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 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
First Holy Communion/First Reconciliation
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 through our Parish Religious Education Program. The First Holy Communion Class is a 2 years preparation program, requiring regular attendance for 2 consecutive years. Candidates must also furnish PRE Director with their baptismal certificate. Dates for First Holy Communion and First Reconciliation will be announced at the beginning of the PRE year.
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. Mary's currently offers the Sacrament of Confirmation every other year. Confirmation class is a 2 year program. In order to receive this sacrament, each candidate must regularly attend class for 2 consecutive years as well as a weekend retreat just prior to confirmation. Typically, Bishop Taylor goes to individual parishes to confirm the candidates. Dates will be announced at the beginning of the PRE year.
Sacraments of Healing
In Reconciliation (Penance or Confession) we receive God's unconditional love and forgiveness.
Reconciliation for the Christian faithful is held before both weekend Masses, or by appointment.
Penance Services and Reconciliation are typically 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.
Sacraments of Vocation
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.
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.
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.
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.