The Sacraments (see Catechism of the Catholic Church 1076-1690) are the fruits of the Redemptive Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross. They were instituted by Jesus to confer His graces on our soul when we receive them with an understanding and sincere heart. The Sacraments are divided into: the sacraments of Christian initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist); the sacraments of healing (Penance and Anointing of the Sick); and the sacraments at the service of communion and mission (Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony).
Adults who wish to receive more information about preparation for receiving the Sacraments of Baptism, First Reconciliation (Penance), Holy Eucharist, and Confirmation (RCIA process) should contact the pastor, Father John Sasse at 608-845-6613.
The Sacraments of Initiation
Christian initiation is accomplished by means of the three sacraments that establish the foundations of Christian life. The faithful born anew by Baptism are strengthened by Confirmation and are nourished by the Holy Eucharist:
- Baptism, which is the beginning of new life in Christ and His Church (see Matthew 28:16-20; John 3:1-8; Acts 2:38, 22:16; Romans 6:3-7; 1 Peter 3:21);
- Confirmation, which is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit like that of Pentecost, which strengthens a person to live the graces of their Baptism (see Acts 2:1-4; 8:14-17);
- Eucharist, which is the very sacrifice of the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus that He instituted to perpetuate the Sacrifice of the Cross throughout the ages until He returns in glory. Thus He entrusted to His Church this memorial of His death and Resurrection. At every Mass, the one sacrifice of Christ is made present to us. In this gift of the Holy Eucharist, Jesus nourishes and sustains His disciples with His glorified Body and Blood. When we receive Holy Communion (the Eucharist), God’s graces transform and conform us in and to Christ. It is a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is received, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us. (see Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:14-22; John 1:29; John 6:22-68; Hebrews 9:16-28; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30).
Baptism is the first of the Sacraments of Initiation, giving the first foundation of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit giving access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism all sins are forgiven (original sin and all sins up to the day of the baptism) and we are reborn as children of God, incorporated into the Body of Christ, the Church, and given the graces to follow Christ and live the virtuous life in faith, hope and love.
All parents requesting to have their first child baptized at St. Christopher Catholic Parish must be associated with the Parish Community and attend a Baptism preparation session before the scheduled date of Baptism. Succeeding baptisms of other children in the same family will not require a preparation session. Please contact Father John Sasse at the parish office at 608-845-6613.
By the sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed. A participant in the program has to be in the ninth grade or older. We welcome students, adults, anyone who has previously received the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Eucharist. To enter our program, you need to register and you need a sponsor. After you register, you and your sponsor attend our Confirmation Preparation Sessions. We also ask that you attend a retreat. Finally, we will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation at a time specified by the Bishop and the pastor.
Please contact Father John Sasse at the parish office at 608-845-6613; Doug Ulaszek at 608-845-6613 ext. 5.
Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life, where Jesus is really, truly and substantially present. Celebration of the Holy Eucharist (Mass) is the Church’s most important act of praise and thanksgiving to God, and its greatest sign of unity. Preparation for receiving Holy Communion for the first time at Mass usually takes place when a child is in the second grade or later.
The Sacraments of Healing
The Lord Jesus Christ, physician of our souls and bodies, has willed that his Church continue, in the power of the Holy Spirit, His work of healing and salvation. This is, in part, the purpose of the two sacraments of healing: the Sacrament of Penance (also called Reconciliation or Confession) and the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick (see James 1:13-18, 5:19-20; Matthew 16:16-20; John 20:19-23; 2 Corinthians 5:17-22; Mark 6:7-13; James 5:14-15).
As disciples of Jesus we are called to love God, our neighbor and ourselves, and to help bring about God’s Kingdom here on earth. When we fail to love and serve others, we need forgiveness and reconciliation with God, others and self. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is the sacramental means of experiencing God’s love and forgiveness (see Matthew 16; John 20; 2 Corinthians 5). Preparation for this Sacrament usually takes place when a child is in the second grade, along with preparation for the Sacrament of Eucharist.
Anointing of the Sick
The Sacrament of Anointing is the proper sacrament for those whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age or about to undergo a serious operation. One who seeks the the healing of Christ through this Sacrament for support, please contact the pastor Father John Sasse at the parish office at 608-845-6613.
The Sacraments of Vocation
Two Sacraments, Holy Matrimony and Holy Orders, confer a special grace for a particular mission in the Church to serve and build up the People of God. They contribute to ecclesial communion and to the salvation of others.
Marriage is a lifelong commitment of a man and a woman in a covenant of love established by God. Founded and endowed with its own proper laws by the Creator, marriage is by its very nature ordered to the communion and good of the couple and to the generation and education of children. When a man and a woman pledge their love in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, they share Jesus Christ’s love with each other and carry out God’s plan that the two shall become one (see Mark 10:1-12; Matthew 19:1-12; John 2:1-12).
Marriage is not a brief celebration on a certain day at a specific time. It is, by God’s grace, the work of a lifetime that requires special training and preparation. At St. Christopher Parish, a couple begins marriage preparation at least six months prior to their wedding date by contacting the pastor, Father John Sasse.
Holy Orders (bishops, priests, deacons) is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to His Apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time (see Matthew 10:1-15; Mark 3: 14-19; Luke 6:12-16; John 13:1-20; John 16 and 17; Acts 8:14-17, 13:1-3; Romans 15:15-16; Hebrews 3:1-10:39; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; 2 Timothy 1:6-7.
Those who are interested in learning more about Holy Orders (priesthood and diaconate) or religious vocations (sisters, brothers, nuns, monks, consecrated single life) should contact Father John Sasse.