The sacraments are seven special moments in the life of the Church community in which we celebrate and truly experience the grace of God. In the sacraments, we recognize God’s love and experience God’s very presence so that we can be transformed by this love to become instruments of God’s love to the world. Receiving the sacraments, we become sacramental signs of Christ in our families, our work and in our communities.
Click the links below to learn more about each sacrament.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).
In Baptism we celebrate being reborn as sons and daughters of God. Through this beautiful sacrament we become members of the Church and share in its mission—to spread the Gospel through our lives in the world.
Catholics will most often be baptized as infants—when a baby is baptized the parents and godparents speak for the child, expressing the desire for baptism. Infant baptism emphasizes Christ’s desire to “let the little ones come to me” and emphasizes the important role of family and community in our life of faith.
First time parents (new and expecting) are required to attend a baptismal preparation session. This session is held monthly and you can register for an upcoming session at tinyurl.com/baptismprep. At this session we walk through the rite of baptism and lay out the process for scheduling a baptism within our family of parishes. If you have any questions, please contact Rachel McGrew, Associate Director of Family Ministry, at email@example.com or 414-962-2443. If you are unable to make a Monday night work, you may contact Rachel to set up an individual meeting.
Some people are also baptized as adults through a special process called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). This process invites us to grow in love with Jesus Christ and to follow Him as a disciple within a community of faith.
Typically, RCIA runs from September through May, with initiation celebrated as part of the Easter Vigil. Adults interested in the RCIA process should contact our Pastoral Associate of Formation and Justice, Chad Griesel, at 414-271-6180 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:14-17).
The Sacrament of Confirmation is a strengthening of the graces received in Baptism—just as the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles at Pentecost, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are strengthened in those who receive Confirmation, so that they are better able to witness to Christ in the world. Confirmation completes our initiation into the Church and strengthens us for our Christian life.
Confirmation Preparation for Teens
Confirmation preparation for youth (those in high school) in our parishes is through East Side Child and Youth Ministry (ESCYM). For more information, contact Ralph Stewart at 414-962-3776 or email@example.com.
For those adults already joined to Christ in Baptism and the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Confirmation deepens and strengthens our relationship with Christ through the Holy Spirit. This Sacrament imparts many spiritual gifts that help us live our Christian lives and be witnesses to Christ in the world.
Preparation sessions to receive Confirmation as an adult begin in January in the Old St. Mary Parish Center. We meet approximately every other week from 7:00-9:00 pm, and Confirmation is celebrated on Pentecost Sunday at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. The Adult Confirmation process is a great way to grow in faith and meet others from our community as you prepare for this wonderful sacrament.
For more information, contact Fr. John Baumgardner at 414-962-2443 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever;…he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and…abides in me, and I in him” (John 6:51, 54, 56).
The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Church’s life. In the Eucharist, the Church is joined to the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, partakes of Christ’s Body and Blood, and is brought into communion with Christ and one another. In the Eucharist, the Lord is present in a true, real and substantial manner in his Body, Blood, soul and divinity.
Preparation for First Communion for Children
Parents interested in finding out more about First Communion for their children should call Ralph Stewart at East Side Child and Youth Ministry, at 414-962-3776 or email@example.com. At Old St. Mary, contact Ken Gardinier, Director of Religious Education, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 414-271-6180.
Adults Seeking First Communion
Adults seeking to receive their First Communion should contact Chad Griesel, Pastoral Associate of Formation and Justice, at 414-271-6180 or email@example.com.
“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week…[Jesus] breathed on them, and said to them: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’” (John 20:19, 22-23).
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (also called “Confession” or “Penance”) is a beautiful encounter with our Lord and the Church in which the mercy of God is poured out for us, and we receive forgiveness for our sin. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, God forgives our sin, and we also are reconciled with the entire Church.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation schedule for our family of four parishes is as follows:
- 3:30-3:45pm, St. Casimir Church, 2600 N Bremen St
- 3:30-4:15pm, Holy Rosary Church, 2011 N Oakland Ave
- 4:00-4:30pm, SS Peter & Paul Church, 2490 N Cramer St
Monday, Tuesday, Friday:
- 11:30am-12:00pm, Old St. Mary Church, 844 N Broadway
You may also make an appointment. To contact our pastors directly, call Fr. Tim at 414-762-7986 or Fr. John 414-305-3824.
Even if you are unsure about how to go to confession, or if it’s been awhile since you’ve received it, we invite you to experience this sacrament of mercy! The priest will help you through it as you are receiving it, and if you are unsure of how to proceed, simply ask! We also have provided some resources below to help you learn more about the Sacrament of Reconciliation. What is most important in receiving Reconciliation is not simply knowing the order, but approaching God with sorrow for your sin, desire for his mercy and forgiveness, and the intention to try to do better in the future.
Below you will find some guides to help walk you through the sacrament and explain more about it. Click on the title to access the guides.
A Guide for the Sacrament of Reconciliation:
Sample Examinations of Conscience:
Preparation for First Reconciliation for Children
First Reconciliation preparation is done through East Side Child and Youth Ministry. Contact Ralph Stewart at 414-962-3776 or firstname.lastname@example.org. At Old St. Mary, contact Ken Gardinier, Director of Religious Education, at email@example.com or 414-271-6180.
“Is any among you sick? Let him call the presbyters of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven” (James 5:14-15).
The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick gives special grace and comfort to those experiencing the difficulties inherent in grave illness or advancement of years. Each time someone falls seriously ill, he or she is encouraged to receive this sacrament, and he or she may receive it again each time the illness worsens. The strength and peace of the Lord that may be received in this sacrament helps the ill to be united to Christ during their trials.
Anointing of the Sick is given every first Friday of the month after the 8:15 am Mass at St. Hedwig. Please feel free to call the parish office if you seek anointing at other times.
“Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” (Matthew 19:5)
The Sacrament of Marriage is the sacrament by which a man and a woman pledge a lifelong commitment to one another, and by which God joins them together in an unbreakable bond. A couple discerns marriage over a period of time and can come to see that God wills that they spend their lives together, helping one another grow in holiness and living in service to their family and the world.
The preparation process to receive the sacrament of marriage helps a couple grow in love for one another, and open their lives to God’s love and grace.
Each couple must meet with one of our pastors before a wedding date can be set. At this meeting, the pastor will walk you through the preparation process used in our parishes, which includes meeting with a parish FOCCUS couple and attending an archdiocesan Engaged Enrichment Conference.
A FOCCUS couple is a married couple from our parish who you will be matched up with when your marriage date is set. You will meet with them at least once before your wedding.
The Engaged Enrichment Conference for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee is a day-long event during which the engaged couple explores and discusses the meaning of a sacramental marriage and gains valuable tools for the road ahead. To view the schedule of conferences and to register, visit www.johnpaul2center.org/Nazareth-Project/Engaged-Enrichment.htm.
Our family of four parishes has a website to assist you with planning your wedding: fourparishweddings.org.
For more information, please contact the parish office or one of our pastors. To contact our pastors directly, call Fr. Tim at 414-762-7986 or Fr. John at 414-305-3824.
“Attend to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you.” (1 Timothy 4:13-14)
“Holy Orders 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: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. In includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and deaconate” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1536).
The Sacrament of Holy Orders ordains those men who have been called by God to receive it to be a deacon, priest, or bishop.
For more information on vocations to the diaconate and priesthood in the Church, go to www.archmil.org/Vocations.htm.