Holy Baptism is the basis the the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water and in the word.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1213 – for more information see 1214 – 1284)
Baptism of Infants:
All of us are called children of God, but we are not born Christian. Becoming Christian involves the person in a life of commitment and dedication to the following of Christ. This life of commitment begins with the sacrament of Baptism, the sacrament we have come to know as the first sacrament of initiation. It is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Since the Second Vatican Council the Church has two rituals for its reception: one for children and the other arising from the Order of the Rite for Christian Initiation (RCIA). The preparation for infant Baptism here at St. Louis de Montfort involves the parents in the following program:
Parents are to call the Parish Office (937-4555) to register for participation in the Baptismal Program. They are to attend a general meeting with other parents preparing for the Baptism of a child, with the godparents (if possible) and with members of the parish Baptismal team which includes one or more members of the parish staff.
The purpose of this program is to provide the opportunity for the parents to renew their own faith and become more aware of that faith in their lives. They will share that faith with their child since parents are the first teachers of their children.
Also, the parish community is to be encouraged in welcoming new-born infants into the Church. On occasion this will take the form of having a Baptism during the Sunday liturgy. This must be arranged in advance and you need to discuss this with the Pastor at least 2 months in advance of the desired date.
Baptism is incorporation into the Body of Christ; hence, we discourage private baptisms.
The procedure for having a child baptized at St. Louis de Montfort:
a) Parents and godparents must register to attend the Pre-Baptismal instruction course. These are normally offered on Thursday evenings, but following the registration, the parents will be contacted in the event there are any irregularities.
b) Parents should not set a date for the actual Baptism until they have been advised of the permission to attend the Pre-Baptismal class.
c) When you attend the Baptismal class you will receive a certificate of attendance. This is good for three (3) years.
d) Godparents must be at least 16 years of age, confirmed, and be regular in their attendance at Sunday Mass. A non-Catholic Christian may be a witness; but he/she needs to be approved by a priest or deacon, prior to the day of the ceremony.
The Catholic Church requires that sponsors/godparents must be practicing Catholics, over 16, confirmed and who attend Mass on a regular basis. The reason for this is that should something happen to the parent, the Godparent is the one who accepts the responsibility of raising the child as a Catholic.
A “witness” participates in the ceremony of Baptism but the Baptism Certificate will only include the name of the Catholic Godparent.
Baptisms: Ages 0-6: 1st & 3rd Sundays at 1PM (English)
Baptism Classes: 1st Thursday of the month at 7PM. Preregistration 10 days in advance.
Information: Call the Rectory at 937-4555
Bautismos: Edad 0-6 años: Cada cuarto domingo a la 1:30PM
Clases Bautismales: Primer martes del mes a las 7PM
Información: Rectoría 937-4555
Baptism Registration Form:
Those who approach the sacrament of Reconciliation obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offenses committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded.
Confession Times: Saturday 3:15-4:45PM & 8-9PM (Bilingual)
This sacrament can also be received privately by calling for an appointment with one of the parish priests. The parish offers communal reconciliation ceremonies twice a year during Advent and Lent, along with the opportunity for private confession.
A helpful guide for preparing for confession can be found here.
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.
“At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice to 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 heath 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.'”
(The Catechism of the Catholic Church 1322 & 23 – for more information see 1324 – 1421)
First Communion for children follows a period of intensive training, part of the Religious Education program of the parish, and ordinarily is open to second graders. Home school parents must meet with the Director of Faith Formation to discuss their child’s readiness to receive First Communion.
What is Confirmation?
Like all the Sacraments, Confirmation is rooted in Sacred Scripture and Tradition. Looking at the New Testament, we see how the Holy Spirit was with Christ. On receiving the baptism of John, the Spirit descend on Jesus (Mk 1:10) and remain with him. This Spirit led Jesus to undertake his public ministry as the Messiah. Jesus promised his disciples that the same Spirit would be given to them and help them to bear fearless witness to their faith (Lk 4:17-21). On the feast of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came down to the disciples as they gathered with Mary the mother of Jesus. Scripture tells us that the Apostles “were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.” (Acts 2:4). From that moment on, the Apostles, in fulfillment of Christ’s command, imparted to the newly baptized by the laying on of hands (Acts 8:14-17). This laying on hands by the Apostles (and later on their successors, the Bishops) is what the Church recognizes as the Sacrament of Confirmation.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
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 (CCC #1285).
Through the sacrament of Confirmation, those who have been baptized receive the inexpressible gift of the Holy Spirit, by whom “they are endowed…with special strength” (LG 11). Having been sealed with the character of this sacrament, they are “more closely bound to the Church” (ibid) and they “are more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith, both by word and by deed, as true witnesses of Christ” (ibid).
Marriage, the wonderful sacrament of a shared decision to love, is not just the wedding celebration, but a lifelong commitment and mission, that needs very serious discernment and quality preparation. To have a valid marriage, Catholics are normally required to celebrate the Catholic wedding rite, even if one party is not a Catholic. The policy of the Archdiocese attempts to be consistent throughout all the parishes. It requires :
- That there be at least a six-month preparation by those intending to marry in the Church.
- Various documents must certify Baptism, Holy Communion, Confirmation and freedom to marry.
- Couples must meet with a priest and attend formal marriage instruction, either an Engaged Encounter weekend or Pre-Cana Sessions, as part of the preparation.
- No wedding date can be set until a couple has talked to a priest about their intention to marry; then, they receive a detailed booklet to assist them with their preparations.
Holy Orders & Religious Life
Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate.
The word order in Roman antiquity designated an established civil body, especially a governing body. Ordination means incorporation into an ordo. In the Church there are established bodies which Tradition, not without a basis in Sacred Scripture, has since ancient times called taxeis (Greek) or ordines. And so the liturgy speaks of theordo episcoporum, the ordo presyterorum, the ordo diaconorum. Other groups also receive this name of ordo: catechumens, virgins, spouses, widows, ….
Integration into one of these bodies in the Church was accomplished by a rite called ordinatio, a religious and liturgical act which was a consecration, a blessing or a sacrament. Today the word “ordination” is reserved for the sacramental act which integrates a man into the order of bishops, presbyters, or deacons, and goes beyond a simple election, designation, delegation, or institution by the community, for it confers a gift of the Holy Spirit that permits the exercise of a “sacred power” (sacra potestas) which can come only from Christ himself through his Church. Ordination is also called consecratio, for it is a setting apart and an investiture by Christ himself for his Church. The laying on of hands by the bishop, with the consecratory prayer, constitutes the visible sign of this ordination. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1536 – 1538. For more information see 1539 – 1600)
To meet the needs of our world and the Reign of God, our Catholic Church offers a wide spectrum of short-term or lifetime contemplative or active, domestic or missionary vocations as lay volunteers or members of secular institutes, as brother or sister, or a married or celibate deacon, as priest of a diocese or of a religious community. Printed resource materials are available at the Rectory or at St. Joseph Seminary. Regional days of discernment and contact with people from these different groups will help find one’s way among all the options possible.
“Christ has no body now but yours, no hands no feet on earth but yours.” (St. Teresa of Avila)
Anointing of the Sick
If a member of your family is seriously ill, please call the Rectory at 937-4555. One of our priests will come to your home or the hospital to anoint the sick and pray with him/her.
The sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, should be celebrated at the beginning of a serious illness, either terminal or not. The reception of the Eucharist, within or outside Mass, as Viaticum, food for the passage through death to eternal life, is the last sacrament proper to the dying Christian. Depending on the circumstances, every effort should be made to involve the family and friends of the dying in the liturgical celebration.
Our church provides a rich selection of prayers of commendation for the moment of death. For exceptional circumstances, in sudden and immediate danger of death or when the person is already dead, the priest or deacon can be called for appropriate rites or prayers.