Sacraments – Signs of God’s Grace in our Life
We recognize that the Sacraments have a visible and invisible reality, a reality open to all the human senses but grasped in its God-given depths with the eyes of faith. When parents hug their children, for example, the visible reality we see is the hug. The invisible reality the hug conveys is love. We cannot “see” the love the hug expresses, though sometimes we can see its nurturing effect in the child.
The visible reality we see in the Sacraments is their outward expression, the form they take, and the way in which they are administered and received. The invisible reality we cannot “see” is God’s grace, his gracious initiative in redeeming us through the death and Resurrection of his Son. His initiative is called grace because it is the free and loving gift by which he offers people a share in his life, and shows us his favor and will for our salvation. Our response to the grace of God’s initiative is itself a grace or gift from God by which we can imitate Christ in our daily lives.
The saving words and deeds of Jesus Christ are the foundation of what he would communicate in the Sacraments through the ministers of the Church. Guided by the Holy Spirit, the Church recognizes the existence of Seven Sacraments instituted by the Lord. They are the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist), the Sacraments of Healing (Penance and the Anointing of the Sick), and the Sacraments at the Service of Communion (Marriage and Holy Orders). Through the Sacraments, God shares his holiness with us so that we, in turn, can make the world holier. (from USCCB.org)
SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION
New and expectant parents who are preparing to present their child for baptism are invited to take part in a preliminary session, where veteran parents encourage them to better understand their role as the first educators of their children in the faith. This session is offered on a monthly basis, and new parents can register by calling the Rectory. ‘Veteran’ parents who would like to consider being part of this mentor ministry, please contact the Parish Office at 716-836-0011.
Eucharist (First Communion at Mass)
Grade 3 receive the Sacrament of Eucharist in May. There is an informational meeting for parents held in January. Parents are asked to work on a specially chosen book with their children. We follow up with extra material in class and then the children attend a special retreat day. Rehearsal is done typically a week before and we offer the families a choice of 2 different liturgies for their child to receive First Communion.
We offer Confirmation to any 11th grader who has completed our Grade 10 program or completed Grade 10 in a Catholic school. It is a 4 week program that begins in September. The students must attend an all day retreat, do required service hours and complete an interview. Confirmation at St. Amelia’s is celebrated in mid – late November by one of the Bishops from our Diocese.
For Adult Confirmation, St. Amelia Parish conducts 6 sessions at 7 pm on Tuesdays during September, October and November. This preparation is for adults who have made their First Communion and are practicing Catholics but missed Confirmation. (By practicing we mean that you are faithfully following the Teachings of the Church and regularly attending Mass). Confirmation typically takes place in November.
SACRAMENTS OF SERVICE
Our pastor would be happy to meet with you to plan this sacramental celebration. Please contact the Rectory Office at least six months ahead to make an appointment to schedule your wedding; and to arrange for Pre-Cana sessions to prepare for your upcoming marriage.
If you receive a calling to serve with Christ as his brother or sister, please contact the Diocese of Buffalo’s Vocation office 716.847.5535
SACRAMENTS OF HEALING
The reception of Penance is normally done in Grade 2 here at St. Amelia’s. There is an informational parent meeting in October and a book for parents to work on with their children. We follow up with a retreat day and then celebrate Penance on a Tuesday evening in March.
Anointing of the Sick
If you or a loved one is in need of the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick please contact the Rectory Office to make arrangements for a priest to meet with your or make a visit to your home, healthcare facility, or the hospital. We can bring communion and hear your confession as well as offer an Anointing. This sacrament is also available to anyone facing serious surgeries or dealing with physical or mental health situations.