Ahh, sacraments! Don't you just love them?
The most conventional definition of a sacrament is that it is an outward sign, instituted by Christ, that conveys an inward, spiritual grace through Christ. They are usually administered by a priest to a recipient, and are generally understood to involve visible and invisible parts. The invisible component (manifested inwardly) is understood to be brought about by the action of the Holy Spirit, while the visible (or outward) component involves the use of such things as water, oil, and bread and wine that is blessed or consecrated.
The Catholic Church recognizes seven of these sacraments, and the Clemens family experienced two of them, all in the course of one week. Here are the highlights!
Jack was prepared for his First Holy Communion thanks to the wonderful efforts of his second grade teachers! He knows his prayers, understands the importance of receiving the Real Presence of our Lord and Savior, and half-way enjoyed wearing a suit coat and tie for the whole event. Family friend, Fr. Scott McCue, presided and blessed Jack in front of the congregation. (Fr. Emmauel is in the background.)
The after party included family and friends, including grandma and grandpa Clemens who traveled all the way from Mississippi for the event. Here is Jack celebrating by playing on the family Wii! (Coat and tie was thrown off as soon as he got in the car!)
Rebecca was confirmed in Christ four days later along with 76 other 10th graders from our parish. The decision to become confirmed is solely to be made by the youth. Parents cannot decide for the youth and then "make" their child get confirmed. What I like about this sacrament is that the youth is trusted to make his/her own decision about what they believe and are therefore accountable to God for choices they make during their journey of faith. There is no doubt Rebecca was ready to make this commitment, sure of her steps, Christ walks beside her guiding her newly found path in a whole new journey of adulthood in the Catholic Church.
Rebecca is pictured with her Confirmation Sponsor, Mary Workman. Mary has been a big influence in Rebecca's faith life by reflecting Christ's love in ways too numerous to count. I am happy to say that Mary is like a 'second mom' to Rebecca and a dear friend to me. We are so lucky to have found her!
Here we are with the greatest Bishop on the planet, Michael Burbidge! Of course, Fr. Scott was in attendance as well as my brother and his family, and our faithful grandparents from Mississippi.