Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:5
In his dialogue with Nicodemus, Jesus taught that Baptism was necessary for salvation. “No one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit” (Jn 3:5). After his Resurrection, Jesus met with the eleven Apostles and gave them the commission to preach the Gospel and baptize, telling them, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mk 16:16).
The word baptism in its origins is Greek and means “immersion” and “bath.” Immersion in water is a sign of death and emersion out of the water means new life. To bathe in water is also to undergo cleansing. Saint Paul sums up this truth when he says, “You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead” (Col 2:12).
The origin and foundation of Christian Baptism is Jesus. Before starting his public ministry, Jesus submitted himself to the baptism given by John the Baptist. The waters did not purify him; he cleansed the waters. “He comes to sanctify the Jordan for our sake . . . to begin a new creation through the Spirit and water” (St. Gregory Nazianzen, Liturgy of the Hours, I, 634).
Jesus’ immersion in the water is a sign for all human beings of the need to die to themselves to do God’s will. Jesus did not need to be baptized because he was totally faithful to the will of his Father and free from sin. However, he wanted to show his solidarity with human beings in order to reconcile them to the Father.
By commanding his disciples to baptize all nations, he established the means by which people would die to sin—Original and actual—and begin to live a new life with God.
The process for infant baptism is very important, yet very simple. For first-time parents, there is a Baptism preparation class to give you more detailed information. To get the process started, follow the steps below:
- There are some important decisions that need to be made before your child’s baptism, namely choosing godparents. Before you select godparents for your child, please refer to our link for choosing godparents. There you will find a Sponsor Eligibility Form that is required for godparents to complete.
- After you have thoroughly read the information, the next step is to complete the online Baptism Request Form. Call the parish office if you need assistance completing the form (419-468-2884).
- There is a video to watch to better understand the sacrament. The office will let you know how to access this.
- After you have finished watching the video, you will meet with a deacon.
- The final step before the baptism is to meet with the priest. He will finalize all of the details for the Baptism and answer any questions that you may still have.
When a child of teachable age is to be baptized, a process of preparation is provided for the child, according to his or her age and ability. Please contact the parish office for more information.
Adult Baptism follows the ancient order of the catechumenate. This rite also referred to as RCIA (the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) offers a person a period of months to inquire and receive information about the Christian life, while regularly attending community gatherings with others who are likewise interested in joining the Catholic Church.
“I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh. The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.” John 6:51-58
So rich is the mystery of the Eucharist that we have a number of terms to illumine its saving grace: the Breaking of the Bread; the Lord’s Supper; the Eucharistic Assembly; the Memorial of Christ’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection; the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Holy and Divine Liturgy; the Eucharistic Liturgy; Holy Communion; and Holy Mass (cf. CCC, nos. 1328-1332).
The use of bread and wine in worship is already found in the early history of God’s people. In the Old Testament, bread and wine are seen as gifts from God, to whom praise and thanks are given in return for these blessings and for other manifestations of his care and grace. The story of the priest Melchizedek’s offering a sacrifice of bread and wine for Abraham’s victory is an example of this (cf. Gn 14:18). The harvest of new lambs was also a time for the sacrifice of a lamb to show gratitude to God for the new flock and its contribution to the well-being of the family and tribe.
These ancient rituals were given historical meaning at the Exodus of God’s people. They were united into the Passover Meal as a sign of God’s delivering the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, a pledge of his fidelity to his promises and eventually a sign of the coming of the Messiah and messianic times. Each family shared the lamb that had been sacrificed and the bread over which a blessing had been proclaimed. They also drank from a cup of wine over which a similar blessing had been proclaimed.
When Jesus instituted the Eucharist he gave a final meaning to the blessing of the bread and the wine and the sacrifice of the lamb. The Gospels narrate events that anticipated the Eucharist. The miracle of the loaves and fish, reported in all four Gospels, prefigured the unique abundance of the Eucharist. The miracle of changing water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana manifested the divine glory of Jesus and the heavenly wedding feast in which we share at every Eucharist.
In his dialogue with the people at Capernaum, Christ used his miracle of multiplying the loaves of bread as the occasion to describe himself as the Bread of Life: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. . . Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you” (Jn 6:51, 53).
At St. Joseph, children prepare to receive First Holy Communion when they are in the second grade. The preparation is through St. Joseph Catholic School or the Parish School of Religion. The preparation begins the year that students begin the second grade. For students at St. Joseph, the preparation is in the classroom throughout the second-grade year. For students in PSR, the preparation begins in the fall and continues weekly before Mass. The classes continue through winter, and in the spring, the students receive the Sacrament of First Holy Communion.
“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 baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.” Acts of the Apostles 8:14-17
Confirmation, together with Baptism and Eucharist, form the Sacraments of Initiation that are all intimately connected. In the Sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized person is “sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit” and is strengthened for service to the Body of Christ.
The prophets of the Old Testament foretold that God’s Spirit would rest upon the Messiah to sustain his mission. Their prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus the Messiah was conceived by the Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus on the occasion of his baptism by John.
Jesus’ entire mission occurred in communion with the Spirit. Before he died, Jesus promised that the Spirit would be given to the Apostles and to the entire Church. After his death, he was raised by the Father in the power of the Spirit.
Those who believed in the Apostles’ preaching were baptized and received the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands. The Apostles baptized believers in water and the Spirit. Then they imparted the special gift of the Spirit through the laying on of hands. “‘The imposition of hands is rightly recognized by the Catholic tradition as the origin of the sacrament of Confirmation, which in a certain way perpetuates the grace of Pentecost in the Church’” (CCC, no. 1288, citing Pope Paul VI, Divinae Consortium Naturae, no. 659).
By the second century, Confirmation was also conferred by anointing with holy oil, which came to be called sacred Chrism. “This anointing highlights the name ‘Christian,’ which means ‘anointed’ and derives from that of Christ himself whom God ‘anointed with the Holy Spirit’” (CCC, no. 1289, citing Acts 10:38).
In order to begin the process, your child should either attend St. Joseph Catholic School or PSR (Parish School of Religion) one year prior to the start of Confirmation classes. Confirmation class begins in the fall of the child’s 8th-grade year. In the spring, the students receive the Sacrament of Confirmation at Most Holy Rosary Cathedral in Toledo.
If you are an adult seeking Confirmation, your Confirmation process will be slightly different. Your Confirmation classes will occur on an individual basis, and you will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation at Easter Vigil Mass. Please contact the parish office to discuss your specific situation.
Guide to Confession & Examination of Conscience
May the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of all the saints, whatever good you do and suffering you endure, heal your sins, help you grow in holiness, and reward you with eternal life. Go in peace.
–Rite of Penance, no. 93
How to go to Confession
1 Preparation: Before going to confession, take some time to prepare. Begin with prayer, and reflect on your life since your last confession. How have you—in your thoughts, words, and actions— neglected to live Christ’s commands to “love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt 22:37, 39)? As a help with this “examination of conscience,” you might review the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes (Ex 20:2-17; Dt 5:6-21; Mt 5:3-10; or Lk 6:20-26).
2 Greeting: The priest will welcome you; he may say a short blessing or read a Scripture passage.
3 The Sign of the Cross: Together, you and the priest will make the Sign of the Cross. You may then begin your confession with these or similar words: “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been [give days, months, or years] since my last confession.”
4 Confession: Confess all your sins to the priest. If you are unsure what to say, ask the priest for help. When you are finished, conclude with these or similar words: “I am sorry for these and all my sins.”
5 Penance: The priest will give an act of penance. The penance might be prayer, a work of mercy, or an act of charity. He might also counsel you on how to better live a Christian life.
6 Act of Contrition: After the priest has conferred your penance, pray an Act of Contrition, expressing sorrow for your sins and resolving to sin no more.
Act of Contrition
Oh, my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You.
I detest all my sins because they displease You, who are all good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly intend with the help of Your grace, to
To sin no more
To avoid whatever leads me to sin
And to change my life for the better through
prayer, good deeds, and acts of self-denial.
7 Absolution: The priest will extend his hands over your head and pronounce the words of absolution. You make the sign of the cross and respond, “Amen.”
8 Praise: The priest will usually praise the mercy of God and will invite you to do the same. For example, the priest may say, “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good.” And your response would be, “His mercy endures forever” (Rite of Penance, no. 47).
9 Dismissal: The priest will conclude, often saying, “Go in peace.” You reply “thanks be to God”
Anointing of the Sick
“Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord” James 5:14
Who should receive this sacrament?
“The sacrament may and should be given to [any Catholic] whose health is seriously impaired…it may not be given indiscriminately or to any person whose health is not seriously impaired.”
(Pastoral Care of the Sick, General Introduction, footnote [*] to para. 8, emphasis added)
This means things like an aching knee would not in itself be enough reason to seek the sacrament. The sacrament should not be thought of as a general remedy for current ailments or to ward off future illnesses. As indicated below, it is intended primarily to address spiritual issues related to serious health issues.
When should a Catholic person receive this sacrament?
“…as soon as any one of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age.”
(Pastoral Care of the Sick, Apostolic Constitution, para. 6)
The Church here recognizes that a person needs not to be in the actual process of dying to receive this sacrament. The person needs only to be experiencing a condition that seriously impacts his/her health. This includes serious mental illnesses, but not things like the common cold or non-serious effects of old age.
What are the effects of this sacrament?
“…raises up and strengthens the soul of the sick person, arousing a great confidence in the divine mercy. Thus sustained, the sick person may more easily bear the trials and hardships of sickness, more easily resist the temptations of the devil…and sometimes regain bodily health, if this is expedient for the health of the soul.” Pastoral Care of the Sick, Apostolic Constitution, para. 6 quoting Council of Trent)
“The Church exhorts [those who suffer] to contribute to the welfare of the whole people of God by associating themselves with the passion and death of Christ (see Roms 8:17, Col 1:24, Tim 2:11-12, 1 Peter 4:13).” The Church empathizes with those who suffer and calls them united their sufferings to Jesus at Calvary. As St. Paul says, “now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of His body, which is the Church.”
He answered, “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, `For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”
Sacred Scripture begins with the creation and union of man and woman and ends with “the wedding feast of the Lamb” (Rev 19:7, 9). Scripture often refers to marriage, its origin and purpose, the meaning God gave to it, and its renewal in the covenant made by Jesus with his Church.
God created man and woman out of love and commanded them to imitate his love in their relations with each other. Man and woman were created for each other. “It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him. . . . The two of them become one body” (Gn 2:18; 24). Woman and man are equal in human dignity, and in marriage both are united in an unbreakable bond.
Jesus brought to full awareness the divine plan for marriage. In John’s Gospel, Christ’s first miracle occurs at the wedding in Cana. “The Church attaches great importance to Jesus’ presence at the wedding at Cana. She sees in it the confirmation of the goodness of marriage and the proclamation that thenceforth marriage will be an efficacious sign of Christ’s presence” (CCC, no. 1613).
The movement toward this life choice, the union of marriage, is, therefore, a moment requiring careful deliberation and spiritual preparation.
Planning a wedding is a very exciting and busy time for couples. The first thing both the future bride and the future groom should do is fill out a Marriage Request Form. When each person has completed and submitted their request, they will be contacted to discuss the next step. Please, do not set a wedding date prior to speaking to the parish office. A minimum of six months is required before a wedding can be scheduled in order to allow time for marriage instruction classes.
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17)
In the Sacrament of Holy Orders, or Ordination, the priest being ordained vows to lead other Catholics by bringing them the sacraments (especially the Eucharist), by proclaiming the Gospel, and by providing other means to holiness.
Is God calling you? Be open to listening to God. Embrace the possibility of whatever God has in mind for you. All of us are called by God to be disciples and to grow in our understanding of what faith is about.
Becoming a priest or a man or woman religious is not primarily our own decision…. Rather it is the response to a call and to a call of love.
—Pope Francis, Address to Seminarians and Novices, July 6, 2013
From the moment of Jesus’ conception in the womb of Mary until His Resurrection, He was filled with the Holy Spirit. In biblical language, He was anointed by the Holy Spirit and thus established by God the Father as our high priest. As Risen Lord, He remains our high priest. . . . While all the baptized share in Christ’s priesthood, the ministerial priesthood shares this through the Sacrament of Holy Orders in a special way.
“Here I am, send me.” (Is 6:8)
Ordination to the priesthood is always a call and a gift from God. Christ reminded His Apostles that they needed to ask the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into the harvest. Those who seek priesthood respond generously to God’s call using the words of the prophet, “Here I am, send me” (Is 6:8). This call from God can be recognized and understood from the daily signs that disclose His will to those in charge of discerning the vocation of the candidate.
If you would like more information, please call the Parish Office
“I am the resurrection and the life,” Jesus says to us, giving us comfort and hope in a time of sorrow. In Our Lord Jesus Christ, we have found one who has conquered death itself. The funeral liturgy of the church is the privileged place of encounter with the Lord. The Mass is offered on behalf of our loved one and we are filled with strength and hope for we know that the Lord’s love is total.
The Office Manager will guide you through the process of planning the funeral Mass. Prior to the meeting, you may select Funeral Readings from the document. You may also look through the hymnal for music. If you have any questions, please contact the Parish Office at 419-468-2884.