The Sacrament of Baptism is frequently called the “first sacrament,” the “door of the sacraments,” and the “door of the Church” because it is through this sacrament that the person begins to develop their relationship with the Lord and His Church. Baptism is not merely symbolic action. Through the waters of Baptism, the soul is purified of all sin, Original and personal, and is made an adopted son or daughter of God. It is through the sacrament of Baptism that the soul receives its first outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Baptism opens the doors to the riches contained in the Catholic Faith, particularly in the sacraments. It is in Baptism that the seed of faith is planted in the soul of the recipient. A seed that, when nurtured and strengthened by God’s grace, grows into a strong faith in Christ through His Church.
For infant children on up to first grade please contact the parish office (313-928-1324).
If your child is in 2nd grade or older and has not been received Baptism, then you must contact the Coordinator of Faith Formation (313-382-1818), and discuss the steps that you need to take to help your child receive Baptism and the other sacraments appropriate to the age of your child.
The Holy Eucharist
The Holy Eucharist, also known as Holy Communion, is the Sacrament of Sacraments in that It is the Real Presence of Jesus Christ: Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity under the appearances of bread and wine. In the Holy Eucharist, we encounter Christ Himself in the closest way possible on this side of heaven. The Holy Eucharist is the fulfillment of Christ’s promise to remain with us always (Mt 28:20). When we receive the Holy Eucharist, we encounter Christ as not even the angels can encounter Him. Worthy reception of the Eucharist increases sanctifying grace in our souls and fills them with spiritual delight.
For children in 3rd grade or above who have not made their first Confession and/or not received their First Holy Communion, please contact the Coordinator of Faith Formation (313-382-1818).
For adults who have not made their first Confession and/or not received their First Holy Communion, please contact Holly Tockstein (313-928-1324 ext. 115).
Through the Sacrament of Confirmation, the soul of the baptized person is given an even greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The gifts of the Holy Spirit, received in Confirmation, strengthen them to become stronger and more perfect followers of Jesus Christ. Confirmation completes the initiation of the person into the Catholic Faith. Just as at Baptism, the soul of the recipient receives a mark that can never be removed in any way. Through this mark, they have become fully members of the Church and disciples of Jesus Christ and are charged to practice and defend the Faith more courageously by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Recipients of the sacrament commonly take the name of a saint. This saint is to be their advocate and example in living the life of a faithful Catholic.
For children who are in high school but who have not received the Sacrament of Confirmation, please contact the Coordinator of Faith Formation (313-382-1818). Candidates must have been baptized and have received their First Holy Communion to be confirmed.
For adults who would like to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, please contact Holly Tockstein (313-928-1324 ext. 115)
Penance (Reconciliation, Confession)
Tuesday – 6:00 pm
Saturday – 2:30 pm
Through the Sacrament of Penance, the repentant and contrite soul encounters and receives the mercy of God through the ministry of the priest-confessor. The authority of the Church to forgive sins demonstrated in the sacrament of Penance is the fulfillment of the promise of Christ that “whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained” (Mt 20:23). It is through the sacrament of Penance that souls are cleansed of sins after Baptism and are fortified with grace to resist future temptations.
Examination of Conscience
- When was my last good Confession? Did I receive Communion or other sacraments while in the state of mortal sin? Did I intentionally fail to confess some mortal sin in my previous Confession?
- Did I willfully and seriously doubt my faith, or put myself in danger of losing it by reading literature hostile to Catholic teachings or by getting involved with non-Catholic sects? Did I engage in superstitious activities: palm reading, fortune telling?
- Did I take the name of God in vain? Did I curse or take a false oath? Did I use bad language?
- Did I miss Mass on a Sunday or a holy day of obligation through my own fault, without any serious reason? Did I fast and abstain on the prescribed days?
- Did I disobey my parents or lawful superiors in important matters?
- Was I selfish in how I treated others, especially my spouse, my brothers and sisters, my relatives, or my friends? Did I hatefully quarrel with anyone, or desire revenge? Did I refuse to forgive? Did I cause physical injury or even death? Did I get drunk? Did I take illicit drugs? Did I consent to, advise, or actively take part in an abortion?
- Did I willfully look at indecent pictures or watch immoral movies? Did I read immoral books or magazines? Did I engage in impure jokes or conversations? Did I willfully entertain impure thoughts or feelings? Did I commit impure acts, alone or with others? Did I take contraceptive or abortifacient pills, or use other artificial means in order to prevent conception?
- Did I steal or damage another's property? How much? Have I made reparation for the damages done? Have I been honest in my business relations?
- Did I tell lies? Did I sin by slander? By detraction - telling unknown grave faults of others without necessity? Did I judge others rashly in serious matters? Have I tried to make restitution for any damage to someone's reputation that I have caused?
If you remember other serious sins besides those indicated here, include them also in your Confession.
Anointing of the Sick
The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given to bring spiritual and even physical strength during an illness, especially near the time of death. The sacrament bestows several graces and imparts gifts of strengthening in the Holy Spirit against anxiety, discouragement, and temptation. It also conveys peace and fortitude. The source of these sacramental graces is the death of Jesus Christ that made atonement for all of our sins for it was in His death that he took on “our infirmities and bore our diseases” (Mt 8:17). The person being anointed in the sacrament unites themselves to the Passion of Jesus, for his own good and for the good of the whole Church. It even imparts forgiveness of sins if the person could not obtain it through the sacrament of Penance. The sacrament is not reserved only for those who are dying. Those who are in danger of death from sickness, old age may also receive the sacrament as well.
If you would like to be anointed, please contact the parish office.
The Sacrament of Matrimony, or Marriage, is a covenant, more than a contract. The marriage covenant refers to the relationship between the husband and wife, a permanent union of persons capable of knowing and loving each other and God. By their marriage, the couple witnesses Christ’s spousal love for the Church. When the Catholic Church teaches that marriage between two baptized persons is a sacrament, it is saying that the couple’s relationship expresses in a unique way the unbreakable bond of love between Christ and his people. Like the other six sacraments of the Church, marriage is a sign or symbol which reveals the Lord Jesus and through which his divine life and love are communicated.
You must be a registered member of the parish to have your wedding at Christ the Good Shepherd. Please contact the parish office at least 6 months before your desired wedding date.
Through Baptism all the members of the Church share in the priest-hood of Christ. This is known as the “common priesthood of the faithful.” Through Holy Orders there is another participation in Christ's Priesthood, the ministerial priesthood of bishop and priest. This differs in essence from the common priesthood because it confers a sacred power for the service of the faithful. The ordained ministry occurs in three degrees or orders: bishop, priest, and deacon. These ministries are essential for the life of the Church. The sacrament of Holy Orders configures the bishop and priest to Christ as the Head of the Church in Christ’s threefold office of priest, prophet, and king. It configures the deacon to Christ as servant. The sacrament of Holy Orders, like that of Baptism and Confirmation, confers an indelible or permanent character on the recipient. This means that this sacrament cannot be received again. The indelible character is a reminder to the bishop, priest, or deacon that the vocation and mission he received on the day of his ordination marks him permanently.
If you feel that you are being called to Holy Orders, please contact Fr. Bechill.