|Baptism||Confirmation||Reconciliation||Anointing of the Sick|
|Eucharist||Vocations||Holy Matrimony||Funeral Liturgies|
Baptism preparation Classes are offered monthly. Please call the parish office for more information. 203-324-7321
Baptism marks the entry of the believer into the Christian community. Along with Confirmation and Eucharist, it is one of the Sacraments of Initiation, giving access to the full sacramental life of the Church. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and joined with Christ, sharing in His divinity, and destined for eternal life. Baptism leaves us permanently changed, no longer the person we once were, but a new person, dying to death and sin, and rising to new life in Christ. In the words of St. Paul, “We were buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so too may we live a new life.” (Romans 6:4).
The rite consists of pouring water over the head while saying the Trinitarian formula. Anyone can baptize in an emergency, although the usual minister of the sacrament is a priest or deacon. Usually, the rite includes anointing the forehead with holy oil to indicate that, even as Christ was anointed Priest, Prophet, and King, so does the candidate now share in His everlasting life, participating in His glory as a member of His body. The newly baptized then receives a white garment and a candle lit from the paschal candle. Like Christ, who is the light of the world, the newly baptized Christian carries the light of Christ out into the world.
Ordinarily Baptisms are not celebrated during Lent. Parents and godparents are asked to participate in a short preparation program.
The Sacrament of Baptism is celebrated at St. Mary’s on the second Saturday of the month in English and, on the fourth Saturday of the month in Spanish. The registered parents of the child (children) to be baptized are to contact our parish office to make the necessary arrangements
On the night before His Passion, Jesus gathered with His Apostles at “the Upper Room” where He celebrated what came to be called “The Lord’s Supper.” It was at this crucial celebration that the Lord both instituted the Eucharist and instructed His disciples to serve. Together with the Church we proclaim that, in the Eucharist, the Lord is truly present in his Body, Soul and Divinity; that the Host that we receive at Holy Communion is Jesus Himself. Traditionally, we call the Eucharistic celebration a Mass, a word derived from the Latin “missio” which means “mission.” At the end of every eucharistic celebration we are sent out into our communities to proclaim Christ, alive and active, in our lives for the salvation of the world; that is our mission.
Every Catholic that is to receive Holy Communion is asked to be in the state of grace (free from any mortal sin, which are sins against the Ten Commandments), arrive in on time, be duly prepared and, observe at least a one-hour fast before Mass. Let us also remember that receiving Holy Comunion is a Catholic’s public and voluntary act by which we express our personal agreement with and observance of the doctrine of the Catholic Church which is the doctrine of Christ Himself.
Catholics that are not in the state of grace as well as all non-Catholics that honor us with a visit to our church are welcomed to present themselves before the priest at the time of Communion, arm crossed, te receive a blessing.
Lastly, we are all encouraged to be appropriately dressed for Mass, avoiding garments and/or accessories that might call attention to oneself or be a source of distraction for others. Cell phones and all electronic toys and gadgets must be put away before Mass (except for those used for medical reasons, of course).
Before Jesus was put to death, He promised His followers that He would send His Spirit to comfort and strengthen them. True to His promise, the Holy Spirit was poured out on them on Pentecost, forty days after His resurrection from the dead. The Sacrament of Confirmation is our own Pentecost.
When we are confirmed, we receive the Holy Spirit, through the anointing with oil and the laying on of hands by the bishop or a priest appointed by him.
The sacrament of Confirmation completes the sacrament of Baptism. If Baptism is the sacrament of re-birth to a new and supernatural life, Confirmation is the sacrament of maturity and coming of age. The real confession of Christ consist in this ‘that the whole man submits himself to Truth, in the judgment of his understanding, in the submission of his will and in the consecration of his whole power of love . . . To do this, poor-spirited man is only able when he has been confirmed by God’s grace’
This confirmation in the power of the Holy Spirit leading to a firm profession of faith has always been the effect which Catholic tradition has ascribed to the sacrament. It is effect which complements and completes that of baptism.
We understand vocations to be the gift of a Provident Father to the prayerful community of the faithful. Please help us encourage the youth to seek paths of service in the Church and help us pray for vocations daily.
Just as there is a great need for men to serve at the Altar of God there is also a great need for women to stand strongly in favor of a life of prayer and service through religious life.
We invite those interested in learning more about how to study for the priesthood or how to enter religious life to speak to one of our priests or contact the Office of Vocations at the Diocese of Bridgeport.
The Sacrament of Penance is an experience of the gift of God’s boundless mercy. Not only does it free us from our sins but it also challenges us to have the same kind of compassion and forgiveness for those who sin against us. We are liberated to be forgivers. We obtain new insight into the words of the Prayer of St. Francis: “It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.” Penance Jesus entrusted the ministry of reconciliation to the Church. The Sacrament of Penance is God’s gift to us so that any sin committed after Baptism can be forgiven. In confession we have the opportunity to repent and recover the grace of friendship with God. It is a holy moment in which we place ourselves in his presence and honestly acknowledge our sins, especially mortal sins. With absolution, we are reconciled to God and the Church. The Sacrament helps us stay close to the truth that we cannot live without God. “In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). While all the Sacraments bring us an experience of the mercy that comes from Christ’s dying and rising, it is the Sacrament of Reconciliation that is the unique Sacrament of mercy.
“Lastly, there is the [priest’s] power of forgiveness. The Sacrament of Penance is one of the Church’s precious treasures, since authentic world renewal is accomplished only through forgiveness. Nothing can improve the world if evil is not overcome. Evil can be overcome only by forgiveness. Certainly, it must be an effective forgiveness; but only the Lord can give us this forgiveness, a forgiveness that drives away evil not only with words but truly destroys it. Only suffering can bring this about and it has truly taken place with the suffering love of Christ, from whom we draw the power to forgive.” — Pope Benedict XVI, Homily at Pentecost Mass for Priestly Ordination, May 15, 2005. From A Year with Pope Benedict, XVI, © Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Used with permission. May not be reproduced in any form for commercial purposes.
Holy Matrimony (Marriage)
All love comes from God, and all love reflects the love that God has for His creation. The Sacrament of Marriage is, first and foremost, a sign and symbol of this love. Marriage is a sacrament of the self-giving love which two people offer to each other. The love which a couple have for each other mirrors the love God has for men and women.
The minister of the Sacrament of Marriage is the couple themselves. The priest serves as a witness.
The joy and mutual support of married love can be a source of strength which enables married people to serve others in a very powerful way. It should spill out to their children and to those around them and become a source of life, hope and comfort for others. This is reflected in the blessing which the priest often gives the newly married couples, saying:
“May you always bear witness to the love of God in this world, so that the afflicted and the needy will find in you generous friends and welcome you into the joys of Heaven.”
Please contact the Parish Office for more information (arrangements require at least 1 year in advance).
Anointing of the Sick and Communion to the Home Bound
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is one more expression of the Love of God that brings comfort not only to the soul but to the body as well. The parish clergy will be happy to visit with the sick that request the sacraments.
Please notify the office about the need for someone to be anointed and/or receive Holy Communion. Privacy laws apply equally to all; therefore, our priests will only be able to reach out to those that request the sacraments.
The celebration of the Funeral Liturgy in the Church offers the unique opportunity for the faithful to pray for the repose of the soul of the deceased while worshiping God, through the Son, in the presence of the Spirit. The Liturgy guides believers in this charitable spiritual exercise as they commend the soul of the dead to God, the Author of life, so that the soul of the deceased be admitted to partake in the Eternal Banquet in Heaven. At our parish we strongly recommend families to first contact a Funeral Director of their choice to make the necessary arrangements for a funeral, before calling our office. Funeral Directors are professionals that dedicate their time and concern to aid people as their mourn the death of a loved one. While the practice of offering Words of Remembrance during Mass is not permitted at our parish, we encourage our parishioners to do so either at the Wake or at the Internment. Our decision against Words of Remembrance at Mass is based on the fact that, on several occasions, guest speakers showed disregards for the holiness of the Sacrament of Mass by their poor taste in their vocabulary as well as the superficial content of their speech.