SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION
The Sacrament of Baptism
The Sacrament of Baptism celebrates our initiation into the community of faith. Here at St. Mary's, adult baptisms are celebrated annually as part of the Easter Vigil. Infant baptisms are celebrated quarterly (January, April, July, and October) within the context of the Sunday Eucharist. Parents are invited to bring their children to the Mass they usually attend. The community rejoices and celebrates the gift of God's new life poured out upon those who become part of His family - the Church.
As a community of faith we offer our prayerful support and the example of our Christian living to assist these children in their journey of faith. If you have any questions regarding your child's baptism, contact Sr. Agnes at 319-337-4314.
The Sacrament of First Holy Communion
The Eucharist is a sign and a source of unity and a privileged moment of thanksgiving. It is an experience of Jesus' life-giving sacrifice and a treasured moment of his real presence. The Eucharist is the center and heart of Catholic Christian life.
Preparing for the Sacrament of First Holy Communion is a very important time for the first communicant, their family and the parish community of St. Mary's. It is a recommendation of the Church that all sacraments be celebrated with the worshipping community. The first communicants receive the sacrament at the Mass their family regularly attends at St. Mary's.
In preparation for this great event, the families gather once a month in the church. This is an opportunity for the parents to share their faith with their child. The evenings for parents and children begin at 6:30 p.m. and are completed at 8:00 p.m.
The Sacrament of Confirmation
The confirmation program is a seven-month process which begins each year in the fall and extends through the following May. Youth in grades 9-12 who are registered members of St. Mary's Parish and who freely choose to be confirmed prepare to receive the sacrament as a group. The reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated in the Spring.
(Click here for a full-page description of the confirmation program.)
SACRAMENTS OF HEALING
The Sacrament of Reconciliation
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is celebrated as a parish community during Advent and Lent. The Advent Penance Service is also the first experience of reconciliation for the children of our parish who are preparing for First Eucharist. It is wonderful to see people of all ages acknowledging our sinfulness and receiving the gift of God's merciful love. As many as ten priests are present for these penitential celebrations.
The Sacrament is also celebrated each Saturday morning from 10:00 to 11:30AM. Many people take advantage of this opportunity to confess their sins and receive absolution. St. Mary's has a long and wonderful history of people coming to celebrate this sacrament. Nearly every Saturday the priests are kept busy hearing the confessions of those who seek the Lord's forgiveness and compassion. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of God's greatest gifts!
If you have any questions regarding the Sacrament of Reconciliation, contact Fr. Ken at 319-337-4314.
The Sacrament of the Sick
The Sacrament of the Sick celebrates the gift of Jesus' healing presence within our community. Here at St. Mary's, the Sacrament of the Sick is celebrated communally at each of the weekend Masses on one of the weekends during the month of October. October is Respect Life Month, and we celebrate the Sacrament of the Sick to remind us of the sacredness of all human life and our call to pray for and support those within our community who are in need of God's healing and strength. The Sacrament of the Sick is also celebrated throughout the year for those who are hospitalized or homebound.As a community of faith, we pray for the sick, asking that God would fill them with his love and peace. If you have any questions regarding receiving the Sacrament of the Sick contact Fr. Ken or Sr. Agnes at 319-337-4314.
SACRAMENTS OF COMMITMENT
The Sacrament of Matrimony
One of the great joys of our parish is the celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony. Throughout the year couples come before God's altar to be joined together as husband and wife. They make their vows in the presence of God and the community of faith. They trust that God will not only bless their life together, but that he will also give them all that they need to continue to grow in their love of each other with each passing day. The Sacrament of Matrimony is more than the ceremony - it is the couple's life together. Because of the importance of this sacrament of our Church, couple's preparing for marriage participate in an extensive marriage preparation program. This includes a general meeting with the staff, several meetings with Sister Agnes (our marriage preparation coordinator), and at least one meeting with the priest who will preside at the wedding ceremony.
Couples also participate in our sponsor couple Marriage Preparation program or they attend a marriage encounter weekend. In both of these programs, engaged couples meet with married couples to discuss the significant issues related to their life. Topics include: communication, finances, sexuality, spirituality, and children.
Marriage preparation is a very important component of parish ministry here at St. Mary's. We hope that it provides a solid foundation upon which married couples can live out this beautiful sacrament of love.
If you have any questions regarding the Sacrament of Matrimony, contact Sr. Agnes at 319-337-4314.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders
The Sacrament of Holy Orders celebrates the call of the Lord to service in the Church as a deacon, priest, or bishop.
Diocesan opportunities for those who may be interested in the priesthood or religious life happen throughout the calendar year and can be found in our parish bulletin.
In the history of St. Mary's Church, several men have followed the call of the Lord to serve as priests. One of our native sons even became a bishop! Prayers for vocations are very important as well as the encouragement of our young people to consider God's call in their lives.
We have also been blessed with several young women who have entered religious life. For many years the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM'S) have provided a witness of committed service to the children and adults of our parish. We pray that the Church will continue to be served by men and women who say as did Isaiah: "Here am I Lord, send me!"
If you have any questions concerning the Sacrament of Holy Orders, contact Fr. Ken or Sr. Agnes at 319-337-4314, send email to Fr. Thom Hennen, or contact Fr. Hennen at:
Office of Vocations
Diocese of Davenport
2706 N. Gaines Street
Davenport, Iowa 52804
(563) 324-1912 ext. 254