The Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church

The Sacraments are defined as outward signs of inward grace, instituted by Christ to help individuals in their spiritual life and to grow in holiness. Sacraments are mysteries; they are signs of the sacred presence of our God in our midst today. They are more than mere signs, however, for the sacraments impart grace. The sacraments help to make people holy and build-up the body of Christ. They are a way to relate to God throughout life’s transitions and help us to give praise and worship to God. They help us nourish, strengthen, and express our faith. Through the sacraments, Jesus remains with His people, strengthening, healing, feeding, and forgiving them as they face life’s challenges.

The Catholic Church celebrates seven Sacraments, which were instituted by Christ during his earthly ministry and which continue to define the liturgical life of the Church today. The Sacraments nourish, strengthen, and express faith.

Sacraments of Christian Initiation

Christian initiation is accomplished by means of the sacraments which establish the foundations of Christian life. The faithful born anew by Baptism are strengthened by Confirmation and are then nourished by the Eucharist. Read more about the Sacraments of Christian Initiation.

The Sacrament of Baptism

This is the first of the Sacraments of Initiation, without which no other sacrament can be validly received. Our old self of sin dies and is buried with Christ in order that we may live a new risen life of grace as a member of His Church. Baptism washes away Original Sin and any past personal sins, it gives the character of an adopted child of God and member of Christ’s Mystical Body, and it plants the seeds of Eternal Life.

Infant Baptisms (ages 0-6 years old)

Parishioners or individuals who live within our Canonical Boundaries, who have a child under the age of seven, should fill out an infant Baptism request form one or two months before due date, if possible.

The Godparent/Sponsor Affidavit form needs to be filled out at the Parish of the Godparent/Sponsor, and returned to the Director of Catechesis with the parish’s seal on it.

Contact the Nanci Lukasik-Smith, Director of Catechesis, at (623) 344-7294 or email at for Infant Baptism or Godparent/Sponsor Affidavit forms.

Child Baptism (Age 7+)

Those of the age of seven and over will need to take part in extra formation, similar to RCIA. If you would like your child to be baptized and are a member of Prince of Peace parish, please contact Nanci Lukasik-Smith, Director of Catechesis, at (623) 344-7294 or email at

Adult Baptism (Age 18+)

If you are an adult and not baptized and want to receive instruction and enter the Catholic Church as a member of Prince of Peace Parish, please contact Nanci Lukasik-Smith, Director of Catechesis, at (623) 344-7294 or email at

The Sacrament of Confirmation

This sacrament is the second of the Sacraments of Initiation, where the fullness of the virtues and gifts of the Holy Spirit and the character of a Christian Soldier is given. Confirmation ought to be received in the state of grace, preceded by a good confession. This sacrament is usually conferred at the end of the 3rd Grade, along with First Holy Communion during the same Mass.

Please note: We realize some children have not received sacraments on this timeline, especially when moving from one diocese to another. In the event children are ‘out of sequence’, we will work with the family, and prepare their child to receive the sacraments.

For children who are age 7 or above, and have not received the sacraments of Baptism, First Reconciliation, Confirmation or First Communion; please contact Nanci Lukasik-Smith, Director of Catechesis, at (623) 344-7294 or email at to discuss your child(ren)’s Faith Formation plan.

Confirmation is normally reserved to the Diocesan Bishop in all cases except for those adults who enter the Catholic Church by receiving the Sacrament of Baptism at their parish. However, all three Sacraments of Initiation may be administered at the same time for a non-Catholic entering the Church.

Children’s Confirmation & First Holy Communion Formation

Prince of Peace recognizes that sacramental preparation is a partnership endeavor and helps the children identify the parents as the primary educators of the Faith. As such, we are here to help your family and to guide you on this journey.

We advise that all students seeking to celebrate First Reconciliation, Confirmation and/or First Communion, should be enrolled in our Sunday Children’s Catechesis Session or in a home study program. Sacramental Preparation and Sunday Catechesis are two different doctrinal teaching programs, which relate to each other, and enhance the experience for your child(ren) and family.

Adult Confirmation Formation (Age 18+)

Come if you are Catholic, not Catholic, seeking, a lapsed Catholic, a non-Catholic Christian… really, you’d be in the right place just because you’re human. Everyone has a different reason for coming, and they are all the right reasons. Visit our Adult Formation page for more information.

The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist

The third of the Sacraments of Initiation, the Holy Eucharist is the Sacraments of Sacraments since it gives not only Sanctifying Grace (as all the other sacraments do), but it gives the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, of Jesus Christ Himself. The Sacrament of Our Lord’s Body and Blood is given during Holy Mass and outside of Mass to sick and elderly parishioners who are unable to attend Holy Mass. To receive the Eucharist worthily, one must be a Catholic in good standing with the Church and not conscious of having committed any mortal sins since one’s last confession. Also, the current Law for the Eucharistic Fast obliges Roman Catholics to not take food or drink for at least 1 Hour before receiving Holy Communion (Water and Medicine do not break the Fast).

Classes for First Holy Communion are offered every year in conjunction with the annual preparation for Confirmation. The normative age for Confirmation and First Holy Communion is 3rd Grade.

To prepare your child for Confirmation and First Holy Communion, please click on the registration forms and return them to Nanci Lukasik-Smith, Director of Catechesis at (623) 344-7294 or email at

Read more on who can receive Holy Communion.

Sacraments of Healing

Christ, the physician of our soul and body, instituted these sacraments because the new life that he gives us in the sacraments of Christian initiation can be weakened and even lost because of sin. Therefore, Christ willed that his Church should continue his work of healing and salvation by means of these two sacraments. Read more about the Sacraments of Healing.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Penance / Confession)

This is the sacrament of mercy through which sins, especially mortal sins, are forgiven and penance is done, both to make up for those sins already forgiven and to help preserve the penitent from future falls. Remember the 5 Steps to make a good confession:

  1. Find out your sins,
  2. Be sorry for them,
  3. Make up your mind not to sin again,
  4. Confess your sins to the priest,
  5. Do the penance he gives you.

Sorrow must be for a supernatural motive (filial fear of God’s punishments and/or filial love for God who has been offended). Some purpose of amendment must be included with true sorrow (firm resolve to not sin again and to remove any obstacles/occasions which can and ought to be removed). All Mortal Sins that one recalls since his last good confession must be confessed by both kind and number. Venial sins may also be confessed, though this is not required.

After kneeling or sitting in the confessional, begin with some customary formula such as, “Bless me father, for I have sinned. My last confession was [mention how long since last confession] and these are my sins…” If you need help, advice, or have a question, don’t be afraid to ask the priest. After listening to his advice/admonition, pray an act of contrition when he tells you to, and begin your penance after departing the confessional. Outside of the regular daily confession times, reasonable requests by parishioners for a confession appointment can be honored.

First Reconciliation

Preparation for First Reconciliation is done in 2nd Grade. To prepare your child for Reconciliation, please click on the registration forms and return them to Nanci Lukasik-Smith, Director of Catechesis at (623) 344-7294 or email at

The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick

This sacrament is for those in danger of death from some internal illness, physical injury, or very old age, in order to prepare them with the graces they need for a holy death or to heal them of their infirmity if God so wills.

This sacrament, outside the case of an unforeseen emergency, ought to be given when the sick person consciously desires this sacrament and is able to make a good confession. If your loved one is in danger of death from illness, injury, or very old age, please do not wait to call when they are almost at the point of death.

Call the main number to reach the anointing line (623-214-5180) early enough to help them receive it with the best possible dispositions.

Sacraments at the Service of Communion and Mission

Two sacraments, Holy Orders and Matrimony, confer a special grace for a particular mission in the Church to serve and build up the People of God. These sacraments contribute in a special way to ecclesial communion and to the salvation of others. Read more about the Sacraments at the Service of Communion and Mission.

The Sacrament of Marriage (Matrimony)

This is the sacrament of the family, the domestic church. The primary purpose of this holy union of man and wife is the procreation and education of children and the secondary is the mutual love and support of the spouses. This sacrament gives all the special graces needed for the spouses to be faithful to each other and it enables them to educate and form their children to know and live out their Catholic Faith as true disciples of Christ.

The Diocese of Phoenix has a 9-month period of preparation time for engaged couples in order to insure sufficient time for catechesis and review of all documentation on the freedom of each person to marry. Marriage Preparation classes are provided by both the Diocesan Office for Marriage and by Nanci Lukasik-Smith, Marriage & Annulment Minster in the parish. You must meet with Nanci before beginning your marriage prep and before setting a final wedding date.

The Sacrament of Holy Orders

This is the sacrament which makes a man participate in the ministerial Priesthood of Jesus Christ the Eternal High Priest in order to Sanctify, Teach, and Govern the people redeemed by His Precious Blood. There are three grades of this sacrament: Deacon, Priest, and Bishop.

The man in Holy Orders sanctifies the people through the offering of the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Prayers of the Divine Office, as well as administering the other sacraments. He teaches them through his preaching and his catechetical instruction. He governs them by carrying out his pastoral duties according to his rank and pastoral appointment given him by his superiors in the Church.