St. Mary's Parish
St. Mary's Catholic Church -- 600 Avenue B Sterling, IL 61081 -- Call 815-625-0640 -- Rev. James Keenan- Pastor



Confirmation for High School Students
For Confirmation, St. Mary's Church requires that all candidates prepare for this sacrament by being enrolled either in a Catholic School or Religious Education Program for one year prior to receiving the Sacrament.  In addition, the teen is expected to attend Mass regularly and have an interest or desire to receive this Sacrament.  The student participates in a retreat. The candidate must be in the ninth grade or older. The date is set by the Diocese of Rockford at the Bishop's discretion.  For further information contact Gerry Williamson, Coordinator of Religious Education, at (815)625-6688 or by email at  


Confirmation for Adults
RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is available for all those interested in becoming Catholic and for adult baptized Catholics who need to complete their initiation in the church by receiving the Sacraments of Eucharist (Holy communion) and Confirmation. The group meets on Wednesday evenings at 6:00 PM in the Parish Center.  For further information contact Jane Olson at (815)625-0640 x220.


The Sacrament of Confirmation in the Catholic Church

"Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit" (Acts 8:14-17).

Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the "sacraments of Christian initiation," whose unity must be safeguarded. Confirmation perfects Baptismal grace; it is the sacrament which gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us more firmly into Christ, strengthen our bond with the Church, associate us more closely with her mission, and help us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds.