The English word "sacrament" is derived indirectly from the EcclesiasticalLatin sacrāmentum, from Latin sacrō ("hallow, consecrate"), from sacer ("sacred, holy"). In Ancient Rome, the term meant a soldier's oath of allegiance, and also a sacred rite. Tertullian, a third-century Christian writer, suggested that, just as the soldier's oath was a sign of the beginning of a new life, so too was initiation into the Christian community through Baptism and Eucharist.

 (ref. Roo, William A. van (1992). The Christian Sacrament. Roma: Ed. Pontificia Univ. Gregoriana. p. 37. ISBN 8876526528)


From the beginning of Christianity, the Church has celebrated some of the important ‘moments’ or milestones in our lives. These are peak moments in our lives and for each one we have public rituals in the Church – known as Sacraments – when we ask to be blessed with God’s grace.


The Church has singled out seven of these important occasions when, in words and symbolic actions, we publicly celebrate God being with us (Emmanuel).  These ‘sacraments’ are: 


  • Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist (the sacraments of initiation); 
  • Penance/Reconciliation and Anointing  (the sacraments of healing); 
  • Marriage and Orders/Ordination (the sacraments of commitment).


Sacraments in the Catholic Church are occasions for experiencing God’s saving presence. When celebrated, the Sacraments are visible outward expressions of God touching us with His healing grace.


For further information on each Sacrament, please follow the links on the Sacraments pane above. 


Should you require any further information please contact either Fr Gildea or Deacon Jim McGraw.