Sacramental Journey

Introduction

Children are initiated into the Catholic Community through several steps or sacraments over a period of 12 to 13 years. Adults have a formation period over a 9 month period. From the time of Baptism, children are influenced by the lived faith and life of their parents and families, with their practice of personal and family prayer, together with their participation in the sacramental, liturgical and social aspects of the parish community.  The saying is true, “Faith is caught rather than taught.” The Parish supports this period of formation with a number of processes, some shorter, some longer. Through this we hope that the sharing of the Sacramental Journey will enrich the faith of both the children and their families.

Adult Sacraments of Initiation

Each year adults approach the Parish seeking information on “Becoming Catholic” Each person has a different reason for doing so: some are Baptised Christians seeking full Communion with the Catholic Church; some have grown up in other faith traditions and now wish to be Catholic Christians; some have had no connection with any faith community; others are completing their Initiation with Adult Confirmation.The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a process that finds a group of Pilgrims who travel together over a period of time, together with 1-3 people as their Spiritual Companions. It is a journey of searching the will of God in our lives, of coming to know Jesus at a deeper level, of growing in understanding some of the Catholic views on life, and of reaching a stage of decision: “Yes, this is the way God is inviting me to live my life.”

The Process involves several Periods or Stages, each with a Liturgical Rite of moving from one to another:

  • Period of Inquiry (1-2 months)
  • Rite of Presentation of Candidates
  • Period of the Catechumenate (a deeper understanding of the Life of Faith)
  • Rite of Election
  • Period of Purification & Enlightenment (immediate preparation for Baptism/Confirmation)
  • Rite of Sacramental Initiation
  • Period of Post-Baptismal Catechesis
  • Rite of Missioning (for Pentecost onwards)

Baptism of Children

Most of our members are still baptised as babies or as younger children. To assist this we offer:

  • A formation session for the parents and god parents on first Sunday of the month
  • A Rite of Presentation at a Sunday mass on 2nd Sunday of the month, where the first part of the Baptism Rite is celebrated.
  • Baptism on 3rd or 4th Sunday of the month, either during Mass or at 12 noon.

Reconciliation & Communion

In school Years 2 & 3 children are invited into the second step of formation for Sacraments of Initiation and Healing. In school term 4 we prepare for and celebrate Reconciliation. In school term 1 we prepare for and celebrate First Communion. This is a Parish/Family Based Sacrament Programme that involves:

  • Information & Registration sessions with the Sacrament Team
  • Three to Four Preparation Sessions with families
  • Family Preparation at home through the work book
  • Rite of Presentation of the candidates to the Parish Community at a Mass
  • Parish Reflection Day for candidates a week before the Sacrament.
  • Celebration of the Sacrament.
  • Reconciliation is celebrated as a community on an evening in November. First Communion is celebrated during Sunday Mass in groups of up to 15 children.

Confirmation

In school year 6, children are invited to present themselves for Confirmation. It needs to be their choice to have their Baptism confirmed by the Bishop or his delegate.  Like Reconciliation and First Communion, there are formation steps that need to be taken:

  • Information & Registration sessions with the Sacrament Team
  • Three to Four Preparation Sessions with families
  • Family Preparation at home through the work book
  • Rite of Presentation of the candidates to the Parish Community at a Mass
  • Parish Reflection Day for candidates a week before the Sacrament.
  • Celebration of the Sacrament.

Confirmation is celebrated during Mass on a weekend in June, on a day when the Bishop is available, in one or two sessions depending on the number registered.

Marriage

When couples grow in love, they reach a stage of the relationship where they want to formalise this in a public manner. For many this is a civil ceremony, conducted by a civil celebrant in a place significant to the couple. In the Catholic form of Christian Marriage, couples celebrate their union in the presence of a priest or deacon and two witnesses. Witnesses need to be 18 or over. The Church asks that Marriages be celebrated in the Church, the place where the faith community gathers for sacraments. Couples need to register with the priest at least a calendar month before the wedding, a Notice of Intended Marriage (State) and a Pre-Nuptial Inquiry (Church). They need to supply

  1. A birth certificate or passport
  2. A recent copy of their Baptism Certificate

Marriage preparation through an approved course is highly recommended by the State and the Church. Our priests are trained FOCCUS facilitators, who can assist you in reflecting on the strengths and work areas of your relationship. It is recommended that couples register for Marriage at the Church Office at least 6 months before their wedding so that these arrangements can be completed without a last minute rush. Further information is available from the Parish Secretary.

Ordination

The Church invites men of suitable maturity to consider service of the community as its priests and deacons. Some priests are ordained for the Diocese, others within a Religious Community. In Australia, the territory of the Diocesan priest is their Diocese, unless they go on loan to another diocese here or overseas. Some spend a few years on Mission Service in PNG or other countries. The territory of the Religious priest is determined by their Community. As most communities have overseas missions, they could serve at home or abroad. The Permanent Diaconate is growing in the Archdiocese of Sydney, with some men from the Marrickville District in formation for that,

Religious Profession of Vows

While religious vows are not regarded as a sacrament as such, they share in the elements of sacraments, where a person makes a public commitment to the community as a life choice and as a mission of service. Vows are usually poverty (sharing of goods), chastity (free to love all), and obedience (following to call of the Holy Spirit). Our Passionists take a vow also to promote the Living Memory of the Passion.

Anointing of the Sick

In the letter of James, he says what when a person is sick, one should call the elders, and they should lay their hands on them and anoint them. We celebrate the Sacrament of Anointing after Masses on First Fridays, in hospitals and homes, and also at monthly Masses at the Nursing Homes.

Funeral Rites

At the end of life’s journey, we believe that our souls are lifted up to God, into the eternal life of the Father. We celebrate the lives of our departed ones, we remember their story, and we remember how God has shone his life on them.  Our Funeral Rites and marvelous occasions for the extended family to meet, with tie friends of the deceased, and to pray their soul into heaven. One of the features of the Funeral Rites is the Eulogy, a moment that encapsulates the life and faith journey of our loved one. Like a Sunday Homily, it is recommended that this be no longer than 7-10 minutes.

Contact the Parish Office for more details on parish@stbrigid.org.au