The Sacraments of the Church
The sacrament of Baptism is the foundation of the Christian life. Baptism cleanses us from original sin and gives us our identity as Christians, members of His body, the Church. The Church teaches that infant baptism should be done as soon as possible after birth. Ideally, families will be in touch with the parish around the sixth month of pregnancy in order to complete formation in preparation for this sacrament.
Parents interested in having their children baptized at Holy Spirit should contact Constance Hull, our Director of Faith Formation, via email. She will reach out to schedule a meeting with your family and Father Matt to discern next steps.
The Holy Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Under the appearances of bread and wine, Jesus is made present to us in this sacrifice of love that we enter into at Mass. It is the source and summit of the Christian life.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament takes place every Thursday at Holy Spirit, with Exposition at 12 Noon and Benediction at 6pm. This devotion offers a time of silent prayer in which we are able to share our hearts with the Lord and enjoy His loving presence.
Preparation for First Holy Communion typically takes place in the second grade as part of Youth Discipleship, following formation for First Reconciliation. Parents and youth attend formation and retreats, and Masses celebrating First Communions take place during the Easter season. Contact Constance Hull, our Director of Faith Formation, to learn more.
In the sacrament of Confirmation, the grace we receive at our baptism is strengthened as those being confirmed are invited more deeply into the mystery of the Church's life and mission. Adults who wish to be Confirmed may contact Deacon Bob Smithberger to learn about formation through the OCIA.
Confirmation for youth in the Diocese of Richmond typically takes place in 10th grade and involves a year of formation and preparation. Parents should contact Ryan Castro, our Coordinator of Youth & Young Adult Evangelization, for more information.
The sacrament of Reconciliation, sometimes referred to as Confession or Penance, reveals God's great mercy and desire to bring us back to Himself by forgiveness of our sins. This sacrament is celebrated at Holy Spirit on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4pm - 5:30pm or by appointment as arranged with Father Matt.
Preparation for First Reconciliation typically takes place in the second grade through Youth Discipleship. Parents and youth attend concurrent formation sessions and several retreats to prepare. Contact Constance Hull, our Director of Faith Formation, to learn more.
Anointing of the Sick
Throughout the Gospels we see many examples of Jesus healing the sick, not only in a physical sense but also by the forgiveness of their sins. These healings were one way in which people came to see Jesus as the Messiah and to share the good news of His coming.
The Anointing of the Sick is a sacrament in which the healing mercy of Jesus is revealed as we are restored to life in Christ. Anointings can take place in a variety of circumstances, such as before surgery or in the midst of chronic illness. These anointings can be scheduled in advance by contacting Father Matt. In emergencies, call the parish office (757.468.3600) and follow the prompts, as necessary.
In the sacrament of matrimony, man and wife become "one flesh," and as St. Paul reminds us, reveal the love Christ has for His bride, the Church. Marriage is a sacrament in which one man and one woman enter into a life-long union and with openness to the gift of life.
Parishioners who are engaged and desire to prepare for marriage at Holy Spirit should contact Father Matt to arrange an initial appointment to discuss the steps in formation. Please note: A wedding date and related preparations (e.g., securing a reception venue) must not be confirmed before this initial meeting, and nine months should be allowed for the necessary formation.
Jesus instituted the sacrament of Holy Orders to continue His ministry in the Church. Holy Orders refers to the sacrament by which men are ordained deacons, priests, and bishops, participating in the ministry of Jesus for the good of His people.
Please continue to pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood in our diocese, and that the hearts of men in our parish might be stirred to discern this vocatiMen interested in learning more about discerning priesthood can contact Father Matt and visit the Diocese of Richmond vocations website.