Sacraments

The Sacramental Life is an integral part of our Catholic Faith in which we celebrate Jesus' presence in our lives through ritual and symbol. The Church celebrates seven sacraments, which are divided into three categories.

  • Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, which usher us into the life of the Church.
  • Sacraments of Healing: Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick, which celebrate God's healing power.
  • Sacraments of Vocation: Marriage and Holy Orders, which help members serve the community.

Sacraments of Initiation

Baptism

Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life. Through Baptism we are freed from sin, reborn as children of God, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission.

New or expectant parents are asked to contact the church office to set up a time to attend a required preparation session. Both parents are expected to attend the session, which is designed to enrich their own understanding of the sacrament. Parents are encouraged to think about their own faith life, and how they will pass that faith on to their child. Sessions are held on an as-needed basis.

Godparents are encouraged to attend as well since they play an integral part in the Christian life of the child.

Requirements for godparents: The Church requires that at least one be:

  • 16 years or older
  • A Catholic who has received Holy Eucharist and Confirmation
  • A Catholic in good standing with the Catholic Church

Holy Eucharist

The Eucharist nourishes our life of faith. Those who gather for Mass receive God's word and the Body and Blood of Christ.

Children, those who are seven years and older, usually second grade, are instructed for this sacrament in one of two ways:

  • St. Joseph School, during school hours
  • St. Joseph Religious Education Program, Wednesday evenings at 6:30

First Communion is held during a 9:00 Sunday Mass sometime after Easter.

Adults who were baptized into the Catholic Faith, but have not received the other sacraments should contact the church office.

Confirmation

Confirmation seals our life in Jesus and empowers those who receive it with the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The Diocese of Little Rock requires teens to be at least 14 years of age by the date of Confirmation unless special permission is granted by the pastor.

St. Joseph currently offers the Sacrament of Confirmation every other year. Classes are held Wednesday evenings, 6:30-8:00, from September until the date of Confirmation. Area Catholic churches join our parish for preparation. Candidates attend a retreat and participate in a mission trip/work weekend before being confirmed. Typically, Bishop Taylor goes to individual parishes to confirm the candidates.

Sacraments of Healing

Reconciliation

In Reconciliation (Penance or Confession) we receive God's unconditional love and forgiveness.

Children, those who are seven years and older, usually second grade, are instructed for this sacrament in one of two ways:

  • St. Joseph School, during school hours
  • St. Joseph Religious Education Program, Wednesday evenings at 6:30

First Reconciliation is held on a Saturday morning, approximately a month before receiving First Communion.

Reconciliation for the Christian faithful is held before both weekend Masses, or by appointment.

Penance Services and Reconciliation are offered during Advent and Lent.

Anointing of the Sick

This sacrament gives spiritual strength and healing to those who are aged or ill by uniting their sufferings to the sufferings of Christ.

Due to patient privacy regulations, the parish is not automatically notified of hospital admissions of Catholics, so parishioners should contact the church office before hospitalization, or if a family member is unexpectedly admitted.

Contact the church office if there is an emergency during the day, or the parish number or Father's cell phone after hours. All parishioners are asked to contact the church office immediately if they feel a loved one is close to death.

Anointing of the Sick is offered after Masses one weekend quarterly for those who wish to receive the sacrament.

Sacraments of Vocation

Marriage

The Catholic Church believes and teaches that marriage is a lifelong covenant of love between a man and a woman.

The Diocese of Little Rock requires preparation for the sacrament of marriage, which typically runs over the course of several months. Couples first meet in the parish to fill out informational paperwork and to take the FOCCUS compatibility assessment. After the FOCCUS has been scored, the couple returns to discuss the results.

At this point, couples have two options:

  • Meet with a training couple within the parish 6-8 times, using the diocesan "For Better and For Ever" preparation program
  • Attend a Pre-Cana Day provided by the diocese

Beginning January 1, 2012, all engaged couples are also required to attend three sessions for instructions on Natural Family Planning.

To learn more about preparing for marriage, contact the church office at least six months before the intended wedding date. Marriage Preparation is provided on an as-need basis.

Holy Orders

Men who are ordained as priests vow to live their lives leading others to a closer union with Christ, administering the sacraments and proclaiming the Gospel.

St. Joseph includes prayers for vocations in the Prayers of the Faithful at weekend Masses.

If a young man feels that God is calling him to the priesthood or permanent diaconate, he should contact the church office or the pastor. He will then be given assistance to make the necessary contacts to pursue his vocation.