The Sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, through which Divine life is given. There are seven Sacraments:
The Sacrament of Baptism is the foundation of Christian life, the entrance to the life in the Spirit and access to the other Sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from original sin, become heirs to the Kingdom of God, are incorporated into the Church and become sharers in the Mission of the Church. [Catechism of the Catholic Church 1994 Reference: 1213]
Baptisms of infants and young children are celebrated for families who are members of the parish or with granted delegation. Parents generally must attend a preparation session before the Baptism can be celebrated.
Baptisms of adults are arranged through our adult education programs, such as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Contact the office for more information or email Brian Crim.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance was instituted by Jesus, the physician of our souls and bodies, who forgave the sins of the paralytic and willed that His Church continue, in the power of the Holy Spirit, His work of healing and salvation. Jesus has willed that the life and actions of his Church be a sign and instrument of forgiveness and reconciliation. [Catechism of the Catholic Church 1994 Reference: 1442]
Children are generally prepared to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time when they reach the second grade. They are prepared through a special program and must already be attending religious education classes or attending Catholic grade school. Older children may be prepared separately from the second graders. For more information, please contact Paula DiSante at (304)229-8945.
Adults who wish to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation: The Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered on Wednesday's 6:30 and Saturdays at 4:45 pm. It is recommended that penitents arrive at the beginning of the time periods to ensure adequate opportunity to receive the sacrament. Parish penance services are held during Advent and Lent and are announced in the bulletin. Individuals may also call the office to make a personal appointment. Contact Fr. Alfred at the office (304) 229-8945 or email FrAlfred@stleo.com
The Sacrament of Holy Eucharist has its origin at the Last Supper when on the night Jesus was betrayed, He instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of His Body and Blood. This He did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until He comes again. In this Sacrament, Jesus entrusts to his Church a memorial of His death and resurrection, the Sacrament of Love, a Sign of Unity and a Bond of Charity, in which Christ is consumed, and our minds are filled with grace and a pledge of future glory given to us. The Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith through the actions of the Holy Spirit and the Real Presence of Jesus; His Body and Blood become present under the form of bread and wine. It is through the Eucharist that each of us are nourished by Jesus to seek God's Will. [Catechism of the Catholic Church 1994 Reference: 1323,1327]
Children are generally prepared to receive their first Holy Communion when they reach the second grade. They are prepared through a special program and must already be attending religious education classes or attending Catholic grade school. Older children may be prepared separately from the second graders. For further information, please contact Paula DiSante at (304)229-8945 or email Paula@stleo.com
Adults who wish to be initiated into the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist should call the office or email email@example.com.
Holy Eucharist is offered at all our weekend and weekday masses. Please consult our bulletin or calendar for more information.
Guidelines for Receiving Holy Eucharist
For Catholics: Catholics fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when they receive Holy Communion in fulfillment of Christ’s command to eat His Body and drink His Blood. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, communicants should not be conscious of grave sin, have fasted for an hour, and seek to live in charity and love with their neighbors. Persons conscious of grave sin must first be reconciled with God and the Church through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
For other Christians: We welcome to this celebration of the mass those Christians who are not fully united with us. It is a consequence of the sad divisions in Christianity that we cannot extend to them a general invitation to receive Communion. Catholics believe that the Eucharist is an action of the celebrating community signifying a oneness in faith, life, and worship of the community. Reception of the Eucharist by Christians not fully united with us would imply a oneness which does not yet exist, and for which we must all pray.
For those not receiving Communion: Those not receiving sacramental Communion are encouraged to express in their hearts a prayerful desire for unity with the Lord Jesus and one another.
For Non-Christians: We also welcome to this celebration those who do not share our faith in Jesus. While we cannot extend to them an invitation to receive Communion , we do invite them to be united with us in prayer. (National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1987)
The Sacrament of Confirmation perfects Baptismal grace and through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, helps us grow to Christian maturity. The Sacrament strengthens our bond with the Church, associates us more closely with Her mission and helps us bear witness to the Christian faith in words and deeds.
[Catechism of the Catholic Church 1994 Reference: 1316]
Confirmation is offered annually to high school students. Students who request this Sacrament are prepared through a special program and must already be attending religious education classes or attending Catholic high school. For more information, please contact Paula DiSante at (304) 229-8945 or Paula@stleo.com.
Adults wishing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation are prepared according to a process designed specifically for their needs. Contact the office for more information (304) 229-8945 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has as its end the conferral of a special grace on people experiencing a grave illness or old age. The Church exhorts the Christian who is ill to unite with the Passion and Death of Christ.
[Catechism of the Catholic Church 1994 Reference: 1511,1499,1513]
The Anointing of the Sick may be received by any Catholic who is facing a serious illness or is of advanced years. Please contact Fr. Paul at the office (304) 229-8945 or email Frpaul@stleo.com
One of the major problems of our present society is the failure of too many families. The Church is obligated to better prepare candidates for the Sacrament of Marriage.
For this reason, the following are the norms for marriage preparation at St. Leo:
1) The guideline for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston concerning teenage marriages will be adhered to.
2) In the case of pregnancy, at least six months has to elapse between the seeking of marriage and the actual ceremony. This is to avoid using marriage as a solution to a pregnancy.
3) Those seeking marriage must notify the priest at least six months in advance. This will only be waved in the most extreme situation.
4) No marriage will take place on a Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.
5) Music for weddings must take into consideration the meaning of the occasion. Songs that do not speak to the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony are not suitable.
6) All couples must go through marriage preparation classes that encourage the couple to discuss situations that will come up during the coarse of a lifetime of marriage.
7) A marriage is not simply a function one should do. Instead, marriage is the perfect way for a man and a woman to join together in the presence of witnesses to declare their desire to share in their life journey to love and serve one another and their Creator.
Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the mission entrusted by Christ to His apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time. The Sacrament's three degrees (Episcopate, Presbyterate, and Diaconate) are conferred as follows:
Bishops (Episcopate) receive the fullness of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, which integrates them into the Episcopal College and makes them visible heads of the particular Church entrusted to them. As successors of the apostles and members of the College, the bishops share in the apostolic responsibility and mission of the whole Church under the authority of the Pope.
Priests (Presbyterate) are united with the Bishop in sacerdotal dignity and called to be the bishop's prudent co-workers in the exercise of their pastoral functions. They gather around their Bishop who bears responsibility with them for a particular church. They receive from the Bishop the charge of a Parish community or determinate ecclesial office.
Deacons (Diaconate) are ordained into the ministry of service to the Church. Deacons do not receive the ministerial priesthood, but ordination confers on them the functions of the Ministry of the Word, Divine Worship, and Service of Charity under the pastoral authority of their Bishop. [Catechism of the Catholic Church 1994 Reference: 1536, 1595, 1596]