y offering his living presence here at St. John’s, Jesus is our intimate companion and point of entry into the very life of the Triune God. The Church teaches that the sacraments are signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church. It is through the sacraments that divine life is given to us, and it is through the visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated that their graces are made present.
The sacraments bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1131). The laity (those who share in the priesthood of baptism) and the clergy (those who share in the priesthood of ordained ministry) celebrate the sacraments together, prepared by the Word of God and the faith that welcomes that Word. The sacraments strengthen faith and express faith, and their fruit is both personal and for the whole Church. There are seven sacraments. The Catechism of the Catholic Church categorizes them into three groups:
The Sacraments of Christian Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist)
Sacrament of Baptism
“Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of the forgiveness of sins: it unites us to Christ, who died and rose, and gives us the Holy Spirit.” --Catechism of the Catholic Church 985
Through Baptism, the human person is washed clean of original sin and restored to the image and likeness of God. The parish welcomes families into the St. John’s community with a preparation class prior to the Sacrament of Baptism of their child.
For more information and to schedule a baptism, contact the Rectory office, 301-681-7663.
Sacrament of Confirmation
“Confirmation perfects Baptismal grace; it is the sacrament which gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us more firmly into Christ, strengthen our bond with the Church, associate us more closely with her mission, and help us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds.” –Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1316
The Sacrament of Confirmation is conferred on candidates from our parish 8th grade Confirmation preparation class by a bishop of the Archdiocese in March.
For more information on Confirmation preparation, contact Sr. Roberta Harding, 301-681-7634.
Sacrament of the Eucharist
“In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist ‘the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.’ ‘This presence is called 'real' - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be 'real' too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present." –Catechism of the Catholic Church 1374
First Communion is the first Sunday in May for children in 2nd grade and above who have been prepared to receive the sacrament.
For more information, contact Sr. Roberta Harding, 301-681-7634.
Sick and homebound parishioners should call Tom & Joan Palmer, 301-946-3980, to arrange for a visit from an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.
The Sacraments of Healing (Penance & Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick)
Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation
"The whole power of the sacrament of Penance consists in restoring us to God's grace and joining us with him in an intimate friendship."–Catechism of the Catholic Church 1468
Men and women are in constant need of the Lord’s mercy, healing and renewal. Come experience the peace that only Christ can give as he washes away your sins, guilt and regret. Receive the grace to “go and sin no more” (Jn 8:11). If you have not been to Confession in a long time, ask the priest to help you. Wondering how to begin? Try this examination of conscience.
Saturday 9:30 to 10:15 A.M. (Main Church); Saturday 4:30 to 5:15 P.M. (Historic Church)
Anointing of the Sick
“By the grace of this sacrament the sick person receives the strength and the gift of uniting himself more closely to Christ's Passion: in a certain way he is consecrated to bear fruit by configuration to the Savior's redemptive Passion. Suffering, a consequence of original sin, acquires a new meaning; it becomes a participation in the saving work of Jesus.” --Catechism of the Catholic Church 1521
The Sacrament of the Sick is conferred on ailing/suffering members of our parish community during Mass four times a year. The Sacrament is also offered to sick and elderly parishioners in homes, hospitals, and hospices by calling the Rectory at 301-681-7663.
The Sacraments at the Service of Communion (Matrimony, Holy Orders)
Sacrament of Marriage
“The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. Christ the Lord raised marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament.” --Catechism of the Catholic Church 1660
The St. John’s parish community rejoices with couples called to the Vocation of Marriage and Family. To schedule a date for your marriage, kindly contact the Rectory office at least six months in advance by calling 301- 681-7663. Couples should note that we ask for six month preparation time so that they can learn about and fully understand that, on their wedding day, they administer the sacrament to one another with the priest acting as a presider. As a public sign and affirmation of God’s grace, the couple offers to the community this sign that their vows are not merely a private contract between two people, but instead, the beginning of a new family of love modeled after the Holy Trinity.
Sacrament of Holy Orders
“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
Men of the parish who feel called to the Sacrament of Holy Orders, either as priests or deacons, are encouraged to talk to the priests of the parish for guidance and counsel. DCPriest has additional resources and support for those who are discerning a vocation to the priesthood. For information about the permanent diaconate, visit here. Women of the parish can find resources on the consecrated life here.