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SACRAMENTS

1210 Christ instituted the sacraments of the new law. There are seven: Baptism, Confirmation (or Chrismation), the Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony. the seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life: they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian's life of faith. There is thus a certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of the spiritual life.

1211 Following this analogy, the first chapter will expound the three sacraments of Christian initiation; the second, the sacraments of healing; and the third, the sacraments at the service of communion and the mission of the faithful. This order, while not the only one possible, does allow one to see that the sacraments form an organic whole in which each particular sacrament has its own vital place. In this organic whole, the Eucharist occupies a unique place as the "Sacrament of sacraments": "all the other sacraments are ordered to it as to their end."

CCC 1210-1211

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Baptism

Baptism brings the child into the state of sanctifying grace, making that little one a member of God's family, filled with the Holy Spirit. In Baptism the child enters the Church and the child's parent's make an act of faith on the child's behalf. 

In order for a child to be baptised in our parish, the parents must be practising Catholics who are present at Holy Mass here on a regular basis. If you are new to the area, we will ask to see you at Holy Mass for three months before your child can be baptised. This is because the promise of baptism is one of raising your child as a Catholic and we need to be certain that this is your intention. There will also be some short preparation sessions with the Parish Priest and the catechetical team prior to the Baptism. These sessions will allow you to ask questions regarding the sacrament and on the promises you will make before God on your child's behalf.

 

If you are interested in your baby being baptised, introduce yourself after Holy Mass on Sunday, or come along to the 'parish surgery' sessions advertised in the weekly newsletter. please note that at least one parent must be Catholic. Moreover, at least one God Parent must be a practising Catholic who attends mass in his/her parish every Sunday.

For the Baptism of older children (older than 5), please contact the Parish Office directly.

For the Baptism of adults, please see the information under Become a Catholic

BAPTISM
1ST COMMUNION
First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion Programme

Holy Communion is the true and real presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Catholics hold that this is not a symbolic truth but a reality, that at Holy Mass, the bread stops being bread and becomes Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is an amazing thing to be able to receive Jesus so intimately and it certainly takes preparation. In truth, none of us are ever truly aware of what is taking place when we receive Holy Communion and the Blessed Sacrament always remains a mystery. 

This being the case, it is still important that we try our best to ensure that the Catholic children, who have reached the age of reason, have at least some teaching on this great truth of our Holy Faith. 

The parents of children who are eligible to begin the Holy Communion program will be approached by the Parish Priest or Catechetical team. We will know you because you will already be attending Holy Mass every Sunday. With you, we will be rejoicing to see your little one growing up and looking forward to that wonderful occasion when he or she will receive Jesus for the first time. 

If you are new to the area then you will need to be part of our community for a few months before your child can begin preparation classes, if the classes have already begun then your child will wait for the following year.

 

Because all Catholic have to be in the state of grace in order to receive Holy Communion, our children experience the Sacrament of Confession a short while before their day of First Holy Communion. Of course, whilst your little one will hardly have small sins to bring to the Lord in confession, we make the sacrament of confession at this point so the child always knows that confession comes before communion. Even if we do not need to go to confession before every Holy Communion, we do need to go if we are conscious of having committed a mortal sin and it is a good practice in for spiritual growth to go to confession at least once a month.

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Confirmation

The Sacrament of Confirmation is when a Baptised person takes on the responsibility of their faith for themselves and are strengthened by the Holy Spirit to live as a soldier for Christ. It is celebrated every other year by the Bishop. Usually the sacrament is received by teenagers at about the age of 14 and is preceded by a course of classes. Because this sacrament is about being strengthened by Christ to be His soldier in the world it is only received by Practising Catholics who are attending Holy Mass every week. The priest or catechetical team member will invite your child to consider beginning the classes when he/she has reached the appropriate age. 

Marriage

6 months’ notice of marriage is required by the Diocese.
Please contact the Parish Office to arrange a meeting with the priest in charge

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MARRIAGE
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Confessions

Confession is so important in the life of a Catholic. At St. Dunstan's we try to make this sacrament easily available. See newsletter for details. The best times to ask are 10 minutes before any weekday mass or straight after a mass. Don't be afraid to approach Fr and ask, you will not be refused. If you cannot make these times or want to make a precise appointment please email or phone.

CONFESSION
The Anointing of the Sick

This is one of the sacraments of healing in which Christ is present to the person and comes to heal the body, soul and mind. The priest prays over the person and anoints them with oil. Its biblical foundations are from James 5:15.

This sacrament is intended for those seriously ill (rather than those who are at the point of death or in their last hour) and is especially appropriate for those who need the graces of the sacrament for strength and peace.  

If you or Catholic you know is going for an operation or going under general anaesthetic or in need of the sacrament, please contact the priest through the parish office.

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ANOINTING OF THE SICK
RCIA
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