Sacraments of the Church

We believe that Jesus Christ came to reveal the fullness of God's love for us,

and we continue to celebrate that love through praise, sacraments, service, and community. 

For Preparation for Marriage and Baptisms – Contact the Fr. Todd or see the Sacramental Preparation pages.

For Preparation for First Communion and First Reconciliation and Confirmation - contact Corissa VanKeulen.

​For Holy Communion Outside of Mass for Shut ins - Contact Fr. Todd.  If you request communion on a regular basis, contact the St. Edward's parish office, or Sandy Nuytten 428-3473 for St. Eloi parishioners.

Becoming Catholic (OCIA): please see our OCIA page. If you or someone you know is interested in joining our Church, or in learning more about the Catholic Church please contact Deacon Bruce Bot at 507-828-7012.

For the Sacrament of Healing, also called Anointing of the Sick, Extreme Unction, or Last Rites. Please call Fr. Todd

See the Calendar or Bulletin for times/places of Mass and Reconciliation.                                                                                       

About the Sacraments

The Catholic Church recognizes seven sacraments which can be understood in 3 groups:

            -Sacraments of Initiation, which bring us into the Church: Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.

            -Sacraments of Service, which guide us along our spiritual journey and help us to serve Christ and others: Marriage and Holy Orders.

            -Sacraments of Healing. which help us heal and recover from spiritual or physical sickness: Reconciliation (Confession) and Anointing the Sick. has some great video resources on the Sacraments.

The 7 Sacraments- Catholic and Biblical Part 1 (Karlo Broussard)

All Seven Sacraments were established by Jesus Christ during His Ministry and have been in use by the Church from its inception. 

The Sacraments provide grace, from the sacrificial death of Christ on the Cross, to the faithful throughout their lives, from birth to death. They are visible signs of God's grace, a share in His divine life. While we cannot see God's grace, we see the words, actions, and items of the Sacraments that help us to understand that grace is present.

While God can work outside the sacraments, because of His love and mercy, He has bound Himself to the sacraments - in the faithful participation of the sacraments, grace is given. They are profound gifts to us, and they help us to live as God the Father desires. Reception of the Sacraments in accord with the teaching of the Church is the ordinary means of salvation for all the faithful.

The 7 Sacraments- Catholic and Biblical Part 2 (Karlo Broussard)

The Sacraments of Initiation

The easiest way to understand why there are three Sacraments of Initiation (and not just one) is by viewing them in light of the Holy Trinity.  The Holy Trinity is the Christian doctrine of God’s nature: the unity of three Divine Persons in one God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Each of the Sacraments of Initiation reveal one of the three Persons of the Holy Trinity, and initiate us into His life through life in the Church.

Note that the name of each of the sacraments in the descriptions link to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Click that link for more information.


Baptism is the removal of the stain of original sin and becoming a Christian, a son or daughter of God the Father.

Baptism. God's saving grace, His very presence, enters into the human soul. The essential rite of baptism is very simple. The person celebrating the sacrament (usually a priest or deacon) says 'I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit' while pouring water over the head of the person receiving the sacrament or dipping the person in water. For Catholics, baptism is the sacrament of salvation and the door to all other sacraments. 

Baptism forgives all personal sin, takes away original sin (but leaves concupiscence, a tendency toward or desire to sin, and the other effects of original sin like death, disease and a darkened intellect), infuses sanctifying grace, and is necessary for salvation. Baptism imprints in the soul a character, a certain spiritual and indelible sign, and so can only be received validly once. Persons of any age may be baptized, from infant to adult. Only the baptized may receive the other Sacraments. The grace received by baptism may be lost by the commission of an actual mortal sin.

How to pick Godparents: Dear mothers and fathers preparing for the birth of a child, congratulations! The Church shares your joy!  As you prepare for the birth of your child, and as you prepare for the baptism of your child, please keep the following Requirements for a Godparent in mind as you choose a Godparent for your child.  First of all, a Godparent helps the baptized person to lead a Christian life in keeping with baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent in it.  With this in mind, please remember that you can choose to either have ONE Godfather or ONE Godmother, or one of each. The Catholic Church does not permit there to be more than two godparents.  According to Church Law, those to be chosen as a Godparent must be a Catholic who is at least 16 years old and who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on.  This means that if they are married, their marriage must be recognized by the Catholic Church.  Provided that there is at least one Godparent, a baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic denomination may serve as a witness to the baptism.  Catholics who do not meet the requirements to be a Godparent can NOT serve as a "Christian witness".

​Emergency Baptism An emergency baptism means that the normal rites are not employed, but owing to necessity the minister (priest, deacon or even a lay person), baptizes someone desiring to be baptized, or a child before the age of reason who is dying, using only the necessary form ("I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.") A priest having the Sacred Chrism oil with him would also confirm the person if in serious danger of death. Ordinary water may be used for emergency baptism, though holy water is preferred if available. One could baptize conditionally with doubtful matter IF that was indeed all there was available and time was of the essence. For certain validity the water should be poured sufficiently so as to run, three times, over the forehead (if accessible), the head, other than on the hair, if not. The words should be spoken, even if inaudible to others, and not just said mentally. The Church has not ruled on such details, but the common teaching of theologians over the centuries should be followed. It would be presumptuous and dangerous to souls not to do so.

While children may not be baptized contrary to the will of the parents, except in danger of death (it's God's will expressed through the Church), an adult may never be baptized without an indication that this is his or her will. It would be in vain to do so, and an abuse of the sacrament. This would be objectively sinful, though you obviously are unaware of that fact and so are excused. The adult person to be baptized must have expressed their will in some way, and if opportunity affords given the minimum catechesis - God, Christ, Heaven (reward), Hell (punishment).
Baptism is not a private matter, and so should be reported to the pastor of the parish in which it occurs. Non-Ordained are high discouraged to baptism even in emergency unless it is clear there is not a priest or deacon available.

For information on the preparing for your child's Baptism in our AFC, see the Baptism preparation page.


Confirmation is the seal of God the Holy Spirit and His seven sanctifying gifts. It is the completion of baptism; a certain spiritual and indelible Sign, and so can only be received validly once.
Confirmation provides a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which helps the confirmed Catholic witness to Christ and lead a mature Christian life. The rite of confirmation, usually performed by a bishop, involves the anointing with chrism (holy oil), the laying on of hands, and the words 'Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.'
 Confirmed persons are called to profess faith in Christ publicly, and to spread the Gospel message, in accord with the ability and circumstances of their life. The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit received in Confirmation are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. Receiving this Sacrament, with Baptism and Communion, completes a persons initiation into the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

If baptism is the sacrament of re-birth to a new and supernatural life, confirmation is the sacrament of maturity and coming of age. The real confession of Christ consist in this 'that the whole man submits himself to Truth, in the judgment of his understanding, in the submission of his will and in the consecration of his whole power of love . . . To do this, poor-spirited man is only able when he has been confirmed by God's grace'
This confirmation in the power of the Holy Spirit leading to a firm profession of faith has always been the particular effect which Catholic tradition has ascribed to the sacrament. It is effect which complements and completes that of baptism.

The Church teaches that Confirmation is a true sacrament instituted by Christ and different from baptism. In the early Church and continuing in the Eastern Catholic Churches, confirmation and even Holy Eucharist followed immediately upon being baptized. In the Roman Catholic Church, there was a desire for every Catholic to be confirmed, if possible, by their local Bishop, and as Bishops could not celebrate every baptism, Confirmation was separated out and Eucharist was also then delayed. Confirmation is administered by laying-on of hands and anointing with chrism on the forehead accompanied by prayer, most especially the words, "Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit". It is the imparting of the Holy Spirit who comes to dwell in the soul of the Confirmed. The Sacred Chrism is blessed by the bishop and normally the bishop administers the sacrament, though priests can confirm in emergencies, with permission, or for those baptized validly in a non-Catholic Church or adults who are baptized and brought into the Church. All baptized persons can and should be confirmed. The effect of the sacrament of confirmation is to give strength in faith and for the confession of faith and to impress an indelible character.

For information on the Confirmation preparation Program in our Area Faith Community, go to site Confirmation Preparation Information.


The Eucharist (also called the Holy Communion) is the reception of the God the Son in the Holy Eucharist; the body, blood, soul, and divinity of the Incarnate Jesus Christ. First Holy Communion is often celebrated solemnly and is typically in the Easter Season, when the Sacraments of Initiation have a most fitting place as they are celebrated at the Easter Vigil as we recall Christ's victory over the grave.

In order to prepare for first communion, the parish will make sure that you have been baptized as a Catholic either as an infant or formally brought into the Church. For those under 7, it might simply require the parents to make the commitment to raise the child as Catholic and to enroll the child's baptism into the parish's Baptismal record. For those over 7 including adults, the process involves Confirmation and then first Eucharist. This is the process call Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults, which is usually modified into the regular religious education sessions for those between 7 and our regular confirmation age (high school juniors). Except for adults who are to be baptized, all who were baptized and are preparing for first communion must go to the sacrament of Reconciliation. Except for Only then can they receive the real Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ in what appears to be bread and wine. During Mass, regular bread and wine are consecrated by the priest, through God's power, when he repeats Jesus's words, 'This is My Body' and 'This is the chalice of My Blood.'

Communion (the holy Eucharist) may only be received by baptized Catholics who are not aware of any unconfessed actual mortal sins. Reception of this Sacrament is a sign of unity with other Catholics within the teachings and practices of the Catholic Faith. Those who obstinately doubt or deny any of the required beliefs of the Catholic faith are not permitted to receive this Sacrament (cf. Canon Law 751, 1364). When consecrated, the bread and wine of the holy Eucharist becomes literally the body and blood of Jesus Christ, such that all of Christ is present: His human nature and His Divine Nature, united in One Divine Person.​​

If you or someone you know would like to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist at home due to illness or some other reason they can not get the Eucharist in Mass. You can call the church office to find out who is in charge of delivering the Eucharist this week.


Guidelines for Reception of Holy Communion from the United States Council of Catholic Bishops

The USCCB has guidelines, summarized here, for 4 different groups.

For Catholics: Catholics not aware of any mortal/serious sin are encouraged to receive devoutly and frequently. They should maintain a fast for at least an hour before receiving. 

For our fellow Christians: Non-Catholics are invited to attend Mass. However, because fo the sad divisions that exist, those who are not Catholic and not ordinarily admitted to Communion. Certain Eastern non-Catholic churches may receive with permission of their pastor.

For those not receiving Holy Communion: those not intending to receive the Eucharist are encourage to prayer for union with the Lord and each other.

For non-Christians: While welcome to witness our celebration, they are unable to receive the Eucharist. Ordinarily, regular attendance except for those in the RCIA process, are discouraged from regular attendance during the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Sacraments of Service


Marriage (also called Holy Matrimony) is the covenant by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring.

Holy Matrimony is a Sacrament established by Jesus Christ for the benefit and salvation of the husband and wife, and their children. Marriage as a Sacrament differs from ordinary marriage; it is a true source of grace for the spouses, and unites husband and wife in a holy bond before God. True marriage is only between one man and one woman, and only death can break the bond of this Sacrament. Marital relations is a fundamental part of this Sacrament: “May marriage be honorable in every way, and may the marriage bed be immaculate.” (Heb 13:4).

For information on the preparing for marriage in the Church, see the marriage preparation page.

Holy Orders

Holy Orders is the means that Christ uses to provide the faithful with true shepherds after His own heart; this Sacrament imprints in the soul a character, a certain spiritual and indelible sign, and is received only once, but in three degrees: deacon, priest, bishop. Bishops are consecrated to be 'apostles' to the diocese to which the Pope, Bishop of Rome and Successor to St. Peter, has sent them. Priests are ordained to be assistants to the bishop of a specific diocese, and to offer the faithful the Gospel and the Sacraments. Priests can baptize and confirm (in limited circumstances as named above), preside at the Eucharist, witness marriages, anoint the sick, and grant absolution of sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Deacons assist both bishops and priests; they are appointed to serve the faithful in works of mercy and to preach the Gospel (cf. Acts 6). Deacons can baptize and witness marriages, both with the permission of their pastor. They can also assist in bring Viaticum (perhaps the Last reception of the Eucharist) to those in immediate danger of dying. Ordained men have a role in the Church that is not given to the laity. Consecrated persons (monks and nuns) are non-ordained members of the laity.​

In the phrase "Holy Orders", the word "holy" simply means "set apart for some purpose." The word "order" designates an established civil body or corporation with a hierarchy, and ordination means legal incorporation into an order. In context, therefore, a group with a hierarchical structure that is set apart for ministry in the Church. Ordained men are not only 'ordered' amongst themselves, but are also called to bring order to the Church and people they are called to serve. 

For a list of those currently in formation as priests or deacons in our Diocese, see the Diocese of New Ulm website.

Sacraments of Healing


The Sacrament of Reconciliation (also called Penance or Confession) is the process through which, we as Catholics, are absolved of our sins​​
In this sacrament, a Catholic confesses his or her sins to a priest in the spirit of true repentance and receives forgiveness. The Priest will usually give some pastoral advice and assign a penance - usually a prayer or action that will help free the person from the attachment to sin. The priest, as a visible representative of Christ, forgives sins through Christ with the words of absolution, the core of which are: 'I absolve you of your sins in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.'

Confession forgives any sins committed after Baptism. To be forgiven, admit your sin in Confession, with true sorrow (regret for sin) and repentance (a turning away from sin, toward the love of God and neighbor). But if you are not repentant, then you are not forgiven. If you willingly and knowingly withhold serious or mortal sins, they are not forgiven. An actual mortal sin occurs when one does something that is seriously wrong or immoral (sometimes called grave matter as in serious), with full deliberation or consent and with full knowledge of the serious nature of the act. Confession restores the state of saving grace lost by actual mortal sin. It therefore heals the soul wounded by sin. Only a Bishop or a priest can absolve sins in Confession.

First reconciliation (for anyone's first confession) you can call Fr. Todd or for children,  you can visit the First Reconciliation page.

See the Calendar or Bulletin for times/places of Reconciliation.

Anointing of the Sick

Anointing of the Sick is typically the last sacrament one receives and usually includes Reconciliation, Viaticum (the Last reception of Communion), and a formal prayer of forgiveness called the Apostolic Pardon. At the end of our lives comes sickness and death and the corresponding Sacrament of Healing, also called Anointing of the Sick, Extreme Unction, or Last Rites. It is when we receive the prayer and blessing of the Church to strengthen the soul as we transition from this life to the next. The sacrament is also administered to those who are seriously ill or in danger of death.

​Anointing of the Sick (or Extreme Unction or Last Rites) anoints chronically ill, sick, injured, or dying persons, offering forgiveness from sin, abundant grace, and healing in body and soul. “Is anyone ill among you? Let him bring in the priests of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And a prayer of faith shall save the infirm, and the Lord shall alleviate him. And if he has sins, these shall be forgiven him.” (James 5:14-15).

If you or someone you know needs the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick or last rites, please call the parish.