Stasiak, Kurt, OSB. Sacramental Theology: Means of Grace,
Way of Life. Loyola Press, 2002.
Fr. Kurt's book on sacramental theology is part of
Catholic Basics: A Pastoral Ministry Series. In June 2012,
Father used the book as a basic reference in preparation for an
Oblate Study Days retreat on the sacraments held at Saint Meinrad
Fr. Kurt is the prior of the archabbey and teaches sacramental
theology in the Seminary and School of Theology. His book is an
introduction to the history, theology and pastoral practice of the
Church's liturgy and the sacraments. The book was developed for the
reader who has not had the opportunity to study in a formal and
systematic program of sacramental theology.
Chapter 1 includes two fundamental principles of the liturgy and
the sacraments: they are the work of the Church and the work of
God. The next three chapters focus on some of the important
teachings of the Church on the sacraments.
Chapter 3 examines the sacraments as visible signs of what the
Church teaches and how they confer grace as a gift to us. Chapter 4
discusses the institution of the sacraments by Christ and presents
a history of the early development of each of the seven sacraments.
It also discusses what the Church has thought about the sacraments
and how it approached the sacraments throughout history.
Chapter 5 deals primarily with the sacrament of Baptism, the
first sacrament that Christians encounter. Chapter 6 outlines the
history and theology of the Eucharist, that is, the summit of
Christian life. The last chapter briefly discusses the last five
sacraments of the Church. It places a special emphasis on the
theological and pastoral aspects of Reconciliation and
Fr. Kurt believes his book is not an exhaustive study of the
sacraments, but rather a primer for those who want to learn more
about them. He recommends other sources for further study and
The most significant part of this book is how it helps the
reader understand what the Church thinks about the sacraments and,
more importantly, why.
Thomas J. Rillo, oblate