Sacraments

Baptism

Baptism is the first and necessary sacrament to become a Christian. Baptism can be undertaken at any age. Baptism frees us from sin and makes us members of the Christian community. We become sons and daughters of God.

Baptism is modeled upon the baptism of Christ Himself. Water is used to symbolize death to sin, life in Christ and the cleansing of the soul from all sin, including original sin. The words used are, “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” Typically, a priest or deacon is the one who baptizes.

At St. Francis Xavier, “Reborn” is a mandatory Baptism preparation program for parents and godparents of first-born children. It consists of three lessons on the scriptural basis for Baptism, the Rite itself and the ways Baptism offers one a share in the ministry of Christ.

For information about having a baby or child baptized, please call (502) 538-4933. For adult baptisms and information about RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of adults, please contact Margee Joseph at (502) 538-4933.

Reconciliation

At St. Francis Xavier, we offer confessions on the First Saturday of each month from 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM. You may also call the parish office to schedule confession.

One difficult human reality is that we sin. We harm ourselves, others, relationships and God our Father with our sinful and evil actions. However, our God is loving and will always pour out His mercy and forgiveness; we need only seek to reconcile ourselves with Him and with our community.

Our sins are forgiven by God. As Catholics we believe that Christ gave the power to his Apostles (and in turn, His priests) to reconcile sinners with God and the Church: “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Mt 16:19) The priest, acting in persona Christi, listens to the sins of the contrite person, gives counsel and penance. The priest then absolves the sinner of their sins, and sends them on their way, to sin no more.

In order to receive absolution, the sinner must be truly sorry, confess all their sins to the priest, and perform the penance given to him.

Eucharist

The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Catholic faith. We believe that Jesus, at the Last Supper, gave us a New Covenant and this covenant is founded on the Eucharist. At that Last Supper, Christ clearly gave His Body and Blood, promising that whoever partakes of it will have eternal life.

As a faith community, we bring forward bread and wine, gifts from God that we now return back to Him. The priest (acting in persona Christi, or in the person of Christ) takes these gifts and prays over them the words that Jesus prayed at the Last Supper. We believe that these gifts – what appears to still be bread and wine – have changed in substance, and are now the Body and Blood of Christ.

First Eucharist is celebrated at St. Francis Xavier annually with our young people in the second grade after completion of the necessary requirements in our Religious Education program. Likewise, First Eucharist is celebrated at the Easter Vigil with those from our Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults process. For information about First Eucharist for children, contact Darlene Fowler, and for the RCIA process, contact Margee Joseph (502-538-4933).

Confirmation

Confirmation is one of the two sacraments of initiation.  We celebrate this communally with our 8th graders through our religious education preparation program, and with adults at the Easter Vigil with those from our RCIA process. 

When we are baptized, we receive – partially – the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Confirmation completes those gifts in us. With Confirmation, we are “sealed” in the Spirit.

When one is confirmed, the archbishop will lay hands on the person, and then anoint them with chrism (blessed oil) reserved for just this purpose. The use of oil has a rich history in the Church: it symbolizes (in part) cleansing, healing, and strengthening. In Confirmation, we are strengthened in Christ and in our ability to live an outward Christian life.

Marriage

In the Catholic Church, great value is placed on marriage. It is the foundation of family life and thus, the foundation of society. This lifelong partnership between man and woman is established for their mutual salvation and for the procreation and education of children.

To begin the process for your wedding at Saint Francis Xavier Church, please download the Wedding Guidelines and Forms here then complete and return them to the Parish Office.

Holy Orders

Christ clearly entrusted the mission of His Church to his Apostles, and they, in turn, chose those who would work with them. This apostolic ministry is now known as Holy Orders, which carries out the priestly ministry for the entire Church.

Men who are called to this ministry spend a great deal of time studying and praying about this life of service to the Church. There are three “degrees” to Holy Orders: deacon, priest, and bishop.

Some men are called to be permanent deacons. These men may be married. They receive extensive training through their diocese, and once ordained, serve the Church by assisting a pastor. Deacons are allowed to witness marriages, to baptize and to assist at Mass.

Those men called to the priesthood will be ordained “transitional deacons,” generally about one year before being ordained to the priesthood. The final degree of Holy Orders is to the “episcopate” – the order of bishop. Bishops are called to this by the Holy Father himself.

We ask for your prayerful support as these men discern their vocations and serve our archdiocese.

Those interested in starting the process of the Sacrament of Holy Orders should contact the Vocations Office of the Archdiocese here.

While this applies to the sacrament of Holy Orders, which is restricted to men, women who are seeking information about religious vocations should look here.

Anointing of the Sick

Illness and suffering are a fact of life, and the Church walks alongside those who are sick, undergoing treatment for illness or are dying. We know that in Christ Jesus, we have a God who understands human suffering, as He Himself suffered.

In earlier times, the Church reserved anointing for those at the point of death. However, a deeper understanding of human frailty and the healing brought about by this sacrament means that the Anointing of the Sick is now offered to anyone undergoing a serious illness, those facing surgery, the elderly and those who are dying. Often, this sacrament is celebrated in a person’s home or in the hospital. It is also fitting to celebrate within the Mass and to offer the sacrament communally.

The priest lays his hands on the person receiving this sacrament, then anoints them with blessed oil. The Church asks that God give strength to the person who is sick and that they be more closely united with Christ in their suffering. Healing, if it is God’s Will, is requested as well.  

The Church does offer particular solace to those who are dying. Viaticum (meaning “food for the journey”) is Eucharist offered to those who are close to death.

If you or someone you love is in need of the Anointing of the Sick, please call (502) 538-4933. Our next communal Anointing is scheduled for the 2nd Weekend of each month after Mass or by appointment.