The Catholic Church understands the real, objective presence of Christ as coming about by the replacement of the substance of the bread and wine with the substance of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, with no change in the accidental properties of the bread and wine—such as its appearances, color, and shape; the change in substance is known as transubstantiation.

The Catholic Church also holds that the presence of Christ in the Eucharist is entire: it does not see what is really in the Eucharist as a lifeless corpse and mere blood, but as the whole Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity; nor does it see the persisting outward appearances of bread and wine and their properties (such as weight and nutritional value) as a mere illusion, but objectively existing as before and unchanged.

It is for this reason that Saint Ann Catholic Church offers the reception of the holy Eucharist by kneeling (and receiving on the tongue). For those not inclined, standing, with a reverent bow, and receiving on the tongue or in the hand is also acceptable.


CCC1322 The holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation participate with the whole community in the Lord's own sacrifice by means of the Eucharist.

CCC1323 "At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet 'in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.' 

An extensive account of the teaching of the Catholic Church on the Eucharist is given in the Cathechism of the Catholic Church.


First Communion

Traditionally this Sacrament is received at the end of the 2nd Grade.  In ordinary circumstances, children are admitted to sacramental preparation for First Holy Communion after a period of at least a year of catechetical preparation through the parish religious education program or Catholic school.

Children are to have a clear understanding of the traditional Catholic Prayers, The Mass, and the signs and symbols of the Eucharist.

By their example, parents are to share with their children the importance of the Mass and the Eucharist in their lives.

Parents are to assist in the preparation by reviewing your son or daughter's readiness and understanding of the sacrament.  Through the process of preparation, a baptized child is to receive First Holy Communion based upon the following criteria of readiness:

  1. A willingness to receive Communion.
  2. Ability to participate in the liturgy, according to age and circumstances.
  3. Awareness of the love of God in Jesus.
  4. Awareness of membership in the Catholic community.
  5. Ability to distinguish between ordinary bread and the Eucharist, the Sacred Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

A copy of the Baptismal Certificate of the child receiving First Communion is needed for the parish records.

For further information, contact Tiffany Haller at or 570.322.5935.