Baptism is a very joyful occasion, when your child is 'born again' into God's family, the Church. It is a sign that the parents wish to share their own love for God with their child from the start of the child's life. When you ask to have your child baptised "you are accepting the responsibility of training them in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring them up to keep God's commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbour." - The Rite of Baptism
Each child being baptised must have a Godparent, usually two. Godparents undertake a solemn responsibility: they are to be an example to the child baptised, so they must be good practising Catholics who go to Mass on Sunday. Being a Godparent is an adult role, so they must be at least 16 years old and have been confirmed.
Parents who desire that their child be Baptised should contact the Parish Priest, who will arrange to meet with you to discuss your request, and to make arrangements for the Baptism to be celebrated when the necessary preparation is complete. Baptisms are usually celebrated after the 10.30 a.m. Sunday Mass at Our Lady’s.
Those interested in becoming Catholics or in entering into Full Communion with the Catholic Church are invited to join our Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults Course which runs from September until Easter each year, with approximately 20 meetings. If you would like to find out more about becoming a Catholic, please contact the Parish Priest at the earliest opportunity.
When a child is Baptised, parents promise to undertake the responsibility of bringing up their child within the Catholic Church, to grow in faith and in love for Jesus Christ. This involves the family taking its place at Sunday Mass week by week. As we grow in faith, so it is appropriate that we approach the other Sacraments when we are ready. The minimum age for First Holy Communion is 8 years (primary school year 3), though it is quite acceptable to wait until a little older if the child will benefit by approaching this Sacrament with greater maturity. It is assumed that those applying for this Sacrament will attend Sunday Mass each week. Details for applying for this Sacrament are given in the weekly newsletter in late summer and early autumn, and application forms may be obtained from the Parish Priest. Catechesis is given at Our Lady’s on Saturdays, and at Corpus Christi during the week. An enthusiastic team of lay helpers assist the Parish Priest in delivering this Catechesis, and in advising whether each child is ready for First Holy Communion. First Confessions are usually celebrated in Advent, and First Holy Communion during May.
Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated each year, usually in early June. The minimum age to apply for this Sacrament is 11 years (primary school year 6), though it is stressed that this is a minimum, and young people who have reached Secondary School age are welcome to apply. It is assumed that those applying for this Sacrament attend Sunday Mass each week, and that they have the support of at least one parent when making this application. Details concerning application for this Sacrament are given in the Parish newsletter in the late summer and early autumn, and Catechesis takes place at Our Lady’s on Saturdays, directed by the Parish Priest who is well assisted by enthusiastic lay volunteers.
Catholic Marriage is a sacrament, which involves a lifelong commitment. Therefore proper preparation is necessary. Its aim is to help the engaged couple prepare for this profound experience of God's love that will be showered upon them on the wedding day and every day of their married life.
Couples desiring to be married should contact the Parish Priest and arrange to meet with him. When meeting with the Parish priest, arrangements can be made for the necessary preparation, as well as discussing any dispensations necessary if one party is not a member of the Catholic Church, and practical arrangements for the wedding day itself.
Dear couples contemplating marriage! First of all, your spiritual development as a couple is very important aspect of your marriage preparation. As you are to build a relationship on faith in God and mutual love, you should attend Sunday Mass that you may be strengthened by the Eucharist. Your spiritual involvement in the life of the Parish will mean that your marriage ceremony will find its proper context within the wider family of the Catholic Church.
From time to time, adult catechesis is arranged for members of the Parish who wish to study further aspects of the faith. This has included, in recent years, the Catholicism course by Father (now Bishop) Robert Barron, as well as courses on the Eucharist and the other Sacraments. Such courses are advertised in the Parish Newsletter.