The Church... our parish... exists to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to bring men and women to a personal encounter with the Risen Lord through the Sacraments and the fellowship of the Church.
The encounter with the risen Christ happens at several moments in our lives, and we pray that these encounters will deepen our discipleship to Christ. As a community of believers we look to deepen our discipleship with Christ and to support others who wish to embrace this journey with us.
Generally preparation for the Sacraments of Faith...how we become disciples of Christ...happens to Catholic Christians at a young age, with the support of our family, our parish and often the support of a Catholic school. The family, especially the parents of Catholic children, are "the first and best educators of their child in the ways of faith" (from The Rite of Baptism). Arising from this we at St Bernadette's aim to support those seeking the Baptism of children or the other Sacraments of Christian Initiation (First Eucharist and Confirmation) so that as individuals and as families they take their rightful place within our worshiping communities for Sunday Mass. WE CANNOT BE CATHOLICS IN ISOLATION BECAUSE GOD CALLS US TO BE PART OF HIS GATHERED PEOPLE.
Below is an outline of our ambitions and programmes for preparation in the Sacraments of Faith.
Baptism Of Children
We welcome those who live within our parish boundaries to prepare for the Baptism of Childen with us. It is our parish policy to enable families to be best prepared for the responsibilities and the celebration of this wonderful Sacrament. If adults have been away from Sunday Mass for a period of time, we welcome them to pray the Sunday Mass with us, as they meet over a number of months with a catechist or a priest to explore the meaning of the faith which they are requesting to share with their child/children. The role of a Catholic parent is a sacred responsibility and it is only right that individuals and families are supported towards the best understanding of their dignity in this important role.
Baptism Of Adults
People of maturity are invited to discern the call of God in their life, especially if that call is bringing them towards membership of the Catholic faith. If an individual has already received the Christian identity in Baptism (by the pouring of/immersion in water and the invoking of the Holy Trinity) they would be building on their Christian experience within a community outside of the Catholic Church. Ordinarily they would meet with a catechist or a priest to discern their way forward in the life of faith. If a person is not yet Baptised, but has become aware of the call of God within their lives, they are sililarly invited to a group or individual meetings with a catechist or priest, and to follow the pathway of discernment into the Catholic Church called "The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults" (RCIA).This process focuses on reception into the church at the Easter Vigil...Easter being the great celebration of the Lord's resurrection. Please use the parish phone number given above to speak to someone for more information concerning Baptism.
prepares children to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation (Confession), Holy Communion and Confirmation. There is good support from our parish school through their RE programme and the staff supporting the children during their preparation.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession)
There are seven sessions over a period of three months. These take place in the Parish Hall after the 9.30am mass which we expect the children and parents to attended. The session ends around11am
The sessions begin September and end with First Confession in early January (no sessions during school holidays)
Children are usually 7-8years of age or above.
First Holy Communion.
These sessions (usually 12) follow on from the preparation for Reconciliation and culminate with the first Holy Communion Mass in May.The sessions take place as for reconciliation. Children are usually age 7-8 years or above.
Catechists for the above sacramental preparation are Peter Brennan, Eileen MacCormac, and Christine Bird.
Parental Preparation for First Holy Communion.
The Parish has introduced a Preparation Programme for Parents whose children are preparing for First Confession and First Holy Communion. This Programme happens over six sessions, usually about once a month. It is will be led by Anita Bamforth,Gary Maddox, Eva Pestell and Fr Steve.
The Sacrament of Confirmation.
Preparation for this sacrament consists of 6 sessions each 1¼ hours in duration. The sessions takes place either Friday evening 5.30-6.45pm or Sunday evening 7.15-8.30pm. The children opt for one evening. These sessions take place sometime between April and October depending on when the Bishop is available to Confirm. (No sessions during the holidays).The children are usually of age 10-11years or older. The Catechists are Peter Brennan, Pauline Davis, Carol Maddox and Pat Gregory.
THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE.
We are delighted to help couples prepare for the sacrament of marriage. Baptised Catholics are required to marry before the parish priest (or his appointed deputy) in the parish area where they live. There are two requirements for the parish clergy to discern. Firstly that both the individuals making up the couple are free to marry, and that they are both ready to give their free consent to be married. The preparation for this Sacrament entails at least 4 sessions with a priest, which will explore the meaning of married life and the evolving of relationships, as well as completing all the legal requirements of both church and civil authorities. For more information please ring the parish office on the number given above.