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Sacraments and Liturgical Celebrations

 

Sacraments happen in the context of the larger Church and the parish community of faith. They are not simply private exchanges between the believer and his/her God. If that were the case, the purpose of Church would be only to provide personal inspiration to our members. While inspiration may and should occur, that is only part of the sacramental picture. There must also be a sense of community that speaks loudly of our responsibility for one another in faith. It is this community that is initiating and welcoming others into full practice within it. The church is the People of God gathering together to praise God as His family in the world.

Baptism
The first step leading to full incorporation with Christ and His Church is baptism. Parents accept a great deal of responsibility in presenting a child for baptism; they will be the child’s first teachers of the faith. Prior to baptism, the parents must fulfill two requirements. The first is to attend a class on the meaning of baptism. The second is that at least one of the parents of the child to be baptized must be a registered member of St. Thomas Aquinas and show signs of active participation in worship and parish activities.

For further information, call the rectory at 262-534-2255.

First Eucharist
Eucharist is the source and summit of Catholic life and the celebration of First Eucharist is an exciting event for young Catholics and their families. Children are invited to prepare for the sacrament when they reach the age of reason, usually around age seven or in second grade. A minimum of two years of Catholic instruction is required to participate in this sacrament. Contact the Grade School Faith Formation Director for more information.

Reconciliation
Reconciliation enables us to reconcile with our loving God. Most children prepare for Reconciliation during their second grade year and are invited to participate in the celebration of the sacrament during a scheduled service in the Fall. Contact the Grade School Faith Formation Director for more information.

This sacrament is conducted in private on Saturdays from 3:30-4:00 p.m., or by appointment. Penance Services are announced.

Confirmation
Candidates for the sacrament of Confirmation must be baptized Catholics who are at least sixteen years of age. They should be ready to affirm their baptism by saying yes to it with the celebration of their confirmation. Contact the High School Faith Formation Director for more information.

Marriage
Arrangements must be made six months in advance. Call the Parish Office 262-534-2255 for more information.

Holy Orders
The sacrament of Holy Orders in the Catholic Church includes three orders: bishop, priest, and deacon. The word "order" designates an established civil body or corporation with a hierarchy, and ordination means legal incorporation into an order. Therefore, a group with a hierarchical structure that is set apart for ministry in the Church. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming ordained within the Church, contact the Parish Office 262-534-2255 for more information.

Anointing of the Sick and Elderly
A communal celebration of this sacrament is held in October. This sacrament is not just for those in immediate danger of death.  It may be offered to anyone who is seriously ill or anyone with a chronic illness. Never delay anointing until the point of death.  Contact the at 262-534-2255 for more information.

After Death has Occurred
A priest does not anoint those who have already died. Nevertheless, he or a member of St. Thomas Aquinas Pastoral Care staff can be called when a loved one has died. They are more than willing to come and pray with the family and offer consolation.  Contact the Parish Office 262-534-2255 for more information.

Catholic Burial
Just as a Catholic begins his/her life in the Church with the sacrament of Baptism, so should the family and friends celebrate a loved one’s earthly life and his/her birth to Everlasting Life with a Catholic funeral. During the funeral, the water of baptism is sprinkled on the deceased. As at Baptism, the light of the Easter Candle shines on the faithful departed, and the white garment of Christ is placed over the person of faith.

The Mass of Christian Burial may take place on any day except the Holy Week Triduum (Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday) Holy Days and Sundays. Burial may take place in a Catholic or public cemetery. Cremation is also allowed. Visitation may take place in the church if the parish schedule allows. Contact the Parish Office 262-534-2255 for more information.