Baptism is the first Sacrament of initiation. Generally given to newborns, this is the Sacrament that conveys new life with Christ and welcomes a person into the Church. A Baptism class is required for new parents seeking Baptism for their child. Parents should be attending church regularly before seeking this Sacrament for their child. Anyone who is 7 years or older would attend RCIA or RCIA for children before Baptism could be given. Contact the office for more information.
Confirmation is a Sacrament of initiation in which the Holy Spirit is conferred upon those already baptized to help them be strong Christians. Here, we have a two year program that begins in ninth grade with completion at the end of the 10th grade. Confirmation is only received once and is given by a Bishop.
Some of the requirements to be Confirmed include regular class attendance as well as Mass attendance and choosing a sponsor who is a practicing Catholic in good standing with the church. In addition, it is recommended that the student attend one or more retreats during those two years and be involved in service activities in the church. All forms associated with this Sacrament are given in a packet to parents at the beginning of the 10th grade year.
Holy Orders is a Sacrament of service whereby a man is called by God to become a deacon or priest. This is a calling of the heart and this decision can be discerned through prayer and spiritual guidance. These callings are a special gift from God to those who listen and follow His voice. Those who may be interested in more information about the Priesthood or Deaconate are invited to contact St. Joseph’s pastor or the Vocations Director for the Diocese of Sioux City. Young women who may be interested in a vocation to the religious life are also invited to contact the Vocations Director of the Diocese of Sioux City who could direct them further to one of the communities for women religious.
Reconciliation is a Sacrament of healing where a Baptized individual confesses sins to a priest. Reconciliation is held 30 minutes prior to any mass or any time a person makes an appointment. It washes us clean of sin for those who are truly sorry and wishes to avoid that sin in the future. During Advent and Lent communal penance services are held at Spirit Lake, Milford, and Spencer on a single date. Read the bulletin, newsletter or newspaper for dates.
At each Mass we celebrate the Eucharist, remembering the sacrifice that Jesus made for us and His last meal. For Catholics when we receive communion, we are receiving Jesus.
The Catholic Church has some regulations regarding receiving the Eucharist as this is the most intimate encounter with the Lord:
- A person must be without mortal sin. If not, receive reconciliation prior to receiving.
- A person must fast for one hour prior to receiving the Eucharist.
First Reconciliation/First Eucharist
First Reconciliation and First Eucharist are both Sacraments that a child receives when they are in second grade. In the fall a child prepares for First Reconciliation which is celebrated in January. After Easter the child will receive First Eucharist or Jesus for the very first time. Classroom instruction is required as well as two workshops for parents and child before these sacraments can be celebrated. More details about these sacraments can be received by calling Sharon in the Faith Formation office.
Anointing of the Sick
Anointing of the Sick is a Sacrament for those who are sick or even near death that conveys graces and gifts to provide strength against anxiety, discouragement and temptation. It is a Sacrament of healing that gives peace and fortitude. Those who are facing serious illness, surgery, danger of imminent death and the elderly may receive this sacrament when needed.
In addition, Healing Masses are held once a quarter on a Thursday. Contact the office for more information.
Marriage is also a Sacrament of service when a man and woman make the commitment to each other before God, family and friends. Preparation for marriage should begin at least six months before the wedding date. This involves discussions with a priest, paperwork and pre-marriage counseling. Contact the office for a wedding packet.
There is also a group of sponsor couples that meets with intended couples. Fr. Tom would be the contact.
Three married couples meet with couples preparing for marriage. Fr. Tom heads this committee.
Wedding Coordinator and Music Director
Judy McIntosh heads this committee to meet with prospective brides to finalize their wedding plans.
In addition to those Sacraments, St. Joseph has a program of Re-membering. If you have received all of your Sacraments, but have been away from the church for a period of time and wish to fully come back to being an active Catholic, we will warmly welcome you back. Please contact Fr. Ben or Fr. Tom.