Non-Credit Course | The Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church: Doors to the Sacred

Feb 20, 2024
Gavin House
1220 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Fr. Peter Bernardi, SJLumen Christi Institute


This event is in-person only. Intended for university students, faculty, and staff. Others interested in attending please contact

Registrants are free to attend as many sessions as they choose. Sessions do not presuppose previous attendance or prior knowledge of the subject.

The Catholic Faith is profoundly sacramental. The Church recognizes seven sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Marriage, and Holy Orders. These sacred actions contain and confer Christ’s healing, transformative Grace. This class will highlight the theological meaning, Biblical basis, historical development, and our own personal experiences of the sacraments.  

The reality of the sacraments raises a number of complicated questions that this course will answer: 

  • Why baptize infants?  Can the unbaptized be saved?  

  • Why confess one’s sins to a priest? Can a priest ‘forgive’ you? 

  • What even is a ‘priest’? Why is Holy Orders conferred only on men?  

  • Why should a sick person be anointed? 

  • Is marriage really ‘indissoluble’? How does an annulment differ from divorce?  

  • How can the Eucharist be more than bread and wine?  What does the term ‘transubstantiation’ mean?    

  • And more!



January 9: The Biblical basis of Sacramentality, Sacraments, and Sacramentals

January 16: The Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist 

January 23: The Eucharist: "The Sacrament of Sacraments”  

January 30: The Eucharist and the Eucharistic Liturgy: “Source and summit of the entire Christian life.”  

February 6: Sacraments of Healing: Reconciliation [aka Penance] and the Anointing of the Sick

February 13: Sacrament of Marriage

February 20: Sacrament of Holy Orders



Tuesdays, January 9-February 20
6:00pm: Dinner
6:30pm: Presentation

Fr. Peter Bernardi, SJ is scholar-in-residence at the Lumen Christi Institute and Associate Professor Emeritus of Theology at Loyola University of Chicago, where he taught from 2010 to 2020. Before coming to Chicago he taught at Loyola University New Orleans from 1996 to 2010. Fr. Bernardi holds an Honors B.A. in Classical Languages from Xavier University (Cincinnati), an MA in Philosophy from the University of Detroit, a Master of Divinity from Regis College of the Toronto School of Theology, an STL from the Weston School of Theology with a thesis concerning soteriology, and a PhD in Systematic Theology from the Catholic University of America.

His areas of interest include modern Christian thought; John Henry Newman, Maurice Blondel, and the Renewal of Catholic Theology; Theology of Vatican II; Christology & Soteriology. He is the author of Maurice Blondel, Social Catholicism and Action Française: The Clash over the Church’s Role in Society During the Modernist Era (CUA Press, 2009).  His most recent scholarly publications are "Blondel, Maurice (1861–1949)" in the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Philosophers (2020), "Louis Cardinal Billot, S.J. (1846–1931): Thomist, Anti-Modernist, Integralist" in the Journal of Jesuit Studies 8 (2021): 585-616, and "Maurice Blondel's diagnosis of extrinsicist 'Monophorism': An enduring critique of Christian Integralism," in Pesando-Revista de Filosofia. Vol 13, No 30 (2022) Dossie Maurice Blondel, 100-113.