship with Jesus Christ is strengthened. The Holy Spirit bestows seven gifts ~ wisdom, understanding, knowledge, right judgement, courage, reverance and wonder and awe~ to assist us in being a better witness to Christ in the world.
The Vocation of Marriage is the divine call to show forth the love of God for the world in the love of husband and wife for each other. The bride and the groom at the wedding are themselves the “ministers” of this sacrament. For Roman Catholics, a priest or deacon must witness the marriage with two other witnesses (normally the best man and maid of honor). The couple should contact the church office at least one year before the proposed date of the wedding, and before plans are made for a reception or other arrangements. This will allow sufficient time for the marriage preparation program. For more information contact Gail Laughlin.
or (908)232-1214 x116
The Catholic Church is blessed to have the service of numerous dedicated priests. The Sacrament of Holy Orders - one of the two Sacraments at the Service of Communion - celebrates the ordination of men as bishops, priests, and deacons.
To speak to someone about a vocation to the Priesthood, Diaconate or Religious Life, please call the Vocations Office at (973)497-4368, visit the Vocations Website (Click Here) or speak to any of the parish staff.
Anointing of the Sick
We want to help anyone who cannot celebrate Mass with us because of illness, age or handicap. If you or a family member wishes to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Eucharist or Anointing of the Sick at home, please call the Parish Center (908)232-1214. By law, hospitals cannot notify us when parishioners are admitted. If you or a family member is hospitalized, please notify us. Urgent calls will be attended at any time of the day or night.