The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the Sacraments instituted by Christ. The seven Sacraments in the Church are: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. Each are signs, given to us by Christ himself, give us grace and bring us closer to the Lord.
Sacraments are "powers that comes forth" from the Body of Christ, which is ever-living and life-giving. They are actions of the Holy Spirit at work in his Body, the Church. They are "the masterworks of God" in the new and everlasting covenant. All of the faithful are encouraged to partake of these Sacraments to receive the grace that God intended for them to bestow.
If you need additional information about a specific Sacrament, or questions regarding the reception of certain Sacraments, please contact the St. Michael Catholic Parish Office.
Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons and daughters of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission..." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1213).
Baptism is the first Sacrament of Christian Initiation. Baptism of infants is normally celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays by appointment and occasionally during the regularly scheduled Masses. For a child to be baptized at St. Michael his/her parents must be registered and practicing Catholics.
Parents are expected to participate in a Baptismal Preparation Class. These classes are offered during office hours Monday- Friday. If you would like to schedule a Baptism or Preparation Class, please contact the parish office at (479) 471-1211 .
To download a copy of the Baptismal Registration Form click here.
Concerning “Godparents” of Infants
Parents are asked to choose someone to serve as godparent or sponsor for their child. Since the sponsor’s role is to assist parents in passing on the faith in which the child is being baptized, parents should choose someone who will take the role seriously and will be a good role model for the child.
The Catholic Church asks that a sponsor, together with the child’s parents, present the child for baptism. The sponsor must be a confirmed and practicing Catholic, at least 16 years old. The role of the sponsor is to help the child lead a Christian life in keeping with the child’s baptismal dignity. A baptized person of a non-Catholic Christian community may serve, together with a Catholic sponsor, as a Christian witness of the baptism. A Christian witness of the baptism, like the sponsor, should be a practicing Christian, at least 16 years old, and willing to help the child lead a Christian life. Sponsors and Christian witnesses are frequently called godparents. St. Michael’s will record at most two godparents in the parish baptismal register, at least one of whom must be a sponsor as described in the first paragraph.
Godparents are required to attend a Baptism Preparation Class (again,if they have taken one of these classes within the past 3 year, this will not be necessary). Each Godparent is to request a Letter of Verification of Full Communion with the Church from their parish. The letter must be signed by the pastor and stamped with the parish seal.
First Eucharist, Reconciliation, and Confirmation for children and teenagers, call the church office at (479) 471-1211.
You will be referred to the age-appropriate program director.
“At the heart of the Eucharistic celebration are the bread and wine that, by the words of Christ and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, become Christ's Body and Blood. Faithful to the Lord's command the Church continues to do, in his memory and until his glorious return, what he did on the eve of his Passion: "He took bread... ." "He took the cup filled with wine. . . " The signs of bread and wine become, in a way surpassing understanding, the Body and Blood of Christ.”
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1333)
Source and Summit
The Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christian life,” and the third sacrament of initiation. "It is the culmination both of God's action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1324,1325)
The Eucharist: Faith Facts
Before one receives Holy Communion, it is appropriate to bow before the Sacred Host or Chalice, because the bread and wine have truly become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. After the priest or minister says, “The Body of Christ” or “The Blood of Christ,” we respond, “Amen,” and receive the Body of Christ on the tongue or in the hand, consuming it immediately. The Blood of Christ we drink, holding the chalice reverently and returning it to the priest or minister.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
Initiation to the Eucharist
Children are generally admitted to Communion during 2nd Grade. Children must be enrolled in the religious education program for at least one year before the year in which they are admitted to Holy Communion.
If a child is older than 2nd Grade and has not received Communion, the parents should contact the Parish Office to make appropriate arrangements.
"The reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. For "by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1285)
It is called Confirmation because it confirms and strengthens baptismal grace. Through this sacrament, the grace given in baptism is deepened.
Confirmation for Youth
Confirmation for youth generally takes place during 10th Grade. In order to be confirmed an individual must participate in the religious education program for at least one year prior to the year in which he or she will be confirmed.
In addition to reflecting on their faith in classes, candidates are asked to participate in service projects, a day of prayer, and an evening of reflection on service with other parishioners.
If an individual is beyond 9th Grade and has not received the sacrament, he or she should contact Director of Youth Ministry and Confirmation, contact the office to make proper arrangements.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated as a parish by the Bishop during a scheduled Confirmation Mass usually sometime shortly after Easter.
Confirmation for Adults
Occasionally, for various reasons, an individual has not been confirmed while in his/her childhood or youth. Adults who are not yet confirmed will participate in our RCIA program.
For more information, please visit the page for the Rites for Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA).
30 minutes before each Weekday Mass.
Every Saturday (Bilingual) 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Dates of Reconciliation Services will be Announced.
If it is not possible for an individual to come on a Saturday, he or she should feel free to call the parish priest to arrange an appointment. The priest is more than happy to do this (479) 471-1211.
"Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1536)
“The sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred by the laying on of hands followed by a solemn prayer of consecration asking God to grant the ordinand the graces of the Holy Spirit required for his ministry. Ordination imprints an indelible sacramental character.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1597)
For Holy Orders or interest in the vocations, contact Father Rick or deacon at St. Michael's, or Msgr. Scott Friend at the Diocese of Little Rock.
Priesthood and Diaconate
The Church calls some of its members to ordination and service within the faith community as priests and deacons. Most often this call is first recognized and encouraged by the family and the parish.
It is a life-choice further strengthened through programs of education and formation provided by our archdiocese. As a parish we pray for and support those who are making these life-commitments of service and leadership within the Church.
Vowed Religious Life
In the tradition of our faith, adult men and women continue to choose to serve others as brothers and sisters living in community. Their life-styles are shaped by the Gospel values of poverty, obedience, and chastity, serving the Church and the world in a variety of ways. As a parish we provide information and encouragement concerning the vowed religious life and offer support for those who are seeking to make such a commitment.
To receive this Sacrament, the couple must complete the Marriage Preparation program. Dates will be finalized after consultation with a priest. A minimum of 6 months prior to your intended wedding date.
Focus Fee $15.00
Newley registered members (less than 1 year) $500.00
ALL fees to be paid in the parish office before the day of the wedding.
The Church expects parishioners to be married in their own parish where they regularly worship and participate in parish life. When an exception is permitted, the Catholic must have a letter from their own pastor granting permission for them to be married outside their parish.
A wedding reflects the faith of the Church and the faith of the couple.
A wedding is a celebration of the Church and of the couple.
Weddings are beautiful moments that celebrate the greatest virtue --- love! --- God’s love for us and our love of God.
For further information please contact our Parish Office.
Anointing of the Sick
The sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given to those who are seriously ill by anointing them on the forehead and hands with duly blessed oil—pressed from olives or from other plants—saying, only once: "Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1513)
Anointing of the Sick includes (CCC 1519):
This sacrament has a powerful effect upon the sick person (CCC 1520-21):
Pastoral Care of the Sick
The priest and lay ministers of the parish are interested in visiting parishioners when they are in the hospital. However, hospitals no longer automatically inform parishes when a parishioner is admitted. We will be able to visit only if we know you are in a hospital. It is most helpful to us when you or a family member notifies the Parish Office.
Communion for the Sick
Holy Communion is brought once a week to those who are sick or unable to go to church on a regular basis. If you or a family member wants to receive communion at home, in an assisted living or nursing home on a regular or temporary basis, please call the parish office.
If you are scheduled to go to the hospital for surgery or extended care, contact the parish office BEFORE you go, in order to arrange for the celebration of the Sacrament. This sacrament is for the sick or the chronically ill as well as for those who are near death.
The Sacrament of the Sick is celebrated at Mass for all of those who need the grace of healing and hope provided in this sacrament. This is typically the 1st Thursday of Month at Noon Mass.
In Case Of Death
Although the Church does not anoint one who has already died, priests may be invited to minister to the family and lead the prayers at the time of death as provided by the Church.
Why Should You be Anointed Before Going to the Hospital?
While patients and hospital staff can, very fortunately, call for the sacramental and pastoral services of a Catholic priest while in the hospital, a new fact of hospital life today is that patients are often very swiftly in and out of treatment. It is possible that the priest will not be able to see you as soon as you wish.
Therefore, it is better for you to talk to a priest here in our parish before you go to the hospital and receive those sacraments that are available for those facing surgery, serious illness, or old age: Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, and the Eucharist.
In addition, the priests as well as the members of our parish who are involved in our hospital care-giving ministry and home visitation will know about your illness and will be able to visit and support you through your recovery.
Many people tend to deny that they are sick and in need of prayers. This is a very human response. However, it keeps sufferers from receiving what they need and deserve – and what the Church is ready to offer.
There is a special communion rite, called Viaticum, and special prayers reserved for people close to death, but the other rites of pastoral care for the sick are intended for those who are seriously ill, facing surgery, or struggling with the frailties of old age.
Finally, your attitude during sickness or suffering will be helped by your stronger identification with Christ. Sickness is not a total disaster. If we turn to God with our complaints and fears, letting God answer us in God’s own way, and if we cooperate with those who can help us, then any sickness can end in God’s glory and prepare us for greater happiness.
St. Michael's Catholic Church
1025 East Pointer Trail
Van Buren, AR 72956
Phone: (479) 471-1211
Fax: (479) 471-1219
Office Hours/Horario de Oficina:
Monday/Lunes: - Thursday/Jueves:
8 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Lunch Time/ Comida: 12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Friday/Viernes: 8 a.m. - Noon/Mediodia
Weekend masses / Misas de Sábado y Domingo
Saturday (Sábado) *8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Sunday (Domingo): 8 a.m. (Español) 10 a.m. (English)