Sacraments

The Catholic sacraments are gifts that are grounded in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and have been defined over time through the wisdom and experience of the Church. By the power of the Holy Spirit, and through the essential actions of the sacraments, Jesus is present in his Church today to welcome, strengthen, nourish, heal, and empower us to live holy lives and to continue his work. The seven sacraments of the Catholic Church are Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist – sacraments of initiation, – Penance/Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick – sacraments of healing, – and Matrimony and Holy Orders – sacraments of vocation.

baptism

Baptism is a sacred initiation that requires thoughtful knowledge of the sacrament. Therefore, parents who wish to have their child baptized are required to participate in a preparation class prior to scheduling the ceremony. If you have already taken the class there is no need to take it again. Baptism classes are generally offered once a month, and we encourage you to plan ahead. It is not necessary for the baby to be born prior to taking the class. Parents must be registered members of the parish prior to baptism. At least one godparent/sponsor for the child must be a confirmed, practicing Catholic. Please contact the Parish Office for more information or to schedule a baptism.

CONFIRMATION

Confirmation calls forth the fullness of the Holy Spirit to strengthen our relationship with Christ and the Church. This sacrament offers the opportunity to affirm one’s identity as a Catholic Christian.

FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION STUDENTS

Catholic students are prepared for Confirmation in their junior year of high school for the celebration in the fall of their senior year. Students are required to attend all preparatory classes, final testing and interview, and the Confirmation Retreat. Any missed classes must be made up.

 

FOR ACTIVE BAPTIZED, CATHOLIC ADULTS

Active adult Catholics, ages 18 and older, who have received First Communion and participated in religious education but have not been confirmed are invited to a series of eight preparation classes offered twice a year through the Diocese of Green Bay. Upon class completion, participants can be confirmed at one of two Diocesan Confirmation Celebrations – one celebration in October, and the other in the spring, usually on Pentecost Sunday. Preparation sessions use a framework of prayer, discipleship, and mission based on the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults (USCCA), Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), and the Bible.

EUCHARIST

Eucharist is the spiritual core of Catholic life and provides ongoing nourishment and strength for members of our Church. It is the sacramental celebration of the Paschal Mystery – Christ’s death and resurrection for humanity – where the gifts of bread and wine are consecrated to become the body and blood of Christ.

Eucharistic Holy Hour with adoration, prayer and benediction is offered at St. Francis Xavier Parish on the second Tuesday of the month.

A Eucharistic Minister or Care Minister can bring communion to a home or care facility for anyone who is unable to attend Mass at church.

FIRST COMMUNION

First Communion is the first Eucharist in which new Communicants fully participate in the Mass.

Children in Grade 2 are prepared for their first reception of the sacred Body and Blood of Christ through their classes. Notre Dame School students receive instruction as part of their class curriculum. Religious Education classes focus on preparation in Sunday classes starting in January. All students are required to attend their home parishes for the following activities:

The Bread Mass/Parent Meeting in January begins instruction and preparation for First Communion. During the celebration of the Bread Mass, each child offers a loaf of bread to a parishioner, who offers, in return, to pray for the child’s successful journey to First Communion. The parent meeting follows the Mass. Parents are required to attend with their children.

First Communion Retreats for Religious Education and Notre Dame students are held at both parishes in March or April.

First Communion is celebrated at both parishes in April.

RECONCILIATION

Reconciliation, also known as Penance or Confession, offers the free gifts of God’s mercy and forgiveness. This is a sacrament of spiritual healing and conversion in which we strive to be in a healthy relationship with God, others and ourselves.

Individual confessions are scheduled on Saturdays from 3:30-4:15pm or by appointment with the priest. A Parish Reconciliation Service is usually celebrated during the Advent and Lenten seasons.

FIRST RECONCILIATION

Grade 2 students in both Notre Dame School and Religious Education classes receive the same preparation for their First Reconciliation. Religious Education students focus on preparation for this sacrament during their Sunday classes in September, October and November. All students are required to attend their home parishes to make their confessions and to attend the following activities:

The Parent Meeting in October begins instruction and preparation for First Reconciliation. Parents are required to attend with their children.

Reconciliation Retreats for Religious Education and Notre Dame students are held at St. Mary in November.

First Reconciliation is celebrated at St. Mary in December.

ANOINTING of the SICK

The Sacrament of Anointing is available upon request from one of our parish priests for those who are seriously ill or anticipating surgery. Contact the Parish Office to make arrangements.

A Mass of Healing with the Sacrament of Anointing is held twice a year, usually in the spring and fall, at St. Mary and St. Francis Xavier Parishes. The Sacrament is open to anyone in need of healing – whether physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual. Please check the weekly bulletin or the parishes’ websites for the dates and times of the Masses.

MARRIAGE

Couples planning marriage must meet with our pastor, Fr. Richard Getchel, at least nine months prior to their planned wedding date so that necessary preparations can be made. The bride and groom may have their wedding celebrated at either parish, provided they are registered members and have demonstrated an active Catholic faith and practice.

Couples who aren’t registered members, but whose parents are members, must show membership in another parish and demonstrate an active Catholic faith and practice. Permission will then need to be obtained from the Pastor of either the bride or the groom to marry at St. Mary or St. Francis Xavier Parishes.

Please contact the Parish Office for more information or to schedule an appointment with Fr. Getchel.

HOLY ORDERS

Holy Orders is a sacrament of vocation where men commit their lives to participation in Christ’s priesthood in a unique way. Contact the Vocations Office at the Diocese of Green Bay for more information.