Children who will grow up with at least one practicing Catholic parent are ordinarily baptized within a few months after birth. We offer a Preparing for Baptism program for parents who have not previously baptized a child. Participation is mandatory for Catholic parents and is encouraged for first time godparents. Since a godparent promises to help parents raise the child in the faith of the Church, he/she must be a confirmed Catholic who is practicing the faith. Practicing Catholic parents who are already raising a child in the faith of the Church need only call the office to arrange the baptism of another child. Ideally, parents should be married according to the laws of the Catholic Church prior to baptizing a child. Exceptions to this must be discussed with the pastor prior to making any firm plans for a baptism. We do not normally schedule baptisms during Lent. Please schedule the baptism following the Mass you normally attend. All baptisms of children must be arranged at least one month in advance.
Unbaptized school aged children (must be in second grade or above) are eligible to participate in a special program which will prepare them to be baptized, confirmed, and admitted to Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil. They may celebrate these sacraments as long as they have attained the age of reason and are at least in the second grade. These children are prepared for their first confession in the year following their initiation. Please contact our Director of Christian Formation for details.
This involves participation in our Journey of Faith program which meets year round. We normally meet on Wednesdays from 7pm - 8pm beginning in September. We meet monthly from June through August on Sunday mornings between the Masses. For those who have already been baptized as Protestants, initiation consists of a profession of faith, confirmation, and admission to Holy Communion on Holy Thursday. Those who have never been baptized celebrate baptism, confirmation, and are admitted to Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night.
This refers to a person who participates in the Eucharist every Sunday (save for illness or travel) and who makes a good faith effort to live as a faithful follower of Christ throughout the week. Practicing Catholics raise their children in the faith of the Church after having them baptized within a few months of their birth. These are Catholics who have weaknesses and failings like everyone else, but who turn to God in prayer for help, and who frequent the sacrament of Penance.
There are few things more important than being well prepared for a life-long marriage in Christ. Practicing Catholic members of St. Andrew's need to contact the parish office at least six (6) months in advance of an anticipated wedding. We even have a blessing for engaged couples so the sooner the better. If there has been a previous marriage of any kind, it may take as long as a year to make sure that each party is free to marry in the Church. Couples who may be living together (for whatever reason) will be expected to do whatever is necessary to be in the state of grace on their wedding day. Two practicing Catholics are ordinarily married during a nuptial Mass. When one of the parties is not a Catholic, the wedding is ordinarily celebrated without Mass.
This is ordinarily celebrated after they have entered their 16th year of age. The Archbishop comes every other year to confer this important sacrament on those who have been faithfully participating in religious education programs, who attend Mass each Sunday, and who have completed the Preparing for Confirmation program. Participation in this program presumes that participants are seeking the grace of the Holy Spirit so they may more fully practice their Catholic faith.
These are two related, but distinct, programs for baptized children who are at least in the second grade. Church discipline requires that children ordinarily celebrate their first confession right after completing the Penance program and before beginning the First Communion program. There are circumstances under which a child who has not yet celebrated Penance may be prepared for and receive their First Communion, but only after consultation between parents and pastor. These programs are for children who have been and who will continue to be active participants in our religious education program, and who have been and will continue to be faithful participants in Sunday Mass.
These are not "Catholic divorces". No one may even apply for an annulment until one year after a civil divorce has occurred. Christ's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage binds all whom God has joined together. Sadly, many couples enter what can only be called self-willed unions. All marriages - of Catholics and non-Catholics - are presumed to be valid until proven otherwise. Previously divorced persons may not enter a valid marriage in the Catholic Church without first determining with the pastor that they are free to marry. Those who do so must refrain from receiving Communion until their marriage is blessed in the Church.