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What Catholics Believe

Catholics believe in the Seven Sacraments, sacred signs instituted by Christ that give us grace (a sharing in God’s life). A summary of each of the sacraments follows:

 

Baptism

Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “aptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.

To schedule your child’s baptism, please contact Krista in the church office at (205) 251-1279 or Krista@stpaulsbhm.org.

 

Confirmation

The reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. For by the sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.

For more information about Confirmation requirements, contact Barbara, our DRE, at (205) 251-1279 or DRE@stpaulsbhm.org.

 

Holy Eucharist

The Holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation participate with the whole community in the Lord’s own sacrifice by means of the Eucharist. At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet “in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.”

The Catholic Church does not practice inter-communion. Communion, for us, presupposes union in Church membership, belief, and also proper spiritual preparedness. Non-Catholics may participate in Catholic services, but are invited to remain in their pews at the time of Holy Communion. If they wish to come forward in the communion line, they should cross their arms over their chest when they approach the minister, who will give them a blessing instead.

For more information about First Holy Communion requirements, contact Barbara, our DRE, at (205) 251-1279 or DRE@stpaulsbhm.org.

 

Confession/Penance/Reconciliation

Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offenses they committed against him. At the same time, they are reconciled with the Church, which they have wounded by their sins, and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion.

For more information about First Confession requirements, contact Barbara, our DRE, at (205) 251-1279 or DRE@stpaulsbhm.org.

 

Anointing of the Sick

By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests the whole Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them. And indeed, she exhorts them to contribute to the good of the People of God by freely uniting themselves to the Passion and death of Christ.

For more information about the Anointing of the Sick, contact one of the priests (preferably in person). Anointing is ordinarily preceded by Confession. In case of emergency, call anytime, day or night, to request that a priest come — (205) 251-1279.

 

Holy Matrimony

The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.

To schedule your wedding at the Cathedral of St. Paul and/or do your pre-marriage preparation, contact Mrs. Megan Wyatt at (205) 251-1279 or Weddings@stpaulsbhm.org.

 

Holy Orders

Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate.

Baptized male parishioners who wonder if they might be called to the holy priesthood are warmly invited to speak with Father Jerabek (best in person), who will gladly help them through their discernment and see what the next step may be. Older married gentlemen (35 or older) who think they may be called to the Permanent Diaconate are likewise invited to speak with Father Jerabek.