Sacraments

Infant Baptism

The sacrament of baptism, as all sacraments, are normally celebrated in the parish you normally attend. If you do not have a formal connection with any parish, sacraments are celebrated in the parish in which you territorially reside (that is, the parish closest to where you live).  

In this parish, infant baptisms are celebrated on Sundays once per month. On several occasions throughout the year, the ceremony is celebrated during the Sunday Eucharist.

Arranging a baptism

To arrange an infant baptism, parishioners are asked to please contact the parish office (905 664-7651) and provide basic information. After providing information, parents  will be invited to meet with the parish priest or pastoral assistant and pick up an information package. It is important to read over this information carefully.   The priest or pastoral worker will discuss the obligations and responsibilities of parents and godparents and will arrange a baptismal date with you if it is clear that you are sincere in fulfilling your responsibilities in raising your child in the Catholic Christian faith.

All parents requesting baptism for their child  are normally asked to attend a pre-baptismal preparation event prior to the baptism. Parents and godparents are asked to attend this important preparation session. The priest will further explain the preparation process when he meets with you.

For baptism of children in the Catholic faith, at least one custodial parent must be Catholic and willing to accept responsibility for raising the child in the Catholic faith. ​

Godparents (Sponsors)

In this parish, we follow the Code of Canon Law in all sacramental requirements. The Church teaches (Canon Law 872-874) that in order to qualify as a godparent the candidate is required to be:

  • 16 years of age
  • Appointed by the parents, guardians or parish priest
  • A baptized Roman Catholic who has been confirmed and received Holy Communion
  • In good standing with the Catholic Church (for example, if married, was married before a priest or deacon and is not cohabiting outside of marriage).
  • Is not the biological or adoptive father or mother of the child to be baptized
  • One male or one female sponsor or one of each (Canon 873)

Non-Catholic Christians may participate in the Catholic rites of Baptism, but they cannot offer the guarantees required of the godparent, so they are referred to as “Christian witnesses.” Those guarantees involve a commitment to foster the faith received by the child from the Church at Baptism. Non-baptized individuals cannot serve as a godparents or witnesses to the baptism

 The Role of the Godparents

  • Pray for the godchild regularly
  • Set an example of Christian living
  • Help the godchild to grow in the faith of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit into whose life he or she was baptized
  • Give every encouragement to follow Christ
  • Help the godchild to look forward to receiving the Eucharist and Confirmation and, ideally, to be the Confirmation sponsor.

How to Choose the Godparents

  • Look for active, faith-filled Catholics
  • Admire their faith first over the value of their friendship
  • Keep your child’s faith first and the feelings of others second
  • Be honest: half-hearted faith yields half-hearted godparents
  • Set the bar of expectations high for you child’s sake
  • Consider if the godparents will be a part of your child’s life 25 years from now
  • Don’t rush it; pray and give it time

For a link to a Catholic Update on Godparents and  their role, click here: Godparents and Sponsors What Is Expected of Them Today

Confirmation

The Sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated annually at the parish with students in the seventh grade. Students wishing to complete their initiation by receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation are asked to formally request the Sacrament through a petition, attend one parent/student meeting at which time the petition and other important information is disseminated, and to generally deepen their connection with the faith community. There is also a parish preparation retreat day for all students preparing for Confirmation and the students participate in an enrolment ceremony at a Sunday Mass.

We welcome the opportunity to assist young people in completing their initiation into the Catholic faith and enjoy their involvement within the community. Any questions concerning the completion of Christian initiation through the celebration of Confirmation may be directed toward the pastor or pastoral worker.

Confirmation Preparation

For those who would like some additional preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation, we recommend DecisionPoint, which is an excellent free online program provided by Dynamic Catholic.  This program is highly recommended for all students preparing for  Confirmation. It helps students know the doctrine of the Sacrament, but situates it within the context of their life and their future – thus helping them to see the practical reasons for receiving this Sacrament. There is no registration required and no sign up. Free will donations may be made to the organization if you wish. Here is the link to the program: Confirmation Preparation Program

For information on celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation for adults please consult RCIA under the tab Becoming Catholic

Sponsors for Confirmation must be:

  • 16 years of age
  • A baptized Roman Catholic who has been confirmed and received Holy Communion
  • In good standing with the Catholic Church (for example, if married, was married before a priest or deacon, is not cohabiting outside of marriage).
  • Not the biological father or mother of the child to be confirmed
  • Maintain a connection with their parish community, especially through regular participation in the Eucharist.
  • Ideally, is the godparent of the child who is to be confirmed.

Eucharist

For many Christians today there is much confusion about the Catholic Community’s position on inter-communion between Christian denominations. This information is provided as a means of helping to clarify the official teaching of the Catholic Community on inter-communion. It is important that we all pray and work towards inter-communion, while respecting the diversity of various Christian traditions. We hope this information will help prevent misunderstanding on the issue of inter-communion.

For Catholics

Catholics fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when they receive holy communion in fulfillment of Christ’s command to eat his body and drink his blood. In order to be disposed properly to receive communion, communicants should not be conscious of grave sin, have fasted for an hour before communion, and seek to live in charity and love with their neighbours. Persons conscious of grave sin must first be reconciled with God and the Church through the sacrament of penance. A frequent reception of the sacrament of penance is encouraged for all.

Obstacles to Full Communion

When Catholics receive holy communion they are essentially indicating that they are objectively in union with what the Catholic Church teaches and holds to be true. Catholics who were not married by a Catholic priest or those who are divorced and remarried or living in common law relationships are, sadly, not in full communion with the Church. Although welcome at Mass and encouraged to participate, those who find themselves in this situation should refrain from receiving communion until the issue is addressed properly. Resolving previous marriages are not likely as complex as you may think, so if you are in this situation, you should speak to the parish priest for further encouragement and direction. We are always willing to do whatever is possible to restore those impeded from worthily receiving holy communion, to be restored to communion. Those in these situations are encouraged to attend Mass, to find encouragement from listening to God’s Word and making a spiritual communion through prayer, seeking the courage to live one’s faith with integrity and seek a proper resolution to whatever impedes their spiritual progress.

For Other Christians

We welcome in our celebration of the Eucharist those Christians who are not fully united with us. It is a consequence of the sad divisions in Christianity that we cannot extend to you a general invitation to receive communion. Catholics believe that the Eucharist is an action of the celebrating community signifying a oneness in doctrine and faith and unity in the life and worship of the community. Reception of the Eucharist by Christians not fully united with us would imply a oneness which does not yet exist, and for which we must all pray. Christians united with us through baptism may participate in the Eucharist by listening to God’s Word and by expressing in their hearts a prayerful desire for unity with the Lord Jesus and with one another in a spiritual communion.

For Non-Christians

We also welcome to this celebration those who do not share our faith in Jesus. While we cannot extend to you an invitation to receive communion, we do invite you to be united with us in prayer.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available at regular times or upon request. We will always try to accomodate you. In the Catholic Church, serious sins must be confessed in the Sacrament of Reconciliation to be forgiven. Three components are essential: the confession of the sin, true sorrow and a firm purpose of amendment.  

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is an opportunity to experience God’s mercy no matter what we have done. If it has been some time since you celebrated this sacrament, do not be afraid. Tell the priest it has been a while and he will be happy to assist you to make a good confession. We will not berate or scold you in this celebration of God’s mercy but celebrate your desire to receive God’s merciful grace! 

In this sacrament, the responsibility for sin is absolved or completely taken away, even though the effects of the sin remain and the damage needs to be repaired. This sacrament, when celebrated with the proper disposition, contrition and firm purppose of amendment restores us to our baptismal innocence. 

When to Celebrate Reconciliation

A general rule of thumb for most conscientious Catholics is to celebrate this sacrament once per season or four times per year and more often if one is striving for greater holiness of life. Our times for reconciliation are listed on this website. More frequent opportunities for the sacrament are offered during the seasons of Advent and Lent. A communal celebration of penance with individual absolution is generally offered in Lent. 

For some assistance in understanding this sacrament please see these questions and answers: Confession Frequently Asked Questions

Anointing of the Sick and Viaticum

Parishioners facing a serious illness or surgery are welcome and encouraged to receive the Sacrament of the Sick (in former days referred to as the Last Rites). Please contact the Parish Office and arrange the Sacrament of Anointing with the pastor.

If you have a relative or friend who is seriously sick at home or in hospital, you should contact the parish priest to administer this Sacrament or ask that the priest on call be paged in an emergency situation in the hospital. We are happy to assist any family in times of serious illness. It is important not to wait “until the last minute” for the administration of this sacrament because the priest may not be available right away. It is also advantageous for the sick persons to hear and participate in the prayers which are meant to help and strengthen them in the midst of their illness.  The anointing is meant to assist the sick person spiritually, to give them the strength they need to fight against illness and to remind them that God is present in their suffering. In cases of emergencies at home, please use this number 289 775-0554. Always leave a message if no immediate answer and we will return your call within minutes. Hospital emergencies should seek the assistance of the priest on call.

Marriage

We are happy to witness the marriages of couples in which at least one of the Catholic parties to the marriage lives territorially in the parish or has established a clear connection to this parish community.  This formal connection is established by living in the territory for a three month period (quasi domicile) or  by a clear connection to the parish by registration over a three month period.

Parishioners who call to book a wedding need to be aware of a few guidelines that are in place to ensure that everyone is treated fairly.

Booking Your Wedding

We will not book any wedding dates over the phone because we feel it is important for you  to meet with the priest before anything is written down. This is basically a “getting to know you” session, and a time when the priest can outline what will be involved in the marriage preparation. Also, it is important that we establish that there is no problem or impediment preventing your marriage in the Catholic Church.

In cases where the couple is a little lax in the practice of their faith there may be some gentle challenges extended to you to assist you in your return to a regular faith practice. Don’t worry, we will be pastorally sensitive and we will be interested in listening to you. After all, sometimes people drift away from the Church for a while particularly in their 20’s and 30’s. We hope the time of your preparation for marriage will be a time for you to renew your ties with the Church in a positive manner as you strive to live a relationship that is founded on Christian values and faith in God.

Marriage Preparation

A Marriage Preparation Course is required for couples who are going to be married in the Catholic Church. We also ask the couple to complete a Prepare-Enrich Inventory that helps the couple see areas of strength and weakness in their relationship. The priest celebrant of your wedding will arrange this with you at the time of preparation for marriage. We generally require a minimum of eight months to one year for preparation.

Holy Orders

Priesthood and Religious Life

The ordination of new priests for service in the Diocese of Hamilton take place at the Cathedral  in the spring of each year. Male parishioners who feel that they may have a vocation to the priesthood or religious life should be practicing their faith and should be involved in the life of the parish.

​Any parishioner who may feel that God is calling them to the priesthood or religious life should contact the parish office and make an appointment to speak to  the pastor. We are happy to assist you by providing information, helping you to discern the vocation and to assist you in making the proper contacts should there be an indication that the call is authentic.  Further information can be obtained by clicking on the Diocesan Vocation Office link below.

Permanent Deacons

The Diocese of Hamilton has a formation process in place for those men who may be called to exercise ministry as a Permanent Deacon. Applications for formation in this ministry requires the support of the pastor of the parish and ultimately, a call by the Ordinary of the Diocese.  Those interested in Diaconal service should make an appointment to discuss this with their proper pastor, to seek his support for the process.

For further information about a vocation to priesthood, permanent diaconate or religious life, please contact the Vocation Office through this link: Diocesan Vocation Office