Sacraments are an outward sign, instituted by Christ to give Grace.
Information on each of the seven Sacraments is given below.
For more information on the Sacraments, Sacramental preparation,
or faith formation, please visit the Faith Formation page, or contact
Baptism is the gateway to the sacraments, our entry into Christian life. In this first sacrament to be received, we pass from death to life, reborn as children of God. We die and rise with Jesus Christ: our old, merely natural life ends as our new Christian life, a life of grace conformed to Jesus, begins. Baptism sets us free from original sin: that is, since Baptism gives the life of grace, we are freed from a state of life without grace, and thus our hope of eternal life and the assurance of God’s presence throughout the journey of our lives is granted.
Parents are encouraged to have their children baptized within the first few weeks after birth, or immediately if the child is in danger of death. Ideally, Baptism is celebrated on Sunday, the day the Church celebrates the Resurrection.
Insofar as possible, a sponsor is to be given to each child to be baptized. The sponsor’s role is to help the baptized person lead a life in harmony with their Christian identity, along with the natural parents; to pray for and support the person throughout life and particularly in their formative years. There may be one male or one female sponsor, or one of each sex. Sponsors are to be at least sixteen years of age and be confirmed Catholics who lead a life in harmony with the faith. Non-Catholics cannot be admitted as Catholic sponsors but can serve as Christian witnesses to the Baptism.
Expectant parents are asked to participate in a Baptismal session if they have not already done so. Parents are encouraged to participate in the class before their first child is born. Classes are usually scheduled the second Saturday of every month by appointment only.
Please call to register.
Parish Office (320)251-4455
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The most important of all the sacraments is the Most Holy Eucharist, since it is truly the personal Presence of Christ. In the Eucharist, Christ the Lord Himself is contained, offered, and received. By the Eucharist, the Church continually lives and grows.
The Eucharistic sacrifice, the memorial of the death and resurrection of the Lord, in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated through the ages, is the summit and source of all worship and Christian life. It both signifies and effects the unity of the People of God and brings about the building up of the body of Christ. All the other sacraments and all the rest of the life and work of the Church flow from the Most Holy Eucharist and are ordered to it.
First Eucharist Preparation
In their second grade year, students from both the Catholic schools and the public schools gather together to prepare for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Eucharist. The meetings, and the events themselves, are organized on a parish basis, but all events are open to anyone in the cluster. First Reconciliation usually occurs in December and First Eucharist in April or May.
Saturday: 3:00 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. at St Anthony
Saturday: 3:00 p.m. at Holy Spirit
Thursday before 1st Friday of the month: 3:30 p.m. at St Anthony
A Guide for Confession
The basic requirement for a good confession is to have the intention of returning to God like the "prodigal son" and to acknowledge our sins with true sorrow before the priest. Modern society has lost a sense of sin. As a Catholic follower of Christ, I must make an effort to recognize sin in my daily actions, words and omissions.
The Gospels show how important is the forgiveness of our sins. Lives of saints prove that the person who grows in holiness has a stronger sense of sin, sorrow for sins, and a need for the Sacrament of Penance or Confession.
The Differences in Sins
As a result of Original Sin, human nature is weakened. Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ's grace, takes away Original Sin, and turns us back toward God. The consequences of this weakness and the inclination to evil persist, and we often commit personal or actual sin. Actual sin is sin which people commit. There are two kinds of actual sin, mortal and venial.
Mortal sin is a deadly offense against God, so horrible that it destroys the life of grace in the soul. Three simultaneous conditions must be fulfilled for a mortal sin: 1) the act must be something very serious; 2) the person must have sufficient understanding of what is being done; 3) the person must have sufficient freedom of the will.
Remember, If you need help especially if you have been away for some time simply ask the priest and he will help you by "walking" you through the steps to make a good confession.
Preparing for Confession
Be truly sorry for your sins. The essential act of Penance, on the part of the penitent, is contrition, a clear and decisive rejection of the sin committed, together with a resolution not to commit it again, out of the love one has for God and which is reborn with repentance. The resolution to avoid committing these sins in the future (amendment) is a sure sign that your sorrow is genuine and authentic. This does not mean that a promise never to fall again into sin is necessary. A resolution to try to avoid the near occasions of sin suffices for true repentance. God's grace in cooperation with the intention to rectify your life will give you the strength to resist and overcome temptation in the future.
Examination of Conscience
Before going to Confession you should make a review of mortal and venial sins since your last sacramental confession, and should express sorrow for sins, hatred for sins and a firm resolution not to sin again.
A helpful pattern for examination of conscience is to review the Commandments of God and the Precepts of the Church:
Have God and the pursuit of sanctity in Christ been the goal of my life? Have I denied my faith? Have I placed my trust in false teachings or substitutes for God? Did I despair of God's mercy?
Have I avoided the profane use of God's name in my speech? Have I broken a solemn vow or promise?
Have I honored every Sunday by avoiding unnecessary work, celebrating the Mass (also holydays)? Was I inattentive at, or unnecessarily late for Mass, or did I leave early? Have I neglected prayer for a long time?
Have I shown Christlike respect to parents, spouse, and family members, legitimate authorities? Have I been attentive to the religious education and formation of my children?
Have I cared for the bodily health and safety of myself and all others? Did I abuse drugs or alcohol? Have I supported in any way abortion, "mercy killing," or suicide?
Was I impatient, angry, envious, proud, jealous, revengeful, lazy? Have I forgiven others?
Have I been just in my responsibilities to employer and employees? Have I discriminated against others because of race or other reasons?
Have I been chaste in thought and word? Have I used sex only within marriage and while open to procreating life? Have I given myself sexual gratification? Did I deliberately look at impure TV, pictures, reading?
Have I stolen anything from another, from my employer, from government? If so, am I ready to repay it? Did I fulfill my contracts? Did I rashly gamble, depriving my family of necessities?
Have I spoken ill of any other person? Have I always told the truth? Have I kept secrets and confidences?
Have I permitted sexual thoughts about someone to whom I am not married?
Have I desired what belongs to other people? Have I wished ill on another?
Have I been faithful to sacramental living (Holy Communion and Penance)?
Have I helped make my parish community stronger and holier? Have I contributed to the support of the Church?
Have I done penance by abstaining and fasting on obligatory days? Have I fasted before receiving communion?
Have I been mindful of the poor? Do I accept God's will for me?
After examining your conscience and telling God of your sorrow, go into the confessional. You may kneel at the screen or sit to talk face-to-face with the priest.
Begin your confession with the sign of the cross, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. My last confession was _______ weeks (months, years) ago."
The priest may read a passage from holy Scripture.
Say the sins that you remember. Start with the one(s) that is most difficult to say. (In order to make a good confession the faithful must confess all mortal sins, according to kind and number.) After confessing all the sins you remember since your last good confession, you may conclude by saying, "I am sorry for these and all the sins of my past life."
Listen to the words of the priest. He will assign you some penance. Doing the penance will diminish the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven. When invited, express some prayer of sorrow or Act of Contrition such as:
An Act of Contrition
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell. But most of all because I have offended you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.
At the End of Confession
Listen to the words of absolution, the sacramental forgiveness of the Church through the ordained priest.
As you listen to the words of forgiveness you may make the sign of the cross with the priest. If he closes by saying, "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good," answer, "For His mercy endures forever."
Give thanks to God for forgiving you again. If you recall some serious sin you forgot to tell, rest assured that it has been forgiven with the others, but be sure to confess it in your next Confession.
Do your assigned Penance.
Resolve to return to the Sacrament of Reconciliation often. We Catholics are fortunate to have the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is the ordinary way for us to have our sins forgiven. This sacrament is a powerful help to get rid of our weaknesses, grow in holiness, and lead a balanced and virtuous life.
The sacrament of Confirmation continues the path of Christian initiation into the life of the Church. It conforms the confirmed person more fully to Christ through the indwelling Gift of the Holy Spirit.
Confirmation strengthens the person (the literal meaning of the word to “confirm”) in the faith, and obliges the person more fully to be a witness to Christ by spreading and defending Catholic faith. As Baptism is each Christian’s share in the Paschal Mystery, dying and rising with Christ, so Confirmation is each one’s share in Pentecost, the gift of the Holy Spirit to carry on the work of Christ through the Church.
Confirmation is normally administered by the diocesan bishop or his delegate. Adults who are received into the Catholic Church from another Christian denomination or who are baptized for the first time as adults are confirmed by the parish pastor or his delegate.
In Confirmation, the Cathedral students join us as we review faith formation in a new way, reflecting their increased maturity level. Students have other requirements as well, including a journal to complete with a mentor and a service component. Starting in the 10th grade year, the students can take as long as they want to prepare for the sacrament. When the students have completed the requirements, they will be included in the next Confirmation group.
Christian Marriage is the sacrament by which a man and a woman freely enter a life-long covenant of love and life. Their partnership of the whole of life mirrors the relationship of Christ and the Church: a love that is faithful, committed, and open to new life.
Marriage by its nature is ordered to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children. These ends or purposes of marriage are the foundation for its essential properties of unity (one man and one woman, faithful to one another) and indissolubility (a commitment that is life-long).
Because marriage is the basis of stable family life, in turn the basic unit of human society, adequate preparation for this life-long vocation is vitally important. For more information on marriage preparation and other questions about marriage in the Church, contact the parish office. Please schedule an appointment as soon as possible after your engagement to help guide you through the preparation process. We want to celebrate with you and walk with you on your journey of love and discovery toward the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. A Marriage Course and other preparations will be arranged. It takes at least six months for the full marriage preparation process.
Marriage Encounter is designed to give married couples the opportunity to examine their lives together. The emphasis on Marriage Encounter is on communication between husband and wife, who spend a weekend together away from the distractions and tensions of everyday life, to concentrate on each other. It allows couples to rediscover each other and together focus on their marriage relationship for an entire weekend. What a great gift! Watch the St. Cloud Visitor for dates.
(Re-tro-vï, with a long i), the French word for rediscovery, is a ministry that provides hope to those couples who are struggling to make their marriage work or for those in hurting marriages. Are you frustrated, hurt and often times angry with each other? Are you feeling cold, alone, disillusioned or bored? This program starts with a weekend experience, which gives the couple tools to help them put their marriage in order again. The program then continues with six follow-up sessions that aid the couple in rebuilding their relationship.
Jerry and Carol Jansen
Anointing of the Sick
The Anointing of the Sick is offered to those who are seriously ill so that they may experience the healing and mercy of God in their suffering. It unites our experience of human weakness and sickness to the mystery of Christ’s Cross and Resurrection.
The Anointing of the Sick is intended for those who have reached the age of reason and begin to be in the danger of death due to illness or old age. This illness may be acute or chronic, physical or psychological. The Anointing can be repeated as often as necessary in the course of an illness if the person’s health declines. It is not only for the final stages of illness, but can be received as soon as a serious illness or condition is identified, or before a significant surgery.
The Anointing of the Sick always brings healing. One of its effects is the forgiveness of sins, along with spiritual strength. Because we are a body-soul unity, physical healing may also occur if, in the wisdom of God, this is for the good of the person.
Our cluster holds communal services with the Anointing of the Sick at least twice a year. The priests are always willing to anoint those in need in the hospital, nursing home, or their own homes upon request. To request the Anointing of the Sick, contact your parish office.
The sacrament of Holy Orders establishes some among the Christian faithful as sacred ministers within and on behalf of the Church. Holy Orders consists of three grades: bishops, priests, and deacons.
Those who are ordained accept a public role in service to the Church’s mission to proclaim the Gospel of Christ by prayer, word and action. They take on works of ministry to teach, shepherd, and sanctify. They coordinate works of charity and service, gather the community of the faithful, and oversee the temporal needs of the Church’s institutions.
If you are interested in exploring the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood or the permanent diaconate, see Vocations at the Diocese of St. Cloud