Sacraments

Baptism

Baptism is the sacrament through which we become members of the Catholic church. Parents must be registered, active members of St. Stephen for 3 months before they can begin the baptismal process. Please call the Baptism Coordinator at the church office to make arrangements.


Reconciliation and First Eucharist

When a child is able to understand God’s presence among us and His son’s special presence in the Eucharist, the community welcomes the child to the Lord’s table of communion. The sacraments of Reconciliation and First Eucharist (First Holy Communion) are celebrated in the 2nd grade after having completed 1st grade religious education. These 2 consecutive years are considered First Year Eucharist and Second Year Eucharist.

Sacramental preparation for receiving First Eucharist involves regular attendance at class, mandatory parent meetings, a sacramental retreat day for the students, and several large-group class meetings. The sacrament of First Eucharist is celebrated in the spring, after Easter.


Special Sacraments

Religious instruction and sacramental preparation for students in grades 3 through 8 who have not yet received Reconciliation or First Eucharist. Students are placed in age appropriate classes that meet during intermediate week.


Confirmation

In confirmation, we confirm the promises taken on our behalf in baptism. In this sacrament one publicly commits oneself to a life as a Catholic Christian. It is a decision on the part of the individual to dedicate one’s life to Christian values and to the Christian community.

Preparation for Confirmation is a 2-year course of study that begins when the student enters the 9th grade (Level I). Classes continue through the 10th grade (Level II) with the sacrament of Confirmation being celebrated in the spring, after Easter.

Preparation involves regular attendance at classes, mandatory parent meetings, student-performed community service, and an overnight retreat during Level II year. Students can prepare for Confirmation in this high school program up to 18 years of age.


Anointing of the Sick

The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is the Church’s sacrament for those who are sick and aging or dying, and is a sacred moment when we pray for God’s grace to strengthen someone who is suffering from any form of illness.

When the Sacrament of the Sick is administered, the hoped-for effect is that, the person be physically healed of illness. But even if there is no physical healing, the primary effect of the Sacrament is a spiritual healing by which the sick person receives the Holy Spirit’s gift of peace and courage to deal with the difficulties that accompany serious illness or the frailty of old age or approaching death. Click here for more details.


Marriage

The Catholic couple must be registered, active members of St. Stephen for a minimum of 6 months before marriage preparation can begin. A 6 month preparation is also required. Please call the church office for more information.