Sacraments of the Catholic Church & St Mark’s Sacramental Programs.
The Sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us.
The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament.
They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions.
The Catholic Church recognizes seven sacraments.
† Baptism
† Eucharist (First Holy Communion)
† Confirmation
† Sacrament of Penance (Reconciliation| Confession)
† Anointing of the Sick
† Marriage
† Holy Orders

” The local parish provides basic ground for living a Catholic life. It is the normal location of the celebration of key moments in the pilgrimage of faith through life …..” Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney guidelines 2011.

Our Sacramental preparation at St. Mark’s is Parish based. This means that all our preparation is implemented and supported by the Parish. It is open to all parishioners who worship and are active members in our parish community – irrespective of which school their children attends.

Our preparation is also ‘family-centred’. This means that parents are required to be actively involved with their children during each of the Sacramental preparations. Therefore a full commitment will be required from both parents and the candidate.

While the school based “Religious Education” supports and enriches our Sacramental preparation, the church recognises that the parents are the first educators of their children’s development of faith.
After all, it is the parents who presented their child for Baptism into the Catholic Faith and promised to nurture that faith.
As parents, knowledge is not the key factor but their faith and a willingness to spend time sharing with their child as they go through this journey of faith development.

One way to do this is by giving them the opportunity to experience and participate in the faith community at weekend Mass. Children’s liturgy is held at the 9.00am Sunday Mass during school term. Children between Kindergarten to Year 6 listen to God’s Word at a level they can understand.

OUR PARISH PREPARATION 
“It is appropriate and recommended that candidates for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, First Holy Communion and Confirmation prepare for them within the parish community.” Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney guidelines 2011.

As we are part of the Sydney Archdiocese, we follow their Sacramental program.
Our successful preparation runs through:
† Information Session and a Commitment Mass, compulsory attendance to both by parent & candidate.
† Four weekly one hour session – compulsory for all lessons, that a parent accompanies their child & to be actively involved.
† Attendance essential to weekly Mass during the Sacramental preparation.
† A Retreat afternoon (for Confirmation),
† A Prayer & Practice evening (First Reconciliation & Eucharist), compulsory attendance for parents to accompany their child.
 
This will include a rehearsal of their Mass Liturgy.

The sessions are facilitated by volunteer group leaders who are parents of the children. Group leaders run small groups of six or seven candidates which provide a forum of dialogue between parent and child about matters relating to faith. 
St Mark’s Parish community and our Pastoral Associate are here to support you and the group leaders as your child prepares for the Sacraments.
Information sessions are held for the Sacraments of
† Baptism,
† The Sacrament of Penance (First Reconciliation |Confession),
† First Eucharist (Holy Communion) &
† Confirmation.
Details of events are published in the parish bulletin and on the website closer to the time.
We look forward to welcoming you to our preparation and assisting you and your child in taking this next step in their faith development.
Note: If you are an adult and wish to do any of our Sacraments please contact us.