Sacramental Preparation

What is a Sacrament? Are they just extra things we Catholics do, sort of a "rite of passage"? What good are they to us? 

Sacraments are "effacacious signs of grace instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us through the work of the holy Spirit" (Catechism definition).

What does that mean? It means that they are outward signs of inward graces. For instance, water is an outward sign, but it really does baptize a believer into the life of Christ by washing away their sin, and giving them the power of the Holy Spirit and grace so that they can life successfully as a Christian. 

For sacraments to be effective, there must be two parts: The Sacrament must be celebrated according to the directives of the Church -that is, the right words and "things" (like water for Baptism, oils for Annointing the sick, readings from Sacred Scripture, etc) must be used. The other part is our openness, which is called "disposition": Are we fully open to the work that God wants to do in our heart? Do we understand the Sacrament and willing to unwrap it each day of our life, making it activly a part of our life?

The preparation we ask you to do is not a hoop we want you to jump through: it is an opportunity to say "Yes" to God and prepare yourself to receive Him, the Almighty God, in these Sacraments. He wishes to live in and through you, so He asks you to say "Yes" fully to His invitation and graces that He makes available to you. As part of the preparation you do, think of ways that you can be and remain open to all that God has for you. For He has so much good for you - most especially through His Sacraments!

 

The Sacrament of Marriage

Congratulations! You have found love and we are delighted for you. We want to help you prepare to have the best life possible, so please contact our Pastor, Fr John, at least nine months in advance of the proposed wedding date. You can contact him through the parish offices at (517) 393-3030. 

 

Infant Baptism

You have had a baby-congratulations! 
Baptizing your baby is an important moment both in your life and in the life of your child. When you have your child baptized, they become a child of God and enter into the life of Christ. Through baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God. It is the sacrament which gives us access to every other sacrament. Giving your child the very life of God is the best give you can give to them. 

One parent, when asked during the Baptism what they wanted for their child replied "to be rescued". That is, to be rescued from Satan and the dominion of sin that we are all born with. Baptism washes us and claims us for Christ: we are truly made new creationss and sons and daughters of God thruogh baptism. 

First, contact Jen Brown either by email (brownj@ihmlansing.org) to set up a meeting to go over your information. 

Second, during COVID we are unable to hold classs in person, so it will all be done with online classes.  It is highly recommended that the Godparents join you so that they are able to hear and see what you are hearing and seeing. Their role is to help you raise your child in the Christian Faith. At least one of the Godparents must be a Catholic in good standing and regularly practices their faith and have received the Sacrament of Confirmation. Please be sure to have their parish send us proof of both before the Baptism takes place. *Remember: you will want to choose people who will help you open the gift of faith in your child's life and to help your children walk with Jesus and His Church. 

Third, choose a baptismal date! Again, because of COVID we have to limit Baptisms to immediate family and the Godparents, but you are welcome to live-stream the event for friends and other family members. 

Baptism is the entry point in to a life of faith. Commit yourself and your family to helping your little one hear God's voice in their life and know His love. You have made a promise before God and his Church to raise your child in the faith and we are here to help you do that. We have many opportunities for you to grow in your own faith so that you can help your child-Mom's Group, Women's Discipleship Group, Men's Discipleship Group, Bible Studies, the Adoration Chapel, regular reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Eucharist-all of these things help you grow so that you can help your family grow. Be sure to take advantage of these offerings and the community you will find in these opportunities. We want to walk with you and we need you in our journies as well!

Baptism Dates
Baptisms are on certain Sunday afternoons at 1pm in the Church. When you come for your Baptism prep you can let Jen know what date you would like to have your little one Baptized. 

 

First Reconciliation and First Communion for Children


It is widely recognized that 7 is the "age of reason" meaning that most 7 year olds know what is right and what is wrong as well as how to regulate their behavior. Many families choose to prepare their child when they are 7, or are in the 2nd grade. Some children may be ready earlier, some later-it will be up to the parents to discern if their child is ready to begin preparing to learn how to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation on a regular basis as well as able to receive Jesus Christ in the Eucharist at Mass. 

This year (Fall 2020-Spring 2021) we will be giving parents the tools to prepare for their child's First Reconciliation and First Communion. The curriculum that we will be using is called Signs of Grace. FFF Families will be doing it in and home and IHM School families will do it in the classroom. I am available to all families for any questions or assistance that they may need. You are not alone! 

You can download the schedule to help you stay on track as well as dates for each of the retreats and celebrations here. 

Please Note: Please keep in mind that it is the policy IHM parish that children must be enrolled in Family Faith Formation or Parish School for one year before preparing for and receiving First Reconciliation/Euchrist. 
 

Mentors
During these times when we cannot be together we wanted to provide you with parishioner who will be available to you and for you. Depending on how many mentors are available, we are going to start with the Family Faith Formation parents and then provide for the school families, since the school families have a natural community among themselves, already. 

Mentors are trained to simply walk alongside you and be your friend. You can ask their advice and wisdom, share your struggles with them and ask them to pray with and for you. They are your ally and advocate. 

Register your child for First Reconciliation and First Communion preparation here.

 

 

Confirmation

When adults enter the Church they receive the Sacraments of Baptism, First Eucharist and Confirmation all at the same time. That is because these are all "initiation sacraments"- they are all needed for full reception into the life of Christ. 

The Sacrament of Confirmation is not the "sacrament of decision" or an "adult decision to be Catholic". It is a completion of the sacramental graces you received at your Baptism. "By the sacrament of Confirmation the baptized are more perfectly bound to the Church abd arem as trye witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed". (Catechism #1285) By receiving this Sacrament you are completing your initiation into the Church, which means you are willing to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ and all that he teaches and that you are willing and able to take on the mission of the Church which is to make disciples of all nations. 

We want to help you prepare to receive this sacrament and ask that you take this preparation with seriousness and intent. We want to help you strengthen your relationship with Christ and help you live out your Baptismal graces. Confirmation gives us the gifts and power to take on the mission of Christ: to bring His light, love and mercy to the world. 

Register for Confirmation preparation here. 

 

Adult Sacramental Preparation

If you are an adult and in need of completing your Sacraments, please contact Leah Hinman and she would be more than happy to help you out!