The Sacraments are visible, tangible signs of God’s grace in our lives. God created us as physical beings and he desires to share his love and mercy with us in a way that is experiential, not just spiritual. So God comes to us through these holy Sacraments not just to engage our hearts, our minds, and our souls, but also our physical senses… We see the beauty of a Marriage ceremony; We feel the cleansing waters of Baptism; We smell the aroma of the chrism oil at Confirmation; We taste the bread which conceals Christ in the Eucharist; We hear the words of absolution during Reconciliation.
The Sacraments have both a visible and invisible reality – a reality open to all the human senses but only fully understood with the eyes of faith. When parents hug their children, for example, the visible reality we see is the hug. The invisible reality the hug conveys is love. We cannot “see” the love the hug expresses, though sometimes we can see its nurturing effect in the child. It is the same with God’s grace in us.
Guided by the Holy Spirit, the Church recognizes the existence of Seven Sacraments instituted by Jesus. They are:
The Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist)
The Sacraments of Healing (Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick)
The Sacraments at the Service of Communion (Marriage and Holy Orders)
Through the Sacraments, God shares his grace and holiness with us so that we, in turn, can make the world holier. To learn more about the Sacraments or how to prepare for them, see the information below:
Just as God proclaimed his love for Jesus at his Baptism, God calls each of us “beloved” when our souls are made holy in the waters of Baptism. We are no longer spiritual orphans separated from God by original sin. We become adopted sons and daughters of our Father in Heaven who loves and cherishes us beyond measure.
Baptism is the beginning of our Christian journey. For Catholics, often that comes literally at the beginning of life (as with a new baby) but sometimes it comes later in life (for converts to the Faith or for those who missed a Sacrament). If you have a little one you would like to have baptized, please continue reading our Baptism process below. If you are an adult who has missed a sacrament or is interested in becoming Catholic, visit our Adult Formation page.
Parents must attend a baptismal preparation class which is held on the first Wednesday of the month at 7:00 pm. Baptisms are held the second Sunday of the month after the 10:30 am Mass. Please download and complete the form below and return it to the Parish Office to be registered for the class.
Reconciliation is for everyone, but a child’s first confession is typically prepared for during their Second Grade year. The preparation takes place in their faith formation classes or instruction in St. Charles School. For more information about youth preparation for Reconciliation, please contact the DRE at (734) 586-2531 x 4.
St. Anne – Saturday 3:00 pm until all are heard.
St. Charles – Tuesday 6:30 pm until all are heard.
Children typically prepare for their First Holy Communion during their second grade year and celebrate this sacrament of the Eucharist in the spring. Parents are asked to join in helping their child prepare by taking them to Mass on Sunday, modeling reception of the Holy Eucharist, attending parent meetings, and working on preparation in the home as well as being involved in what is happening in their child’s religion classes.
The church recommends that children prepare for and celebrate Reconciliation prior to receiving communion.
Teens prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation during 8th grade and celebrate it in the spring. Adults studying to become Catholic celebrate the sacrament at the Easter vigil. If you are an adult who has missed a sacrament or is interested in becoming Catholic, visit our Adult Formation page.
Teen preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation actually began when a child’s parent brings them forward for baptism. It continues through formation received in the home as well as completing Religious Education classes and the other Sacraments of Initiation (First Holy Communion and Reconciliation). Teens begin working on specific service and enrichment activities in eighth grade through St. Charles school or religious education program. They must choose a sponsor who is an active, participating Catholic who will partner with them in this preparation and continue to be a faith partner after confirmation.
Teen candidates will write a letter to the Pastor explaining their desire for Confirmation and also express their understanding of the sacrament, and church teaching, through an interview. Teens also attend a retreat as part of their preparation, then celebrate the sacrament in the spring.
Parents also play a role in a student’s preparation for confirmation. This includes attending Mass as a family, modeling the Catholic faith (in word and deed), working on preparation assignments in the home, being involved in what is happening in their child’s religion classes, as well as attending parent meetings throughout the year.
Holy Matrimony (or the Sacrament of Marriage) is the intimate union and equal partnership of a man and a woman. It comes to us from the hand of God, who created male and female in his image, so that they might become one body and might be fertile and multiply (See Genesis chapters 1-2). Though man and woman are equal as God’s children, they are created with important differences that allow them to give themselves and to receive the other as a gift.
Holy Matrimony is a grace-filled encounter with God, and a way to holiness. As such, preparing for marriage is about more than planning the wedding, so at St. Charles Church, we take seriously our role in preparing couples for holy matrimony.
- The spirituality of marriage
- Having an openness to life
- Relationship dynamics
- Conflict management
- An understanding of the various stages of marriage
- An exploration of differences and potential areas of conflict
- Insights into the importance of faith and a faith community
All of these ingredients are built into our marriage preparation program at St. Charles. If you wish to be married at Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Church at least one person of the couple must be a registered member of Saint Charles Borromeo. In accordance with Archdiocesan guidelines, couples must contact the parish priest six months in advance of the wedding. Arrangements must be made in person. Please contact the Parish Office (734) 586-2531.
Couples then meet with a priest or deacon to begin the process and set the date, and then periodically afterward. A PMI (Pre-Marriage Inventory) is done to help the couple identify areas of strength and areas of potential conflict, so that issues can be addressed early. Couples attend a local Pre-Marriage seminar that features talks and discussion on aspects of sacramental marriage.
Our prayer is that this preparation helps our couples to be a light and an example to the world, and not a future divorce statistic.
There are four steps that any man must take when praying about becoming a priest. The first of these is to decide whether to become a diocesan or religious priest. A diocesan priest is bound to his bishop through his ordination to the priesthood. A religious priest is bound to his religious congregation and his superior through his ordination. A diocesan priest is the parish priest you see every weekend. A religious priest’s focus depends on the religious order or congregation he belongs to.
After discerning diocesan or religious priesthood, the next step is to contact the vocations director for your diocese or for the particular religious order in which you are interested in being apart of.
The third step would be to obtain an undergraduate degree in philosophy, and the fourth step, to enter into a school of theology. Both of these steps are guided by the bishop or by the superior of the religious order in which you enter. Talk to your parish priest or a person you trust if you are thinking or praying about becoming a priest. You can also check out the Office for Priestly Vocations online.
Anointing of the Sick
The anointing of the sick is administered to bring spiritual and even physical strength during an illness, especially near the time of death. Anointing conveys several graces and imparts gifts of strengthening in the Holy Spirit against anxiety, discouragement, and temptation, and conveys peace and fortitude (CCC 1520). These graces flow from the atoning death of Jesus Christ, for “this was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, ‘He took our infirmities and bore our diseases’” (Matt. 8:17).
“The special grace of the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has as its effects: the uniting of the sick person to the passion of Christ, for his own good and that of the whole Church; the strengthening, peace, and courage to endure in a Christian manner the sufferings of illness or old age; the forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the sacrament of penance; the restoration of health, if it is conducive to the salvation of his soul; the preparation for passing over to eternal life” (CCC 1532).
Does a person have to be dying to receive this sacrament? No. The Catechism says, “The anointing of the sick is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death. Hence, as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for him to receive this sacrament has certainly already arrived” (CCC 1514).
If you are in need of this sacrament, especially before a major surgery, you may call the parish office at (734) 586-25310 to make an appointment with one of our priests. In cases of emergency anointings, call the parish office; if it’s not during office hours, access our emergency line at (734) 586-3016.