SACRAMENTS AND SACRAMENTAL PREPARATION
Parish Offices: St. Raphael 729-7537 St. Rose 624-0007
Religious Education: St. Raphael 729-7537 St. Rose 624-9580
Baptism: Through baptism, we are incorporated into a relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church. Baptism washes away sins (original sin, in particular,) and imparts the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit, giving us a share in divine life and membership in Christ's Body, the Church.
For baptism of children: Baptisms are most fittingly offered on Sundays (in connection with the day of Jesus' Resurrection.) For first-born children, parents are asked to participate in a pre-baptism session with the priest. Please contact the parish office at least one (1) month before the desired date for baptism.
For baptism of adults: Adults who seek baptism are to participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults as proper preparation for life in Christ and His Church. Adult baptisms normally are offered at the Easter Vigil Mass (Holy Saturday evening, after dark.) Please contact the parish office for more information.
Confirmation: In confirmation, the Holy Spirit is conferred upon the recipient, given to them the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. Confirmation completes baptism, entrusting the recipient with a call to live as soldiers of Christ in their pilgrimage through this world.
For confirmation of young people: Preparation for confirmation usually begins during Grade 9 in formal religious education classes. Students are expected to offer no less than 25 hours of community service over three years. They are also asked to make a confirmation preparation retreat, preferably during Grade 10 or the fall of Grade 11. Formal confirmation classes are held during Grade 11, with the sacrament being conferred sometime near the end of that school year. For preparation classes in 2015-2016, we will begin to use the "Decision Point" program, by the Dynamic Catholic Institute. Please contact the Religious Education Office for more information.
For confirmation of adults: For those who were baptized but never confirmed (or those who seek to enter the Catholic Church as adults, having been baptized in another Christian community,) the reception of confirmation takes place after necessary catechesis (similar to the R.C.I.A. process for adults seeking baptism.) Confirmation is given to these adults after necessary instruction has taken place, and with proper permission of the local bishop having been obtained (when required.) The sacrament is usually conferred within a weekend Mass. Please contact the parish office for more information.
Holy Eucharist: According to the "Dogmatic Constitution on the Church" of the Second Vatican Council, the Holy Eucharist is the "source and summit of the Christian life." At the Last Supper, Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist as the way to "perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again." (Vatican II, "Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, no. 47.) Reception of the Eucharist is meant to be the pinnacle of one's initiation into the life of the Church, and the ongoing source of life in Christ received throughout our pilgrimage of faith.
First communion preparation for children: Children usually receive their first communion after age 7 (in Grade 2,) having first completed their first penance. For information on this preparation program, or if you have older children who have yet to receive their first communion, please contact the Religious Education Office for more detailed information.
First communion for adults: Like the confirmation of adults, first communion for adults takes place after proper instruction - usually at the same Mass in which they are confirmed. Please contact the parish office for more information.
Communion to the infirm and the homebound: Please contact the parish office if you or someone close to you is unable to regularly participate in Mass and would benefit from communion being brought to the home. Likewise, please contact us if someone you know is near death and desiring for communion or the other sacraments.
Penance: The sacrament of penance is an encounter with Jesus Christ who in mercy offered himself for the forgiveness of our sins. Through the confession of our sins to a priest and the absolution of the priest, it is Jesus Christ himself, working through the priest as his instrument, who forgives sin and restores his people to life.
First penance preparation for children: Children usually make their first confession at around age 7 (during the first half of Grade 2.) For information on this preparation program, or if you have older children who have yet to make their first confession, please contact the Religious Education Office for more particular information.
First penance for adults: Normally, adults who make their first confession do so in proximity to their reception of their confirmation and first communion. Please contact the parish office for more information.
Anointing of the Sick: Through the anointing of the sick, those who are suffering from serious illness, who have chronic illness, or who may be preparing for serious surgery, are given the strength and life of God in their souls to patiently bear their sufferings in union with Christ, mindful of the redemptive power of suffering. Recipients also receive healing from sins (mindful too of the sacrament of penance as a fitting part of the rite of anointing,) and may be physically healed by the power of God's grace - if He so wills.
To receive the anointing of the sick: Anointing is offered to those who have "attained the age of reason," or about age 7 and older - mindful that the reception of anointing invites the recipient to consciously be aware of the redemptive power of suffering. Any who suffer from chronic pain associated with elderly age are invited to receive the sacrament regularly (once each year.) Others who may have contracted a serious disease, who are hospitalized, or who are about to undergo surgery are encouraged to ask for the sacrament soon after diagnosis/before surgery. Anointing may be repeated if one's condition worsens. Anointing is also encouraged when one is near the end of life, to assist them in their final journey through death into new life. Please contact Fr. Bissonette, 729-7537.
Marriage: In the sacrament of matrimony, one man and one woman freely give themselves to one another in an act of self-giving consent, through which God unites the two as one, blessing their union and leading them to be fruitful. This union of one man and one woman symbolizes the love that Jesus Christ offers to his bride, the Church. Married couples testify in their covenant of love to the covenant love of Christ and His Church, through their fidelity, their giving of their whole selves to one another, and their openness to the gift of children.
Preparation for Marriage: Please contact the parish office at least nine (9) months prior to desired wedding date. Marriage preparation includes a pre-marriage inventory, a pre-marriage weekend retreat, and further instruction on the nature of marriage and family life.
Broken Families: Broken Hopes and Dreams: Mindful of the reality of broken marriage and divorce, the Church desires that people receive proper closure and are able to move forward in a renewed life in Christ. If you have suffered from a broken marriage and seek closure, please contact Fr. Bissonette, 729-7537, for more information on the marriage tribunal and annulment process, or go here to learn about the tribunal and annulment process.
Holy Orders: Christ instituted the sacrament of holy orders, first by ordaining the Apostles, that the life of the Church and the graces of his cross and resurrection might be handed on to the people through the centuries for the salvation of their souls. Those who are ordained are given a share in the ministerial priesthood of Christ, called to serve through the offices of teaching, sanctifying, and governing his people.
Diaconate: Any men (married or single) who sense a call to be a deacon, or would like to learn more about the diaconate may contact Fr. Bissonette at 729-7537, or one may learn more about the permanent diaconate here.
Priesthood: Any young men sensing a call to the priesthood, or simply would like to learn more about life as a priest may contact Fr. Bissonette at 729-7537, or may learn about the vocation to the diocesan priesthood here.
What about Consecrated Life?
Though consecrated life is not a sacrament, some (both men and women) are called to give their life to Christ and his Church as a consecrated religious (brother, sister, or nun.) To learn more, you may contact Fr. Jim Bissonette, 729-7537, or click here.