STAFF AT ST. MARY'S CATHOLIC CHURCH
Saint Mary's Catholic Church, 5118 St. Mary's Lane, Altus, AR 72821; (479) 468-2585 (office)
Sun: 9 AM
Mon: No Mass
Tues: 7:30 AM
Wed 6:00 PM
Thur.- Fri: 7:30 AM
Sat: 5:00 PM
Sat: 4:30 PM
Sun: 8:30 AM
Sun: 8:30 AM
Sat: 4:30 PM
5118 St. Mary's Ln
Altus, AR 72821
Map & Directions
Fr. Pius Iwu
|The Latin word sacramentum means "a sign of the sacred." The seven
sacraments are administered in ceremonies that point to what is sacred,
significant and important for Christians. They are special occasions for
experiencing God's saving presence. This is what is meant when sacraments are
called simultaneously signs and instruments of God's grace.
Baptism marks the entrance into the Church. Through Baptism, a person is freed
from original sin: the old self dies, and the person is reborn in Christ. The Gospel
itself makes mention of Baptism for the forgiveness of sins, and the apostle St.
Paul developed the theology of Baptism. In order to receive all the other
sacraments, one must first be baptized.
The Catholic Church recognizes one baptism for the forgiveness of sins for all
ages. Those wishing Catholic baptism at St. Mary’s for their child should contact
the parish office [(479) 468-2585] or Deacon Brian Lachowsky [(479) 209-4726].
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the journey adults make together
in deepening their relationship with Jesus Christ and His living Body, the Church.
It is a period of spiritual formation, prayer and education. This period prepares the
adult for the Sacrament of Baptism.
For more information on RCIA, click here.
Although organized classes are not necessarily a part of an RCIA program, St.
Mary’s holds weekly classes beginning each September. Contact Deacon Brian
Lachowsky [(479) 209-4726] for more information.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation gives us the opportunity to express our sorrow
for things we have done wrong, to heal broken relationships, to forgive ourselves
and others, and to open up the channels of communication between ourselves
Reconciliation is above all a place of healing, not a place of judgment or
punishment. When we make our confession to a priest in the confidentiality of the
confessional or reconciliation room, we ask for healing and liberation, discovering
again and again how much we are loved by God, how precious we are to Him,
and how great is the dignity He bestows upon us as His children. The priest then
absolves us of our sins in the name of Holy Trinity.
The confidentiality of confession is absolute. Nothing said by the penitent in
confession will ever be repeated. This is an experience of mercy and
reconciliation, where we can free ourselves the burdens of guilt and shame that
we carry with us. No matter what we think of ourselves or of God, we can still be
certain that God forgives us, loves us and wants only to heal us.
Confessions are held at St. Mary’s at 4:30 PM on Saturday and at 8:30 AM on
Sunday or by appointment with the pastor. Contact the parish office [(479) 468-
2585] for more information.
As Jesus celebrated the Passover at his last supper with the apostles, He
blessed, broke and shared with them bread, saying “Take and eat: this is my
body,” then taking the cup, “drink from it, all of you for this is my blood of the
covenant.” (Mathew 26: 27-28) His body and blood. He promised that He would
truly be with them when they did likewise and shared bread and wine together in
memory of Him.
The Eucharist is the sacrament in which we receive the Body and Blood of Christ.
The Church teaches that Christ is really present in the bread and wine that have
been consecrated by the priest at Mass. Although the bread and wine still look
and taste like bread and wine, the substance, what is actually there, has been
The Mass is the new Passover, with the celebration of the Eucharist being its
central purpose. In it, Jesus again offers His own body and blood so that we, His
present-day followers, might go free. For this reason, as well as being a sacred
meal, the Eucharist is also a link with Jesus' death. When we participate in the
Mass together with our fellow believers and receive Him in the Eucharist we take
part in the Passover meal which He celebrates now, shedding His blood so that
we may be saved.
Baptism and Catholic instruction are necessary precursors to the reception of the
Eucharist. See the home page for mass times. Contact the parish office [(479)
468-2585] for more information.
The Sacrament of Confirmation takes root in the experience of the first disciples of
Jesus, on the Pentecost following Jesus’ death and resurrection. Through
Confirmation, Christians receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, like the disciples did on
Pentecost. This gift fulfills Jesus’ promise to all Christians that God will send
them a “Consoler” to be with them and give them the strength and the skills to live
and preach the Gospel. Confirmation usually is celebrated by Catholics in their
teenage years. It is bestowed by a bishop or someone explicitly appointed by the
Confirmation at St. Mary’s is a two-year process. It begins with weekly classes
throughout the school year and culminates with its administration by the bishop of
the Diocese of Little Rock.
Contact Director of Religious Education Lexie Highfill at [(479) 264-4522] for more
All love comes from God, and all love reflects His love for all creation. The
Sacrament of Marriage is, first and foremost, a sign and symbol of His love.
Marriage is a sacrament of the self-giving love which two people offer to one
another. The love which a man and a woman have for each other mirrors the love
God has for men and women.
The minister of the Sacrament of Marriage is the couple themselves. The priest
serves as a witness.
The joy and mutual support of married love can be a source of strength which
enables married people to serve others in a very powerful way. It should spill out
to their children and to those around them and become a source of life, hope and
comfort for others. This is reflected in the blessing which the priest often gives the
newly-married couples, saying:
"May you always bear witness to the love of God in this world, so that the afflicted
and the needy will find in you generous friends and welcome you into the joys of
Marriage at St Mary’s
Although St. Mary’s Catholic church in Altus, is always proud to host weddings, it
is NOT a wedding chapel. Only Catholic weddings of parish members or those
with direct connections to parishioners are permitted. No marriages are allowed
on the grounds. The Catholic Church takes the Sacrament of Matrimony very
seriously and requires a period of instruction for all those contemplating the union
of their lives. The following link provides information for those potentially taking
Wedding coordinator: Martha Lachowsky, (479) 209-1783.
Marriage advocate for annulments: Deacon Brian Lachowsky
See the following link for annulment information:
Contact the Parish Office for more information at least 6 months in advance to
"Are any among you sick? Let them call for the elders of the Church to pray over
them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will
save the sick ones, and the Lord will raise them up; and if they have committed
any sins, they will be forgiven." (James 5:14-15)
Jesus healed the sick as a routine part of his ministry. He traveled through
Galilee and Israel curing those who were ill or disabled, thereby showing that
suffering and death have no place in the Kingdom of God. By later sacrificing
Himself, He tovercame suffering and death and eliminated their power to
separate us from each other and especially from God. Our faith tells us that,
indeed, God suffers with us. Through Jesus' suffering and death, God joins His
suffering to our pain and sickness. In doing so, He transforms and gives it a new
and greater meaning.
Through the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick we are assured that God will
raise us up, like Jesus, from our bed of pain and sickness and lead us to eternal
Please contact the parish office or Amy Sexton [(479) 667-7218] if you feel you or
some other parish member should receive the sacrament of the sick.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders refers to a unique office of pastoral leadership in
the Church. The mission of the ordained priest is to be a sign, to 'make present'
the leadership which Christ gives to the Church. Through the Holy Spirit, the priest
is ordained as one consecrated to God as a sharer in Christ's mission to serve,
teach and govern the people of God. His is more than a managerial role; this kind
of leadership involves a 'holy ordering' of the many gifts of the Spirit in the Church
community, and to be a unifying focal point for all the gifts. Further, in the midst of
the church community he is a permanent and irrevocable sign of the saving
presence of Jesus Christ. Like Christ, the priest is a servant-leader. He
represents Christ and the Church. Catholic men can also serve Christ and the
Church as Deacons.
Throughout the history of the Catholic Church women have served Jesus. They
can certainly do so as lay people, but they can also become “Brides of Christ” by
joining a religious order. By totally committing themselves to God, they can
become closer to him on earth and straighten the path to heaven. Serving others
in this world is ancillary to his higher purpose.
Diocese of Little Rock: http://www.dolr.org/offices/vocations/index.php
Subiaco Abbey: http://countrymonks.org/
Saint Scholastica Monastery in Forth Smith: http://www.stscho.org/
Holy Angels Convent in Jonesboro: http://www.olivben.org/