WHAT IS A SACRAMENT?
“The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1131). In other words, sacraments are visible signs that make present an invisible reality; this invisible reality is the gift of grace. Whenever a sacrament is celebrated the visible part we see brings about the invisible reality that is taking place. The seven sacraments of the Church are divided into three groups: sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Holy Eucharist, and Confirmation), sacraments of Service (Holy Matrimony and Holy Orders), and sacraments of Healing (Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick).
During preparation for Confirmation in the junior high years, BOTH 7th and 8th grade youth receive two years of religious instruction AND additional sacramental preparation. This sacramental preparation takes the form of retreats, special assignments and content specific workshops. The content specific workshops are intended for youth and their parents and also count toward the “Explore Four” requirement.