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Sacramental Life


In baptism, the first sacrament of initiation, we welcome new members into the Christian faith. Baptism is the beginning of a lifelong journey of faith. While infant baptism is the norm in the Catholic Church, one can be baptized at any age.

Infants and children ages 6 and younger
Parents wishing to have their child baptized need to complete two baptism preparation sessions if they have not done so in the past three years. This session will help parents come to a deeper understanding of the sacrament and the commitment they themselves make in bringing their child for baptism. For a schedule of baptism preparation sessions or to schedule the baptism itself, contact the parish office.

Children older than 6
Children 7 and older who are preparing for baptism enter into a program of preparation similar to adults who are asking for baptism. When they are initiated into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil, the night before Easter, they are not only baptized, but they are also confirmed and receive First Eucharist. Contact our Director of Christian Formation for more information.

Adults who wish to be baptized enter into a process of preparation that we call RCIA (the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). This process begins with inquiry sessions that let you ask your questions and help you decide if the Catholic Church is the church for you. If you decide to pursue initiation into the church, you will be part of a group of people who will meet to study more fully our Catholic teachings and the Christian way of life. You will then be baptized, confirmed and receive Eucharist at the Easter Vigil. Contact our Director of Christian Formation for more information.


Children prepare for first Reconciliation (penance or confession) prior to First Communion. Contact our Director of Christian Formation for more information.


First Eucharist, or First Communion, is typically celebrated in second grade. However, the sacrament can be celebrated at any age. Contact our Director of Christian Formation for more information.


During high school: Confirmation is celebrated in the junior year of high school or later. Our program is done in collaboration with Our Lady of Good Hope and St. Bernadette. For more information on preparing for this sacrament, contact our Director of Christian Formation.

As adults: Adults who have been baptized in the Catholic Church and who have already received First Communion, but have never been confirmed, are encouraged to complete their initiation through the sacrament of Confirmation. Contact the Director of Christian Formation for more information.


As children: If your children were baptized in another Christian faith and you would like them to now be part of the Catholic Church, please call our Christian Formation Office. Depending on the age of your children, there are different routes to take to welcome them into the church.

As adults: If you have never been baptized, or if you were baptized in another Christian church, or were baptized in the Catholic Church, but never raised in the faith, we welcome you. A process we call RCIA (the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is for you. Inquiry sessions are held to let you ask your questions and help you decide if the Catholic Church is the church for you. If you decide to pursue reception into the church, or if you wish to complete your initiation, we prepare you for Baptism (if you have not already been baptized), Confirmation and Eucharist. Contact our Director of Christian Formation for more information.


Marriage in the Catholic Church is a sacramental event that gives a visible sign of God’s presence in our lives. Together, a bride and groom enter into a relationship with God when they come before the church community and enter into marriage. Their bond becomes the symbol of the covenant that unites God and God’s people.

Because of the sacredness of this relationship, marriage cannot be entered into lightly. Marriage preparation is essential.

Engaged couples need to contact the parish office at least six months prior to marriage. Once the date of the wedding has been set, the couple will meet with the parish director and the priest or deacon who will officiate at the wedding. They will also meet with our music minister to select music for the Mass or service. In addition, the couple must attend a day for the engaged offered by the archdiocese.

Those married at St. Catherine need to be members of the parish. Or, if they are members of another parish and wish to be married at St. Catherine, permission from their own pastor is needed.


If there is a person in your family who is ill, chronically sick, growing weaker or disabled, he or she should receive the Sacrament of the Sick. In hospitals, a chaplain may be requested. If a family calls a priest, it is a great support for the sick person to have his or her family and friends present for the sacrament. To consult a priest about the need for the sacrament of the sick, please call the parish office. (Or, if the individual is at the hospital, you may want to contact the hospital chaplain’s office.) A suitable time will be arranged with a priest.

If families feel there is no need for the sacrament to be celebrated at home, in a nursing home or in the hospital, they are encouraged to bring the sick person to the communal celebration of the sacrament of the sick, which takes place monthly at alternating weekend Masses. Watch the bulletin for announcements.


If you or a loved one are hospitalized, in a nursing home, or homebound and would like to be visited and/or receive communion, please call the parish office. Due to the HIPPA privacy laws, we can no longer call institutions and receive a list of parishioners who are patients or residents. We would like to be able to offer pastoral care to all our parishioners who are in need.

You are also welcome to take communion home with you for a loved one who is homebound or hospitalized. If you do, a special container, called a pyx, should be used to carry the Eucharist in a dignified way. We have a supply of pyxes in the sacristy for parishioners to borrow. If you are in need of one, simply come to the sacristy before Mass and ask for one. There are also prayer books there that can be used when you share Eucharist with someone.


While the Sacrament of Anointing and Pastoral Care of the Sick place emphasis on the Lord’s compassion and forgiveness during the struggle against illness, Viaticum and the ministry to the dying places emphasis on trust in the Lord’s promise of eternal life.

The reception of Eucharist by the dying person and his or her family and the prayers for the commendation of the dying make up the Sacrament of Viaticum. This ritual is provided by the Church for spiritual comfort of the Christian who is close to death. The ordinary minister of Viaticum is the priest, deacon or other lay pastoral minister delegated by the parish for the care of the dying.


Our Catholic way of life teaches us that death is not an end of life but a change. In the burial of a Christian, we celebrate the faith of a deceased person and Christ’s victory over death and suffering. Christian burial is a time for family and friends to console each other with the words of Christ and the liturgy of the Church.


When someone dies, you can begin your funeral preparations with the funeral home. They will contact the parish to make arrangements. Our parish director or another staff member will assist in making plans for the funeral and burial. Choosing suitable readings and hymns can assist a family to remember and share faith with its departed members. Several funeral options are available; i.e., morning, afternoon or evening funerals with visitation in Church or at the funeral home. The pre-planning of a funeral is highly encouraged.

Funeral Planning Resources:

Catholic Funerals: Frequently Asked Questions
Catholic Church and Cremation

Funeral Planning Sheet
Scripture Readings for Funerals
Music Suggestions
Petitions (Prayer of the Faithful) for Funerals

Health Care Planning
In March 2014, the Wisconsin Catholic Conference published a form aimed at helping individuals convey their desires regarding health care decision-making in a manner that aligns with Catholic principles. It was designed as an addendum to the State of Wisconsin's Power of Attorney for Health Care (POAHC) document. You can access this form by clicking here.


Copyright © 2012 Saint Catherine of Alexandria Parish, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.