The saving words and deeds of Jesus Christ are the foundation of what he would communicate in the Sacraments through the ministers of the Church. Guided by the Holy Spirit, the Church recognizes the existence of Seven Sacraments instituted by the Lord. They are the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist), the Sacraments of Healing (Penance and the Anointing of the Sick), and the Sacraments at the Service of Communion (Marriage and Holy Orders). Through the Sacraments, God shares his holiness with us so that we, in turn, can make the world holier. Source: www.usccb.org
Baptism is the first Sacrament of Initiation in the Catholic Church, the foundation of our life in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Baptism bestows God’s grace on a person, frees the recipient from Original and Personal Sin, and makes the person a member of the Body of Christ, the Church. The baptism of babies and young children revitalizes our faith community. Parents of infants are asked to contact the parish office to arrange their participation in the Baptism preparation program. This includes a couple of meetings with the Pastor or Deacon. A sponsor for Baptism should be at least 16 years old, baptized and confirmed in the Catholic Church. A baptized non-Catholic may be chosen in addition to the Catholic sponsor. Parents may go through Baptism preparation before their child is born. The Baptism usually takes place during one of the weekend liturgies so the newest member of the Stella Maris family can be welcomed by the entire congregation.
If you would like to arrange receiving the sacrament of baptism, please call the parish office at (920) 868-3241 or click here to send an email message.
Confirmation is the second sacrament of initiation. It strengthens the graces of our Baptism, seals us with the special gift of the Holy Spirit which strengthens us to live and proclaim the Gospel. Confirmation strengthens our life with God, unites us more closely to Christ and his body of the Church. The bishop through the "laying on of hands" and "anointing with holy oil" evokes the Holy Spirit to dwell within us and grant seven gifts: wonder and awe, reverence, understanding, right judgment, knowledge, courage and wisdom. Confirmation leaves a mark or seal on our soul and marks us forever as belonging to Christ.
Questions about receiving the sacrament of Confirmation can be directed to Linda Cummer, our Director of Youth Faith Formation click here to send an email message or call (920) 421-2195.
THE EUCHARIST/HOLY COMMUNION
The Holy Eucharist is a sacrament and a sacrifice. In the Holy Eucharist, under the appearances of bread and wine, the Lord Jesus Christ is really, truly, and substantially present. The Council of Trent in the sixteenth century proclaimed the truth that had been held since the Last Supper, that Jesus is present in the Holy Eucharist, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.
As Catholics, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. We are encouraged to receive Communion devoutly and be properly disposed to receive Communion.
The celebration of First Eucharist is traditionally celebrated in the Spring of the second grade in conjunction with First Reconciliation. Formal instruction in the faith is recommended. Both children and parents participate in the preparation provided for by the Religious Education Staff. Questions regarding the preparation of this sacrament for youth in the religious education program and parishioners of Stella Maris Catholic Parish can be directed to Linda Cummer, our Director of Youth Faith Formation click here to send an email message or call (920) 421-2195.
For adults joining and returning to the faith, instruction concerning this Sacrament can be arranged through the RCIA (Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults) program. Additional information regarding the RCIA program can be found HERE. If you are feeling called to RCIA formation, please call the parish office at (920) 868-3241 or click here to send an email message.
God's great mercy is something to be celebrated. The Sacrament of Penance is God's gift to us so that any sin committed after Baptism can be forgiven. In confession we have the opportunity to repent and recover the grace of friendship with God. Ritually we Catholics experience God's unconditional love in the sacrament of reconciliation and With absolution, we are reconciled to God and the Church. The parish celebrates the Sacrament of Reconciliation communally at least twice a year during the Advent and Lenten Seasons. Individually the sacrament is available by appointment with our pastor.
Questions or appointment requests for the sacrament of reconciliation can be made by emailing Reverend David Ruby click here to send an email message or call him directly at (920) 421-0025.
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
Anointing of the Sick is a sacrament of the Church given to those who are ill. As a parish we understand that everyone has a need for extra compassion and care when their health is not at its best. The sacrament is given by a priest who anoints the person with the Oil of the Sick. This oil is blessed by the diocesan bishop during Holy Week of each year. By this anointing, the Church commends the sick to the healing power of Jesus Christ. The sacrament joins the suffering of the sick to that of Jesus and bestows gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Rite of Anointing tells us there is no need to wait until a person is at the point of death to receive the Sacrament. A careful judgment about the serious nature of the illness is deemed sufficient.
As a parish we seek to accommodate those in need of this sacrament. Communal anointing Masses take place twice yearly, with individual anointing done when requested. Parishioners in the hospital, nursing home or other institution are encouraged to contact the parish office at (920) 868-3241 to arrange visits or receive Holy Communion.
Marriage is a sacrament of vocation in which the Holy Spirit binds a man and woman in marriage through the vows they make to each other. A priest or deacon witness the marriage on behalf of the Church and a lifelong covenant is formed which parallels the unbreakable love relationship that Christ has with his Church. This sacrament strengthens and binds couples to remain faithful to each other and to lovingly welcome children. Source: www.gbdioc.org
A faith-filled wedding is a joyful time for the couple and the parish. Our parish wants to have all weddings here be the best possible and requires preparation to be done at least 12 months in advance. Before a date can be reserved, the couple must meet with the pastor.
Questions regarding weddings at any of the Stella Maris worship sites can be directed to Pat Gureski, our Wedding Coordinator click here to send an email message or call the parish office at (920) 868-3241.
God loves each of us. He has created us for a particular calling or way to follow him. Through the sacrament of Baptism, we become children of God and are called to live in holiness through love of God and our neighbor.
The process of making a decision about our life, guided by the Holy Spirit, is called discernment. It is the process of discovering God’s will in our lives.
Within our baptismal vocation to holiness, there are several vocations in the Church: Holy Orders (priesthood and permanent diaconate), Consecrated Life, and Married Life. Every Christian has a vocation, and each of us has the great privilege and responsibility of discerning what that vocation is in this life.
It is important to remember that our vocation does not come from the world, or from ourselves, but rather is an invitation directly from God to follow him.
As you begin your process of discernment, be open to the Lord and have the courage to follow him. Perhaps you could begin your discernment by asking that question which is seldom uttered in our busy world, “Lord, what do you want?”
After you ask this question, the Lord will lead you and deep your journey of discernment.
Questions regarding vocations and discernment can be directed to Reverend David Ruby, click here to send an email message or call him directly at (920) 421-0025.
In addition to the above sacraments, the following opportunities for prayer are offered at Stella Maris Parish:
Morning Prayer is available on Monday mornings and on select days when Mass is not said. Please consult the bulletin and website for times , dates and locations. Please come and join us!
Taize is an ecumenical prayer service that began in the 1940’s in the village of Taize, France. The service includes beautiful liturgical environment with icons and candles, melodic chants, scripture readings, prayers and periods of reflective silence. Taize prayer is held every three months at Stella Maris Parish; please consult the bulletin or website for times, dates and locations. Please come and join us!
Currently, Evening Prayer is held twice a year, once during Advent and once, during Lent. Please consult the bulletin and website for times, dates and locations.