A Brief Understanding of Sacraments

Most people know that much of Roman Catholic teaching and practice is rooted in the Church’s understanding of sacraments. The Catholic Church, they say, is a Sacramental Church.

The word “sacrament” means sign. We believe, first of all, that the Church itself is a sign of Christ’s continuing presence among us. So in this most general sense the Church itself is a sacrament because the Church as the People of God signifies Christ as risen Lord present in our world today.

But the Church is a special kind of sign, not some lifeless symbol. The Church very actively lives out its role as a sign of Christ’s presence by helping us encounter Christ. One specific way – among others – that the Church acts out its sign function is through seven rituals or ceremonies, i.e., the seven Sacraments. Through these seven actions we worship God as Triune (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and through them we encounter Christ. Thus these seven actions hold a very privileged place in the life of Catholic Christians.  Each of the seven Sacraments in its own way signifies Christ reaching out to encounter his people.

Think of the seven Sacraments, therefore, as privileged actions of our sacramental church. The traditional definition of sacraments – “outward signs instituted by Christ to give grace” – expresses the essence of the mystery but not the dynamism. Sacraments are celebrated at particular times in our lives to communicate grace, which is God sharing his life with us. Sacramental grace supports us in responding to Christ’s invitation to follow him as disciples.

The seven Sacraments can be grouped together under various headings to show the connections between them. The Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist are called Sacraments of Initiation. We say that receiving these sacraments “initiates” one into the life of the Church and Christ.


Sacramental Records

St. Ignatius of Loyola records all sacramental celebrations which take place in the parish.  Our records span the life of the parish. The parish is able to provide proof of sacraments celebrated here as well as provide letters to other churches for St. Ignatius of Loyola parishioners who wish to serve as godparents or sponsors.Godparent/Sponsor Letters

Often, godparents or sponsors for confirmation are asked to provide a letter stating suitability to act in this role. Registered parishioners should contact Kathy Murzyn ( Include in your email the requesting parish’s contact information and mailing address.

Proof of Baptism or Marriage
If you need a current copy of your baptism or marriage certificate, email your request to
Kathy Murzyn ( with an address and a contact name.

Requests may also be faxed or mailed to:
Kathy Murzyn
St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Church
2309 Gaylord Street
Denver, CO  80205
Fax: 303.322.2927