Anointing of the Sick

“Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith save the sick man…”
– James 5:14-15a

Jesus Christ expressed compassion and love for the sick as He taught the disciples about healing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Through the example of His suffering and death, Jesus shows us how to follow Him by taking up our cross each day.

The Lord Himself commanded the Church to “Heal the sick!” (Matthew 10:8). The Church has faithfully obeyed this command by taking care of the sick and by accompanying them with her prayer of intercession. “[The Church] believes in the life-giving presence of Christ, the Physician of souls and bodies”(CCC1509). 

The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, established by Christ, is given to people who are seriously ill. This Sacrament is not only for those persons who are near death. If someone receives this Sacrament and recovers, they are able to receive the Sacrament again in case of a grave illness in the future.

The effects of this holy Sacrament are: 


“We believe in one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins”
–Nicene Creed (381 AD)

Through our First Parents’ (Adam & Eve) disobedience, mankind lost the Divine Life originally intended for us by our Creator. Because of this Original Sin, man’s original harmony with creation, with his fellow man, and within himself ruptured–bringing death, decay, sin, and sickness into the world.

Though separated from His creation by the fruits of their disobedience and sin, God did not abandon us to our just fate. Rather, He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to dwell among us, taking on a human nature. This Jesus lived our life and died our death, suffering on the Cross for the sake of each human person who had lived (and who would ever live). Through His sacrifice–the taking up of our just punishment for sin–death, and subsequent resurrection, Jesus restored us to communion with the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit. 

The Sacrament of Baptism, instituted by Christ, is our participation in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus (Romans 6:3-4). In the waters of baptism, we receive the very life of God lost to us with Original Sin. In short, we are cleansed from the stain of that Original Sin, our sins are forgiven, we are made adopted sons and daughters of God, we become members of Christ, we are incorporated into the Church and Her mission, and we receive charisms (or spiritual gifts) for the sake of our participation in that mission. Thus, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: 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 (CCC 1213). 

Following both Scripture and ancient Tradition, the Church baptizes infants. If you would like to schedule the baptism of an infant, please call the Parish Office at 315-232-2392. 

If you would like to schedule the Baptism of an older child, or if you are an adult and you would like to receive this Sacrament please call the Parish Office. 

Because of the importance of this Sacrament, preparation on the part of the family and/or the individual to be baptized is essential. This formation is directed at nourishing and nurturing faith in Christ as well as understanding more deeply the Teachings of the Church. 


“…[Jesus] breathed on them, and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit…”
–John 20:22

Before Jesus ascended to the Father, He promised to send us His Spirit (John 16:7-8). We receive this Spirit first at Baptism, and that Baptismal gift is deepened and strengthened when we receive The Sacrament of Confirmation. This Sacrament, instituted by Christ, effects the “special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost” (CCC1302).

Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace:

— to spread and defend the faith by word and deed as true witnesses of Christ
— to confess the name of Christ boldly
— to never be ashamed of the Cross (CCC1303)

The Sacrament of Confirmation imprints an indelible spiritual mark on the soul, and therefore can only be received once in a person’s lifetime. The ordinary minister of Confirmation is the bishop, although a priest is usually granted the faculty for administering Confirmation for catechumens receiving the Sacrament at the Easter Vigil.
If you would like more information about the Sacrament of Confirmation for your child, or if you are an adult and you would like to prepare for this Sacrament, please call Mrs. Laura Mallan at the Parish Office.


“For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.”
–John 6:55

At the heart of the Catholic faith stands our communion with the Lord Jesus Christ, who offered Himself as a Sacrifice to the Father so that we might be freed from death and slavery to sin. This one sacrifice of Christ is made present during each celebration of the Mass, when we receive the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
Jesus instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist at the Last Supper as written in the Gospels (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-23) and St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). In these Scripture passages, Jesus commands us to repeat his actions and words. The Church, from its beginning, has faithfully obeyed the Lord’s command by celebrating the liturgy of the Eucharist at every Mass.
The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life…for in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself…” (CCC 1324). The Eucharist is:

At Mass, by the words of consecration and the power of the Holy Spirit, the bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Church calls this change “transubstantiation.” The real presence of Christ in the Eucharist is a mystery that cannot be comprehended by the senses, “but only by faith which relies on divine authority” (CCC 1381). 

Preparation for the first reception of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, First Communion, typically occurs with students in Grade 2. If you would like to prepare for First Communion of an older child, if you are an adult wishing to prepare for First Communion, or for more information on the Grade 2 Program, please call the Parish Office at 315-232-2392.

Holy Orders

“I Have Called You By Name”

In following the Will of His Father, Christ called together twelve men whom He formed and appointed as Shepherds and ministers of His flock. He invested them with His authority (John 20:23), made them priests (John 17:1-17), and sent them out with the whole Church to spread the Good News of Christ (Matthew 28:18). These apostles, and their successors, laid hands upon other men, ordaining them as priests and deacons to continue the work of the Church. 

Thus, the Sacrament of Holy Orders insures that “the mission entrusted by Christ to His disciples continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time” (CCC 1536). There are three degrees to this Sacrament–the episcopate (bishops), the presbyterate (priests), and the diaconate (deacons). 

The Sacrament of Holy Orders conveys an indelible (unchanging) mark on the soul, configuring the one ordained for service to God’s people, and conferring a gift of the Holy Spirit that “permits the exercise of sacred power which comes only from Christ Himself . . .” (CCC 1538). By virtue of this power, deacons, priests, and bishops nurture, guide, form, and animate the Church in the fulfillment of Her mission. 

If you want to learn more about the ministry of deacons, click here.  *******

If you want to learn more about the ministry of priests, click here. ******

Is God Calling You?

Bishop LaValley hands the bread and wine to Father Thomas James Higman which signifies the priest’s duty to preside at the Eucharist. Also shown is seminarian Alex Pacelli of Lake Placid. Photo by Betty Steele

Perhaps you’ve felt a quiet leading during prayer, or perhaps the idea of serving as a deacon or priest fills you with excitement. Maybe the thought of becoming a deacon or priest just won’t “leave you alone,” no matter how much you try and drown it out. The experience of a priestly or diaconal vocation is unique for everybody. Regardless, it is a great gift both to the individual and to the whole Church. As such, it is important to spend time discerning whether this is truly where God is calling you. 

If you feel like you may have a vocation to the priesthood or diaconate, the first thing you should do is bring it to prayer. Ask God to help you listen more attentively to His voice. Make prayer, especially participation in the Mass, a daily event. Also, be sure to talk with your pastor or another priest, who can help you clarify the call that you are experiencing and give you valuable insight and advice.

Another important area in this process of discernment is to discover what charisms, or spiritual gifts you have received. Each of us receives these gifts at our baptism. They are the supernatural empowerment we receive as individuals for the sake of our personal participation in the mission of Christ. Charisms are, therefore, critical signposts that can help guide us to the discovery of our vocation. If you are interested in learning more about discerning charisms, visit the Catherine of Siena Institute’s website. 

Finally, you should explore the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood or religious life by contacting Father Cline, or the diocesan Vocation Office or Deacon Formation program.


“What God has joined, let no man put asunder”
–Mark 10:9

The Church’s understanding of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony (Marriage) comes from the teaching of Jesus Himself. When questioned by the Pharisees about the nature of marriage, Jesus referred back to “the beginning of Creation,” to the experience of our First Parents, Adam & Eve (Mark 10:6). Looking back toward this time of original union, we see that in God’s original plan for humanity, man and woman were to be united completely as one flesh. 

Though strained by man’s disobedience and our subsequent Fall, the union of one man and one woman in marriage remained as a great gift from God. So important is this gift in the eyes of our Father, that Jesus Himself raised Marriage to the dignity of a Sacrament, a means of conveying God’s grace and life. The Sacrament of Marriage is much more than an agreement or contract between two people who agree to love and care for each other. Rather, it is a covenant, rooted in Jesus Christ whereby a man and a woman give themselves totally and completely to each other. 

The Sacrament of Marriage causes each spouse to stand in the place of Christ for the sake of each others’ well-being and eternal salvation. This sacrament calls each man and woman to see the person that God created their spouse to be and to offer everything that he or she is so that their spouse can become that person. 

This mutual self-giving finds its deepest expression in the marital act, whereby man and woman join together to share their love and open themselves to God’s creative power.  In this way, the Sacrament of Marriage allows a married couple to be an authentic sign of the Holy Trinity in the world. Just as the dynamic exchange of self (the love) that occurs between the Father and the Son brings forth the Holy Spirit, so to can the mutual self gift of a married man and woman (who are open to the possibility of life) bring forth another person (a child). 

The Sacrament of Marriage brings with it a lifelong commitment and, therefore, should not be entered into lightly. If you believe you might be called to share in this Sacrament with another person and would like help discerning further, please contact Fr. Pat, our pastor. 

If, after prayerful discernment, you wish to receive the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, please contact the Parish Office at 315-232-2392 at least six months in advance. The Church asks that all who come forward to receive this Sacrament receive proper formation to live out what they will receive. 
You must be a parishioner at least six months before scheduling a wedding.  


“Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed”  –James 5:16

Human history clearly illustrates the painful reality of sin. We are all sinners, and need God’s mercy and forgiveness to become the best possible disciples of Christ. Personal sin destroys or injures the divine life God infused in us, wounds relationships within the body of Christ (the Church) and fosters unhealthy attachments to created goods. However, Sin is never only a personal matter between the individual and God. What we do, good or evil, impacts the other members of God’s family and the world. 

Fortunately, God wants to restore our relationship with Him. And, He has given us clear instructions on how we must repent: We must confess our sins (James 5:16; 1 John 1:9), we must repent and perform an act of sacrifice and penance (Luke 15:7,10; Revelation 2:5,16), we must use the intercession of a priest (Matthew 18:18; John 20:21-23). 

The Sacrament of Reconciliation, instituted by Christ, absolves sin in the manner required by God. Through ordination, priests are “configured” to Christ and are given the power to forgive sins in His name. The priest also represents the Church. There are 3 major parts of the Sacrament:

Catholics are obliged to confess their sins at least once a year. A Catholic aware of mortal sin should go to Confession as soon as possible, and before receiving Holy Communion. (Receiving Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin is called a “sacrilege,” which is a sinful use of holy people, places, or things.) Many people find it helpful to grow spiritually by frequently receiving (every 2 weeks or monthly) the Sacrament of Reconciliation. 

A priest is bound to absolute secrecy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Nothing he hears can be repeated to anyone under any circumstances. He may not even reveal that a particular person has come to him in Confession. A priest may never testify in court about any matter dealing with a Confession. If a priest meets you outside of the Sacrament after you have received it from him, he cannot refer to anything that was heard in the Confession. Priests take this responsibility very seriously, and some priests have gone to jail rather than reveal what was heard in a Confession. The penalty for a priest breaking the seal of Confession is excommunication. 

Preparation for the first reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation typically occurs with students in Grade 2. 

If you would like to prepare for First Reconciliation of an older child, are an adult who would like to prepare for the Sacrament, or would like more information, please call the Parish Office. 

[Note: Portions of the description above were adapted from Forgiven – Understanding the Healing Power of Confession by Ignatius Press]

Do you know when a sin is a mortal sin? Watch this video with Cardinal Arinze.