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Catholic Sacraments 

What is a sacrament? As Catholics we might have trouble giving a definition but as Justice Potter once said, “I know it when I see it”. According to the Baltimore Catechism a sacrament is “an outward sign, instituted by Christ to give grace”. (Q574) The US Catholic Catechism for Adults defines them as “an efficacious sign of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us by the work of the Holy Spirit.” (CCC#1131,774).


Through the sacraments, we encounter and worship God, form community, build up the Body of Christ, and grow in holiness. Through our faith and that of the Church, we are brought into greater conformity with the Will of God by celebration of these liturgies.


The seven sacraments can be divided up into three main categories: initiation, healing, and vocation. Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist are the three Initiation sacraments. Reconciliation, also called Confession or Penance and Anointing of the Sick are the sacraments of healing. Finally, Matrimony and Holy Orders are called vocation sacraments.


Each South Shore parish celebrates the sacraments for their registered parishioners. Click on the sacrament for which you want more information or visit any of our six parishes.

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