The Sacrament of Baptism is celebrated at St. John’s during the 10:30 Mass or immediately following Mass. Exceptions will be made in the case of emergencies and if it is too difficult to gather family, godparents, etc.

Parents are asked to call the parish office to arrange the date for their child’s baptism and also the baptismal prep class. If it is your first child that is to be baptized, or if you have never attended a baptismal preparation class, it is necessary that you do so.

The class will review the theology of the Sacrament of Baptism as well as the rite itself and the obligations of the parents and godparents.

First Reconciliation and First Communion

These sacraments are normally celebrated by children who are seven years old (second graders). The classes and the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation take place in the late fall. The preparation and the celebration of First Communion occur in the spring. We normally celebrate First Communion on the last Sunday of April or the first Sunday of May. It is necessary that children who are preparing for these sacraments have already been baptized.

If your children are older than seven years of age or beyond the second grade and have not yet been prepared and celebrated these sacraments, please call the parish office and you will receive the necessary information.


In the Diocese of Duluth, the Sacrament of Confirmation is usually celebrated in the 11th grade. Young men and women who are asking to be confirmed are required to attend classes, make a retreat, and perform several hours of service. If they are not baptized at St. John’s in Duluth or St. Joseph’s in Gnesen, they must also provide a copy of their baptismal certificate.

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

The RCIA is a process that welcomes women and men into Catholic Christian Community. An invitation is given to those who have never been baptized, have been baptized in another Christian faith tradition or to those who have been baptized Catholic but have not received the Sacraments of Confirmation or Eucharist or any spiritual formation.

The process includes instruction in the teachings of the Catholic Church, reflection on Sacred Scripture, participation in community worship and prayer, and sharing in the mission of the Church through Christian service. An open invitation extends to interested persons throughout the year.


Those who are free to marry in the Catholic Church must contact the parish a minimum of six months before the desired time for the wedding. Please call and check on the availability of the church before making any arrangements for a reception hall etc. We only celebrate one wedding a weekend, so the weekend you desire may not be available. When you contact the parish office to arrange a wedding date, a packet containing the parish wedding policy will be provided.

A pre-marriage program is required. In order to be free to enter marriage in the Catholic Church you must not have been married before, or if you have been married, the first marriage is either annulled or declared invalid due to lack of form. Those Catholics who are not baptized at St. John’s or St. Joseph’s must provide a baptismal certificate issued within the previous six months.

Anointing of the Sick

It is not necessary that the sick person be in danger of death to celebrate the Anointing of the Sick. Please call the parish office as soon as you know if someone needs to be anointed. In case of emergency, we will come as soon as possible. If a family member is hospitalized and you cannot contact the pastor, a chaplain is on call at all times in the hospital. Deacons can visit the sick and bring them communion, but they cannot celebrate the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick.

Christian Burial

It can be a very stressful time when a loved one dies. The Church is available to help the family not only celebrate their life on earth, but also their eternal life in heaven. The funeral directors in Duluth are excellent and will be a great help to you at this time. Once the arrangements have been made for the time of the funeral, the wake, the luncheon etc., we are more than willing to meet with the family to plan the funeral liturgy.

Because it is an official celebration of the Church, certain parameters are in effect when planning a funeral liturgy. The family will be able to choose and proclaim the readings, write the intercessions, have a member offer a short reflection, etc. “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” might have been a favorite song, but it does not lend itself to a funeral liturgy. Our desire is to help the family truly celebrate the Christian belief that even in death we live forever.

We will also be able to provide you with the contact person from our parish to help coordinate the luncheon. The food is usually catered in and members of the Women Living Our Faith Committee will serve it.

Please contact the parish office as soon as possible so that we can begin to plan the service and luncheon.