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The Catechism of the Catholic Church CCC 1116 states that Sacraments are “powers that come forth” from the Body of Christ, which is ever living and life giving. They are actions of the Holy Spirit at work in his Body, the Church. They are “the masterworks of God” in the new and everlasting covenant.
A Sacrament is an outward sign of receiving the grace of God. Instituted by Christ himself, the seven Sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of a Christian’s spiritual life.
The font from which all Sacraments draw their power is the paschal mystery: the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ. The Sacraments sanctify the Body of Christ: the Church; giving birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian’s life of faith. (see also Vat II : SC 59 and 61)
We learn about the world through our senses. The Sacramental signs are perceptible to our human senses: sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. We are spoken to, washed, anointed, embraced, and fed. God uses the natural world to reveal His divine purpose.
The Seven Sacraments of the Church and guidelines to be noted are as follows:
Baptism is the Sacrament of spiritual rebirth and initiation into the Christian faith. Through the symbolic action of washing with water and the use of appropriate ritualistic formula, the baptized person is cleansed of all sins and incorporated into Christ. He / she becomes a member of the Church and receive the graces of supernatural life. Baptism is known as ‘Gateway to the Sacraments’. Hence only a validly baptized person can receive all the other sacraments in the church. Therefore, it is important that every child that is born of Catholic parents must be baptized as soon as possible.
Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole of Christian life – the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua) 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: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word”. CCC 1215: This sacrament is also called “the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit,” for it signifies and actually brings about the birth of water and the Spirit without which no one “can enter the kingdom of God”. CCC 1216: “This bath is called enlightenment, because those who receive this (catechetical) instruction are enlightened in their understanding…” Having received in Baptism the Word, “the true light that enlightens every man,” the person baptized has been “enlightened,” he becomes a “son of light,” indeed, he becomes “light” himself.
Baptism is God’s most beautiful and magnificent gift… We call it grace, anointing, enlightenment, garment of immortality, bath of rebirth, royalty, seal… It is called gift because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own; grace since it is given even to the guilty; Baptism because sin is buried in the water; anointing for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed; enlightenment because it radiates light; clothing since it veils our shame; bath because it washes; and seal as it is our guard and the sign of God’s Lordship.
Baptism of Infants (Pre-Baptism Catechesis)
The Pre-baptism Catechesis aims to catechise parents who wants to baptise their child in the Church. It is compulsory for all parents seeking baptism for their child to participate in this course and obtain a certificate of completion.
The course consist of 4 sessions conducted on 4 consecutive Fridays of the month and are quarterly conducted in the entire year beginning from July, November and March. A team of trained catechists conduct the sessions.The course consist of interactive sessions which helps couples to enrich their faith and bring awareness in the upbringing of infants. The sessions cover topics on parenting, child care and bonding in the formative years of the child.
Priest-in-Charge: Fr. Nasli Reporter.
Lay Co-ordinators: Sr. Bernedine (SCB), Bro. Christi, Goldie Dias, Joaquim and Sherol D’souzaAshley and Samntha, Savio and Meena Fernandes and Lumen Gonsalves.
The pre-baptism team is set up to prepare new parents for the sacrament of their child’s baptism. It has been made mandatory, because of the high importance placed on building family faith. The preparatory course not only focuses on the religious significance of the sacrament, but also extends to imparting tools for parents to bring up their children firm in the catholic faith.
The course talks about adapting to the changes that married life brings with it, faith formation within the family, the role of god-parenting and the rites of baptism. This could be a four hour course conducted over two days. We advise that both parents along with the godparents attend this course during the early stages of pregnancy to avoid any inconvenience to the mothers-to-be. Announcements regarding the same are done in the church. This process is a wonderful opportunity for parents, godparents and family to rejoice in the great grace of Baptism and prepare to renew their own baptismal vows.
Prior to scheduling the date of Baptism, please bring to the Parish Office the following documents:
- Xerox copy of Hospital Discharge paper or Municipal Birth Certificate
- Xerox copy of Church Marriage Certificate of Parents of the child to be baptized
- In the case of a Mixed Marriage, the original “No Objection” Letter of a non-Catholic Parent for baptism of the child must be given in writing
- Xerox copy of Pre-Baptism training programme certificate of Parents and God Parents. Pre-Baptism training programme can be completed in any Catholic Church.
Baptism is administered on all Sundays by prior appointment (at the Parish Office) except on certain nominated Sundays. The Baptism Rite begins at 11.15 am. Please be punctual.
Parents are expected to be present for the Baptismal Ceremony. God Parents (only Catholics) must also be present for the Baptismal Ceremony, unless they in writing nominate a proxy. Kindly also bring a decorated candle for the Baptismal Ceremony
Adults desiring to join the faith should follow the Adult Catechumenate programme (RCIA) being conducted by the Diocesan Catechetical Centre over the period of one year. Only after the completion of the RCIA course, the adult baptism will take place at the Easter Vigil Service. The RCIA course starts every year in June. More info is available at the Parish Office or with the priests.
First Holy Communion
According to CCC 1322 – The Holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. The Eucharist is the very sacrifice of the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus which he instituted to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until his return in glory. Thus he entrusted to his Church this memorial of his death and Resurrection. It is 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.
Jesus instituted the Eucharist on Holy Thursday “the night on which he was betrayed” (1 Corinthians 11:23), as he celebrated the Last Supper with his apostles. After he had gathered with his apostles in the Cenacle, Jesus took bread in his hands. He broke it and gave it to them saying, “Take this and eat it, all of you; this is my Body which will be given up for you”. Then, he took the cup of wine in his hands and said, “Take this and drink of this, all of you. This is the cup of my Blood, the Blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgive. Do this in memory of me”.
CCC 1324 gives – What does the Eucharist represent:- It is the source and summit of all Christian life. In the Eucharist, the sanctifying action of God in our regard and our worship of him reach their high point. It contains the whole spiritual good of the Church, Christ himself. Communion with divine life and the unity of the People of God are both expressed and effected by the Eucharist. Through the Eucharistic celebration we are united already with the liturgy of heaven and we have a foretaste of eternal life.
A baptized Catholic is eligible to receive the First Eucharist and the child must be our parishioner, studying in Std IV in the current school academic year or at a later age, for certain reasons. Registration begins in the first week of June annually.
Along with the prescribed nominal Registration Fee, a Xerox copy of the child’s Baptism Certificate and a Xerox copy of the Parents’ Marriage Certificate is to be attached while filling in the Registration Form. The child must compulsorily attend the Children’s Mass every Sunday at 9.00 am in the Church followed by class from 10.00 am to 11.00 am in the school building.
The date for administering the First Eucharist will be communicated to the Parents at the first meeting in June, unless specified otherwise. The parents are expected to be present for all ceremonies when required.
Reconciliation / Confessions
The Catechism of the Catholic Church States (CCC): “the forgiveness of sins committed after Baptism is conferred by a particular sacrament, called the sacrament of conversion, confession, penance, or reconciliation.” (CCC 1486)
“Those who approach the Sacrament of penance obtain pardon through God’s mercy for the offenses committed against Him, and are at the same time, reconciled with the church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer, labours for their conversion.” (LG 11.2)
“The movement of return to God entails sorrow for and abhorrence of sins committed, and the firm resolves to sin no more in the future. Conversion touches the past and the future, and is nourished by hope in God’s mercy.” (CCC 1489-90)
CCC 1425-1426, 1484 state – Since the new life of grace received in Baptism does not abolish the weakness of human nature nor the inclination to sin (that is, concupiscence), Christ instituted this sacrament for the conversion of the baptized who have been separated from him by sin. According to CCC 1485 – The risen Lord instituted this sacrament on the evening of Easter when he showed himself to his apostles and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20:22-23).
CCC 1422 – “Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example and by prayer labors for their conversion.”
Before celebrating the Sacrament of Penance, one should prepare oneself with an examination of conscience, which involves reflecting prayerfully on one’s thoughts, words, and deeds in order to identify any sins.
Structure of Confession
The normal practice for administration of the Sacrament of penance is in private with only the penitent and the priest present.
To begin, the penitent kneels and, by custom, says: “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned”, and may add, “It has been (Time) since my last confession” and begins his/her confession.
After hearing the confession, the priest assigns a penance, and the penitent accepts the penance with the prayer.
The Sacrament concludes with the Absolution granted by the priest in God’s name.
- Priests are available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation every Saturday from 6.00 pm to 6.45 pm in the Church.
- Priests are also available at other times, by prior appointment.
CCC 1290 explains – The essential rite of Confirmation is the anointing with Sacred Chrism (oil mixed with balsam and consecrated by the bishop), which is done by the laying on of the hand of the minister who pronounces the sacramental words proper to the rite. In the West this anointing is done on the forehead of the baptized with the words, “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit”. In the Eastern Churches of the Byzantine rite this anointing is also done on other parts of the body with the words, “The seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit”.
CCC 1302-1305, 1316-1317 states – The effect of Confirmation is a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit like that of Pentecost. This outpouring impresses on the soul an indelible character and produces a growth in the grace of Baptism. It roots the recipient more deeply in divine sonship, binds him more firmly to Christ and to the Church and reinvigorates the gifts of the Holy Spirit in his soul. It gives a special strength to witness to the Christian faith. Confirmation helps us to conform more closely to Christ. It calls us to accept a sense of mission to be sent out to the world to be a living vital witness to the teaching of Jesus Christ.
The purpose is to initiate our Catholic youth in building their faith stronger in Jesus Christ and awakening their faith to serve His Church through a curriculum drafted by the Archdiocese. As the Catholic youth matures and becomes a candidate for Confirmation the preparations assist the child to encounter the grace of God through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Confirmation is a compulsory Sacrament to be administered in order to be eligible for further Sacraments like Matrimony, etc.
Any baptized Catholic is eligible to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation and the child must be our parishioner, studying in Std XI in the current school/college academic year or at a later age, for certain reasons. Registration begins in the first week of June annually.
Along with the prescribed nominal Registration Fee, a Xerox copy of the child’s Baptism Certificate and a Xerox copy of the Parents’ Marriage Certificate is to be attached while filling in the Registration Form. The child must compulsorily attend any of the Masses from Saturday evening to Sunday evening in our Church and class every Sunday from 8.30 am to 10.00 am in the School Hall.
The date for administering the Sacrament of Confirmation will be communicated to the Parents at the first meeting in June or when held.
CCC 1601-1605 states – God who is love and who created man and woman for love has called them to love. By creating man and woman he called them to an intimate communion of life and of love in marriage: “So that they are no longer two, but one flesh” (Matthew 19:6). God said to them in blessing “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28).
CCC 1659-1660 declares – The marital union of man and woman, which is founded and endowed with its own proper laws by the Creator, is by its very nature ordered to the communion and good of the couple and to the generation and education of children. According to the original divine plan this conjugal union is indissoluble, as Jesus Christ affirmed: “What God has joined together, let no man put as under” (Mark 10:9).
What is required when one of the spouses is not a Catholic?
CCC1633-1637 talks of – A mixed marriage (between a Catholic and a baptized non-Catholic) needs for liceity the permission of ecclesiastical authority. In a case of disparity of cult (between a Catholic and a non-baptized person) a dispensation is required for validity. In both cases, it is essential that the spouses do not exclude the acceptance of the essential ends and properties of marriage. It is also necessary for the Catholic party to accept the obligation, of which the non-Catholic party has been advised, to persevere in the faith and to assure the baptism and Catholic education of their children.
“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” (Code of Canon Law, c. 1055, §1).
Because Christian marriage is a sacrament, the Catholic Church wants couples to be well-prepared. So it is mandatory for all couples entering into the Sacrament of marriage to complete the Marriage preparation course. Couples planning to marry should contact the Parish Office at least SIX MONTHS before their anticipated wedding date to begin the marriage preparation process.
Those intending to get married should first contact and get registered for the Marriage Preparation Course conducted by:
Snehalaya Family Service Centre,
Victoria Church Campus, Near Sitladevi Temple,
Lady Jamshedji Road, Mahim (West), Mumbai – Mumbai 400 016
Contact: Monday to Saturday, Daily but closed on Public and Church Holidays. They are open for online telephone contact, but visits to the Office can only be done by prior appointments.
Timings: Mornings: 10.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and Evenings: 3.00 to 5.30 p.m.
Phone: +91 (022) 214448218
The couple is should carry along their Baptism Certificate, register for the course convenient to you, attend the course along with your fiancé, obtain the Certificate issued by the Family Service Centre on completion of the course and then only you may approach any of the priest on duty in the Parish Office. Only then will the wedding be registered in the Mass Diary.
Nuptials are celebrated in our Church on any weekday (outside of Lent) at 5.00 pm and on Sunday at the scheduled 5.00 pm Mass. The same can be booked at the Parish Office in consultation and with the approval of the Priest on duty. Guidelines to be followed at the time of the Nuptials are to be strictly adhered to. Make sure you take a copy of the same at the time of booking of your wedding mass.
If the couple being joined in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony wishes to have their own Priest bless their nuptials (one not belonging to the Parish Team of Priests), please ensure that the Priest being invited sends a letter in writing, well in advance, requesting for the necessary delegation.
Due to the heavy demand for time-slots from our own parishioners, our Church is not available to non-parishioners. There can be more than one nuptial at a wedding mass. However, Mixed Marriages and Sacramental Marriages cannot be held together.
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 (Vat II). Canon 529 lays down that a priest is to strive to serve the people entrusted to his care with diligence and humility and be the presence of Christ among God’s people.
CCC 1533-1535 says this sacrament confers a special grace for a particular mission in the Church to serve and build up the People of God. It contributes in a special way to ecclesial communion and to the salvation of others. CCC 1536 – It 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. CCC 1537-1538 – Orders designates an ecclesial body into which one enters by means of a special consecration (ordination). Through a special gift of the Holy Spirit, this sacrament enables the ordained to exercise a sacred power in the name and with the authority of Christ for the service of the People of God.
The normal period of preparation is approximately 8 years. This sacrament confers a special grace for a particular mission in the Church to serve and build up the People of God. It contributes in a special way to ecclesial communion and to the salvation of others. It 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.
The Permanent Diaconate
The Permanent Diaconate is open to married and single men who are at least 35 years old. Men who are ordained receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders. The term “permanent” means that a man is ordained a deacon for life, as opposed to the “transitional” deacon who becomes a priest. Further information is available at the Vocation Office at St Pius College, Goregaon East. Those boys and girls interested in giving their lives to Christ may contact the Priest in charge there.
Young boys and girls having an interest to become Priests/Nuns or to join Religious Life may contact any of the Parish Fathers for guidance/assistance.
Anointing of the Sick
CCC 1503 describes – The compassion of Jesus toward the sick and his many healings of the infirm were a clear sign that with him had come the Kingdom of God and therefore victory over sin, over suffering, and over death. By his own passion and death he gave new meaning to our suffering which, when united with his own, can become a means of purification and of salvation for us and for others.
CCC 1506 maintains – Having received from the Lord the charge to heal the sick, the Church strives to carry it out by taking care of the sick and accompanying them with her prayer of intercession. Above all, the Church possesses a sacrament specifically intended for the benefit of the sick. This sacrament was instituted by Christ and is attested by Saint James: “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call in the presbyters of the Church and let them pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14-15).
CCC 1514 states – Any member of the faithful can receive this sacrament as soon as he or she begins to be in danger of death because of sickness or old age. The faithful who receive this sacrament can receive it several times if their illness becomes worse or another serious sickness afflicts them. The celebration of this sacrament should, if possible, be preceded individual confession on the part of the sick person.
CCC 1520-23 allows – This sacrament to be received by those who are ill or suffering. By the sacred anointing and the prayer of the priest, the whole Church commends those who are sick to Christ. The sick person receives the Holy Spirit’s gifts of strength, faith, peace, and courage, and his or her suffering is united with the suffering of Christ for the building up of the Church. Communion to the Sick and Home bound – Extraordinary Ministers of Communion are also available to bring the Eucharist to those in the hospital or nursing home, and to the home bound.
This is no longer referred to as the Sacrament of Extremeunction. It is now called the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick – a sacrament of healing. This Sacrament is administered to any Baptized Catholic who is sick and is in need of prayers and anointing. Please do not wait for a person to be on the ‘point of death’ to call for a Priest.
Priests are always available to administer this sacrament to any Baptized Catholic who so requests for this sacrament. Do contact the Priest on Duty. Kindly inform the Priest of the Patient’s condition, e.g. if the person can swallow, in the case of Holy Communion.