The sacraments are physical signs which impart real, sacramental grace to transform lives with the power of the Holy Spirit. They are means of encounter with Christ himself. It is Christ who welcomes the newly baptized into the family of God and Confirms his faithful through the gift of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation. In the Eucharist Christ nourishes his flock with his own Body and Blood, and he heals and strengthens them with Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick. Through the sacraments of Holy Matrimony and Holy Orders, Christ supplies for the needs of his Church on earth. All the seven sacraments come from the ministry of Christ and continue his work of healing, strengthening and forgiving sins.
Baptism is the first of the sacraments, the gateway to life in the Spirit and life in the community of faith which is Church. Through Baptism we are washed clean from all sin and are reborn as sons and daughters of God through his son, Jesus Christ. By the sacrament we become part of the Church and sharers in the Gospel mission.
The Catholic Church distinguishes between infants who are brought for Baptism before the "age of reason", that is generally seven years of age, and children who are of teachable age.
Infants accept the faith through the faith of their parents, and so St. Jude Parish offers a Baptismal Preparation Class to prepare the parents for the baptism ceremony and for leading their children in a life of faith. Please contact the parish office at (920) 235-7412 for more information.
Once children are old enough to have a good understanding of the sacrament, we must provide them with an adequate preparation so they can personally accept the faith. Naturally this preparation involves the parents and siblings as well. The U.S. Bishops have made it the norm that children who are of catechetical age when entering the Church receive full initiation, that is Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist at one celebration, usually the Easter Vigil. The Rite of Christian Initiation, which restored the original order and unity of the three sacraments of initiation, applies to children from about seven or older as well as to any adults who seek Baptism. See the RCIA page for more details.
The reception of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. Through this sacrament, the baptized are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with the special strength of the Holy Spirit. Accepting their call as true witnesses of Christ, they are more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and example.
Preparation for this sacrament is a continuation of religious formation that takes place throughout childhood, and is usually, but not always, completed within the junior year of high school. To prepare for confirmation, freshman and sophomore students enroll in religious education classes to learn more in depth about our faith and Church teachings, as well as participate in our high school youth ministry program. Then, in junior year, after having completed this course of study, confirmation candidates enroll in a separate prep designed to prepare them to understand this sacrament and the gifts which are received from the Holy Spirit in it.
For those seeking confirmation who are older than high school or in special circumstances, our pastoral team can help find a preparation program that fits their needs. Please contact the parish office.
Holy Communion is the reception of the Eucharist, which is "the source and summit of the Christian life." At the heart of the Eucharistic celebration are the bread and wine that, by the words of Christ and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, become Christ's Body and Blood. Through baptism we are made sharers in the life of Christ; through Holy Communion that spiritual life is nourished and strengthened.
All the children of our parish who have been baptized and are in 2nd grade or older are invited to prepare with their families for the celebration of First Communion. The preparation process begins in January each year with the celebration usually near the end of April.
Preparation involves the child and at least one parent or other significant adult who will accompany him/her throughout the process.
Other family members are also welcome to attend sessions and participate. There is one Parent/Child meeting and two Parent/Child sessions, you will also complete materials at home which cover our beliefs about the sacrament.
All parish families with a second grade child are invited by mail in mid-December to participate in this process. For additional information, please contact Michelle Spanbauer.
The Sacrament of Penance applies to us the forgiveness of sins which Christ won for us on the cross. Those who approach this sacrament with sincere repentance are able to obtain pardon from God's mercy and at the same time reconciliation with the Church and the human family. It is also called the sacrament of Penance because it consecrates the Christian sinner's personal steps of conversion, penance, and satisfaction. Sometimes it is reffered to as Confession, since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament. In a profound sense it is also a "confession" - acknowledgment and praise - of the holiness of God and of his mercy toward sinful man. It is also called the sacrament of Reconciliation, because it imparts to the sinner the life of God who reconciles: "Be reconciled to God."(2 Cor 5:20).
All baptized Catholics may receive the sacrament of Reconciliation, and it is especially necessary for those who have committed serious sin. At St. Jude on Oregon Street, Reconciliation is offered Saturdays at 3:30 pm. Appointments can be also be made by calling (920) 235-7412. Our faith formation program also includes steps of preparation for first reconciliation for those who have never celebrated the sacrament. Children celebrate First Reconciliation prior to receiving their first Communion, and all parents are strongly encouraged to join their children in this celebration.
Through the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick priests, the whole Church commends those who are ill to the merciful care of our suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them.
Anointing is available for any Catholic suffering serious illness. Please contact the parish office at (920) 235-7412. In addition to individual requests, we celebrate the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick as a community within the context of a weekday Mass. Besides those in serious illness, the sacrament may be received by the elderly who have been weaker and those waiting for surgery when a serious medical condition is the reason for the operation. Sick children who have sufficient use of reason may also be helped by the celebration. Those who are unconscious or who have lost the use of reason, provided that they probably would have asked for the sacrament had they the use of their faculties may receive the sacrament.
Furthermore in many cases the mentally ill may be anointed, provided that they are willing to accept the anointing without fear and anxiety.
Marriage is a covenant between a man and woman, establishing a partnership of the whole life, both so that the spouses can help and support one another and any children God may give them. God has elevated this natural bond to the level of a sacrament, and Catholic marriage is strengthened by divine grace so that it becomes a living expression of the love between God and his Church.
The celebration of marriage between two Catholics normally takes place during Holy Mass, because of the connection of all the sacraments with the Paschal mystery of Christ. In the Eucharist the memorial of the New Covenant is realized, the New Covenant in which Christ has united himself for ever to the Church, his beloved bride for whom he gave up his life. It is fitting that the spouses should seal their consent to give themselves to each other through the offering of their own lives by uniting it to the offering of Christ for his Church made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice, and by receiving the Eucharist so that, communicating in the same Body and the same Blood of Christ, they may form "one body" in Christ.
St. Jude Parish welcomes couples seeking marriage, and wishes to help them prepare personally and spiritually for their marriage. Please contact us six months in advance by visiting or calling the parish office, so that we can reserve a date and begin the preparations for marriage.
Through the sacrament of Holy Orders, the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: this it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry, to build up and sanctify the Church. There are three levels or degrees of Holy Orders: Bishop, Priest and Deacon.
St. Jude Parish is grateful for the services of those who have been ordained to the Order of the Priesthood, Fr . Mathew Simonar, and our Deacons Fred Fischer, Pat Gelhar, and Bob Penzenstadler. By ancient tradition the sacrament of Holy Orders can only be conferred by a bishop.
The work of ordained ministry is vital for the Christian community, and men who feel themselves called towards this ministry should carefully consider it in prayer and with the help of spiritual directors. For more information talk to a priest or visit the Diocesan Vocations Office at GBvocations.org. Fr. Dan Schuster serves as the Director of Vocations, meaning that he meets with men individually and helps them discern a vocation and also guides them in their studies. Men studying to be priests are known as Seminarians. We currently have seminarians studying at St. John Vianney in St. Paul, MN, Mundelein in Illinois, and St. Meinrad in Indiana, and the Pontifical North American College in Rome.
If you feel a call to the deaconate, talk to your local pastor or the Diocese of Green Bay. More information is available on the website of the Diocese of Green Bay.