Santo Christo Parish, Logo
  Fall River, Massachusetts
(508) 676-1184

The Sacraments

The very life and mission of the Church depend on the sacraments of the New Covenant, starting with Baptism.
Sacraments are visible signs of God's invisible grace, of the activity of the Lord Jesus in saving and sanctifying men and women.
Sacraments not only signify divine grace but also give it, increase it, or restore it in the soul of the recipient;
their power comes from His presence.

The seven sacraments are: Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist (Holy Communion),
Penance (a.k.a. Confession and Reconciliation), Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders, and the Anointing of the Sick.


Infants should be brought to church to be baptized as soon after birth as is safe and reasonably convenient. Baptism is the sacrament of rebirth as a child of God, of unity with Jesus in His Death and Resurrection, of cleansing from original and personal sins, and of welcome into the community of the Church. Call the parish office for information about baptismal preparation and scheduling.

Adults who are not baptized and wish to become Catholic (or at least inquire about the Catholic Faith) are invited to enroll in RCIA (see Ministries).

Baptism Water

Requirements for Sponsors (Godparents)

Code of Canon Law (1983), can. 874

The role of a sponsor (godparent) is to help the baptized to lead a Christian life in harmony with baptism, and to fulfill faithfully the obligations connected with it. To be admitted to the role of a sponsor, a person must:

    • be designated by the child’s parents, or by guardians, or in their absence by the minister of Baptism;
    • have completed 16 years of age, unless for a just cause it seems to the Pastor that an exception can be made;
    • be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received first Holy Communion and leads a life in harmony with the Faith and the role to be undertaken (thus, for example, anyone living with a boyfriend or girlfriend as if married, or in a marriage not recognized by the Church, is not eligible to be a sponsor);
    • not be bound by any canonical penalty;
    • not be the father or the mother of the one to be baptized.

If the intended sponsor is not a Santo Christo parishioner, he or she must obtain a “sponsor certificate” from his or her parish priest. Qualified sponsors who cannot be present at the baptism may appoint another person to serve as proxy; the proxy should meet the same requirements of any sponsor.

Stained Glass - Confirmation


Confirmation is the sacrament by which those born again in Baptism now receive the seal of the Holy Spirit, the Gift of the Father and the Son. Preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Diocese of Fall River is a two-year program for 8th and 9th graders. At the end of 9th grade, candidates receive Confirmation after attending Mass with First Communion "prayer partners" every other week, six hours of community service, and a retreat.

Unconfirmed adults should enroll in RCIA (see Ministries).

Confirmation Retreat

During this retreat Confirmation candidates will learn spiritual lessons about family, Mass, and the formal faith formation process.
We also invite adults to help prepare our candidates to meet the spiritual challenges they will face in our modern world.
The retreat provides opportunities for:

Teen and Adult Talks  •  Peer Discussion Groups  •  Quiet Time for Personal Reflection and Prayer  •  Recreation


The Eucharist, or Holy Communion

When a validly ordained priest at Mass speaks the words of consecration within the Eucharistic Prayer of the Mass,
the bread and wine on the altar become the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Savior, Jesus Christ,
with only the physical properties of bread and wine remaining.

Catholics are encouraged to receive the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, or Holy Communion, devoutly and often.
In order to be properly disposed to receive Holy Communion, participants should be in the state of grace (i.e.,
without unconfessed, unrepented grave sin) and normally should have fasted for one hour prior to receiving.
One who is conscious of having committed grave sin is not to receive Communion without first going to Confession.

Children normally receive their First Holy Communion during the 2nd Grade (about age 7) in the spring,
after a two-year program of preparation which includes sacramental Confession.

Anointing, Extreme Unction

Anointing of the Sick

The Anointing of the Sick is the sacrament for the seriously ill, infirm and aged.
By the anointing with oil and prayers for health, the Church through her priests asks
the Lord to heal the sick,
 lighten their sufferings, forgive their sins, and bring them to eternal salvation.
This sacrament is best received as soon as the danger of death begins, from sickness or old age.
To request the sacrament for yourself or another Catholic, call the parish office.

ordination, holy orders

   Holy Orders

     Through the sacrament of Holy Orders the mission entrusted by Christ to His Apostles continues to be exercised
     in the Church until the end of time.
Three degrees make up the sacrament: the episcopate (bishop), the presbyterate (priest),
     and the diaconate (deacon). The sacrament can only be validly received by a baptized man; the Catholic Church
     recognizes herself as bound by the choice made by Christ Himself.

     Only validly ordained bishops, as successors of the Apostles, can confer Holy Orders.

     As coworkers of the order of bishops, priests are ordained to preach the Gospel, to celebrate divine worship,

     especially by offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and to be shepherds of the faithful.
     Priests in the exercise of their sacred ministry speak and act not on their own authority but on that of Christ and His Church.

     Deacons, configured to Christ the servant of all, are ordained for service to the Church
     by the ministry of the Word, of divine worship, of pastoral care and of charity.

     For the website of our diocesan Vocations Office, click HERE.