MACS serves as a place for all to learn about and be welcomed to the love of God, no matter where they are on their journey with Christ. We are very excited to welcome those who are new or returning to the Catholic faith and help them navigate all there is to learn. It is important that we clearly communicate our commitment to the message of Christian salvation, as well as Catholic practices and beliefs that are part of student life at MACS.
This webpage is made to serve as a guide to Catholic practices. Here you will find explanations and definitions to many questions people have about Catholicism.
What is "The Good News?"
Our hope at MACS is to offer our students, staff, and community the regular opportunity to encounter the Good News of Jesus:
- God the Father created us out of love but we broke that relationship through sin.
- God the Son came to die so we could be forgiven of our sins and experience eternal life.
- God the Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside us and transform our lives.
With any act of love, a response is needed, and this great act of love seeks a personal response. Right now, you have the opportunity to make Jesus the Lord of your life or renew your commitment to Him.
What is the Holy Mass?
The Mass is the highest form of prayer and is made up of two main parts: the Liturgy of the Word (reading and teaching from the Bible) and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Catholics believe that the Eucharist, Jesus' Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, is the source and summit of our faith. Mass is an opportunity to grow closer to Jesus for both Catholic and non-Catholics. Mass is held at Catholic churches throughout the week. Attendance to Mass is encouraged at least every Sunday.
What is Eucharistic Adoration?
The Eucharist, or the "Blessed Sacrament," refers to Jesus as He is truly present in the host consecrated by the priest at Holy Mass. The Eucharist has been celebrated by Christians since it was first instituted by Jesus at the Last Supper. “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.” (1 Cor. 11:26).
During Adoration, Jesus in the Eucharist is placed on the altar in a monstrance (a golden vessel that looks like a sunburst). It is a time for worshipers to simply “be” with God as they would enjoy being with family. Adoring God is finding Heaven already on earth and placing ourselves in His presence while joining Him in His offering of love. Adoration is a great opportunity for worshipers to respond to the great love that Jesus shows us each day, especially in His sacrifice.
During Adoration, worshipers may simply contemplate Jesus in silence, read the Bible or appropriate spiritual books, pray aloud or sing if invited by a worship leader, approach the monstrance reverently if invited by the priest, or silently offer prayers such as the rosary. Non-Catholic worshipers are invited to use the time for private prayer according to their beliefs. Our hope is that all worshipers will feel God’s presence and receive His grace during this time. In the presence of God, in the silence of our hearts, He speaks.
Who is the Blessed Virgin Mary?
The Church holds Mary up, in her acceptance of the angel Gabriel’s proposal to be the Mother of Jesus, as “the perfect example of one who heard God’s word, believed it, kept it, and in whom that obedience bore perfect fruit - Jesus living in the world.” Mary is also honored (not worshiped) as the Mother of God because Jesus is both God and man and she is His mother. Likewise, because Jesus is the head of the Church and we are His spiritual body, she is our spiritual mother as well. All of this makes her a great guide in our own spiritual lives.
What is the Rosary?
The Rosary is a set of prayers and mysteries given to us to help enter more deeply into the life of Jesus Christ. There are four sets of mysteries, each focusing on various moments in Christ’s life. The Rosary is primarily composed of the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be prayers and is purposely repetitive to allow deeper contemplation on the mysteries. Although Mary seems to be the focus in this prayer, through her intercession and meditation on her response to God, we are truly drawn into her son’s life and the entirety of the Gospel message.
What is Confession?
Sacraments are visible signs of the invisible grace God gives us. The Catholic Church recognizes seven sacraments, starting with Baptism and including Confession. This is a sacrament in which, by confessing our sins to a priest, we are forgiven by Christ to repair our relationship with God and the Church. A critical component in preparing for Confession is the examination of conscience, in which the penitent takes some time to prayerfully reflect on their sins, areas in which they are in need of healing and grace. It is also very important to note the “seal” of Confession, meaning anything disclosed or discussed in Confession is strictly confidential. If the priest would break the seal of Confession for any reason, he would be excommunicated. This creates an environment of freedom to be honest with the priest in the sacrament.
Catholic children typically receive this sacrament for the first time in second grade, so the sacrament of Confession is limited to second grade and up at school. For non-Catholics, this time is an opportunity to prayerfully reflect on our relationship with Christ and the choices we are making in our lives. All are certainly welcome to speak to a priest and ask for a blessing or advice on how to grow in their faith.
Catholic Faith Information & Inspiration:
Word on Fire
Franciscan at Home
Register for Franciscan at Home learning system: FREE
1) visit franciscanathome.com/diocese-la-crosse and scroll to the bottom of the page.
2) On the right, click on the middle blue button: “My parish or school is already registered, and I would like to set up my individual free account under that institution.” This will allow you to create a free account under your parish or school.
3) Then click “Create an Account.” Complete the information and click Save. Select the Diocese of La Crosse from a drop-down menu, and then your Institution = your parish / school from a second drop-down menu, listed by city and name. Once you have finished by clicking on the "Sign Up" button, you will have a dashboard. This will enable you to select from the variety of tracks.
Parish Mass Times and Faith Formation:
Our Lady of the Falls
Father Ethan Hokamp
Ms. Erica Boehm
Ministry and Mission Director
Mrs. Paula Hanson
Faith Formation Coordinator