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Grace doesn't go away

With our former pastor showing up in the news again, I felt I should repost an earlier article.  The article covers questions about the validity of the sacraments received by a priest who has left the priesthood.  In short - yes, your sacraments are very valid.  God does not take away your graces because of the missteps of someone else. 

Anyone who has been following local news lately has more than likely been affected by the news surrounding our former pastor.

The topic that has come up more than others, and therefore the first topic in this blog, is a question on the Sacraments. If the priest or Deacon who administers the sacraments turns out to be a not-so-good person, is the sacrament still valid?  Does it still mean the same? 

To begin with, anyone who remembers learning the Baltimore Catechism can probably recite the definition of a sacrament word for word. Say it with me…….

                “A Sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.”

Secondly, anyone who had a father anything like mine was more than likely told (especially when caught using a butter knife for a screwdriver) to………

                “Use the right tool for the right job.”

When Christ chose His outward sign to give grace through our Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, and the rest – He chose the right tool for the job. The priest or Deacon at the time of the sacrament was the tool being used by Christ to give grace. 

So for example, Baptism…. The outward sign for our Baptism is water.  The priest or Deacon who performed the Baptism was the tool used to give grace.  The grace we received at our Baptisms was a gift from Christ, and the priest or Deacon was simply a means to an end. 

When a house is built, the framework is completed with a hammer. Should that hammer break before the next house can be built has absolutely no effect on the quality or sturdiness of the first house. 

Therefore, should the priest or deacon who administered a sacrament “break”, the sacrament received prior is still just as valid and grace-filled because it came from Christ himself.


This is the first posting of our new St. Mary’s Blog. Please visit our website ( or our parish App (search St Marys Boise in your app store) and check out this latest venue of communication.  The new blog is designed from the view of a layperson with space for your comments. 


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