In the case of First Holy Communion and
Confirmation, preparation occurs on three levels; family, school and parish. The schools
play an invaluable role in helping the parish prepare for these celebrations. However, they are
celebrations of the parish community, not the school, and as such, all inquiries and communication
about Sacraments are done through the parish. Parents must request Sacraments for
their children–they do not automatically happen because the child is in the Catholic school
The Christian Community of St Mary of the Visitation Parish is eager to welcome your child as a member of Godís family in Baptism. The celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism occurs regularly at our parish. The majority of our celebrations occur during Mass on a scheduled Lord's Day Mass. Please contact the parish office and the secretary will complete a preliminary form with you. You will then meet with our pastor and together a date is arranged with him.
It is a good idea to call several months in advance before the desired date of Baptism. Sometimes couples contact the parish office even before their baby has been born. For families unfamiliar with our parish, we encourage you to register, to become familiar by attending Mass regularly with our community and to seek Baptism after a time of preparation. Get to know us and let us get to know you. In either case, thank you for considering Baptism for your child. It's wonderful that you wish to share your faith with your child in this way. We offer an excellent Children's Ministry at the parish to assist families and parents in making the Lord's Day special. If we can help you in any way, please ask.
Father Freitas. registrations are underway.
Teens or Adult Baptism or Confirmation (RCIA)
Our parish is blessed each year with several older children, teens and adults who consider receiving the Sacraments of the Church. In some cases these have been members of our other faith communities or Christian Churches and are now seeking to become members of the Catholic Church. Others are already Catholics who have not received their Sacraments as young children and now seek these. We are pleased to meet with you to discuss the opportunities we have each year for you to become a full member of the Catholic Church. Please contact the parish office and speak with Father Freitas.
Preparation for this Sacraments occurs on three levels; family, school and parish. The schools play an invaluable role in helping the parish prepare for these celebrations. However, they are celebrations of the parish community, not the school, and as such, all inquiries and communication about these sacraments are done through the parish. Parents must request these sacraments for their children–they do not automatically happen because the child is in the Catholic school system.
There are parent meetings designed to assist parents to help their children prepare for the celebration of Reconciliation and Eucharist. Parishioners are asked to present their children for these sacraments through a formal petition that is made available at the first parent meeting in the Fall of the year. Parents are requested to provide proof of baptism for their children and, in some cases, pastoral intervention is required when there are obstacles to full communion with the Catholic Church. Parents are asked to work with their children to help them prepare for these sacraments.
It is very important that all parents who wish these children to receive the sacraments make the effort to attend Sunday mass with their children as part of the preparation process and beyond. We offer an excellent Children's Ministry at the parish to assist families and parents in making the Lord's Day special. As a community, we are most happy to assist families in their preparation for these sacraments and offer an opportunity each year for every child to bring forward the gifts at Mass. Details are shared at the parent meeting.
Questions concerning the reception of the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist by children may be directed toward the parish priest who will assist you in the process. For specific dates see our Holy Communion Information page.
Preparation for this Sacraments occurs on three levels; family, school and parish. The schools play an invaluable role in helping the parish prepare for these celebrations. However, they are celebrations of the parish community, not the school, and as such, all inquiries and communication about Sacraments are done through the parish. Parents must request Sacraments for their children–they do not automatically happen because the child is in the Catholic school system.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated annually at the Parish with students in either the seventh or the eighth grade. Students wishing to complete their initiation by receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation are asked to formally request the Sacrament through petition that is made available at the first parent meeting in the Fall of the year. In addition to this meeting, each young person who wishes to be confirmed be invited to become involved in some form of apostolic service or ministry within the parish. An enrollment ceremony also occurs on a given Lord's Day weekend. There is also a parish retreat for all students preparing for Confirmation which takes place in co operation with Camp Brebeuf, and a series of special parish based activities called Searching in the Spirit.
We welcome the opportunity to assist young people in completing their initiation into the Catholic faith and enjoy their involvement within the community. It is very important that all parents who wish these children to receive the Sacraments make the effort to attend Sunday Mass with their children as part of the preparation process and beyond. We also offer an excellent youth ministry in the parish to assist teens and their families. If we can help you in any way, please ask.
For Roman Catholics, the Sacrament of Marriage is a living sign of the presence of God in our lives. A man and a woman are joined in the inseparable sign of God's love for the Church, the world, and themselves. The decision to marry therefore much be based on much reflection and prayer. It is much more than just planning a ceremony, but is it about preparing for a life together. All couples are asked therefore to complete a Marriage Preparation Program and meet several times with our Pastor.
Our parish welcomes your desire to enter into this Sacrament. If you are registered parishioner of St Mary's you are welcome to consider our Church for your celebration. A Catholic who lives in another parish community or even in another province or country, must first contact their own parish priest who will be responsible for all necessary documentation and preparations for marriage, only then can a date be arranged for marriage at St Mary's.
Arrangements for marriage can only be made between the pastor and the couple intending to marry. Arrangements are not made between third parties, by telephone or email. The bride or groom should contact the parish office to arrange an opportunity to meet with our pastor.
As you continue in your married life, or during your period of engagement. We invite you to see many of the opportunities for involvement in the parish which are available. We especially invite you to consider being a part of our Young Adults Group and also checking out our Couples Ministry page.
What is a Convalidation?
One of the most common obstacles affecting a Catholic's ability to receive Communion at Mass arises because a Catholic has been married outside the Roman Catholic Church without previously obtaining the appropriate dispensation from the Diocese. Often this obstacle can be overcome easily, by simply meeting with a priest and working towards convalidation, which is simply a "renewal of vows" within the Church. In some cases, when the civil union is ecumenical and has taken place in a sacred place, a sanation (a "retroactive" dispensation) can be granted if the non-Catholic spouse is unwilling to renew consent before a priest and two witnesses. In other cases, more work may be necessary, but generally something can be done. If you would like to discuss this further with the hope of being able to return to the full practice of your Catholic faith, please contact Father Freitas or through the parish office.
Each year our parish offers a parish Anointing of the Sick Mass. This Sacrament is also offered upon request for those under going serious medical treatment, preparing for surgery. Ministers of Communion to the Sick also bring communion to those who are sick or confined at home, in nursing homes or hospital each Sunday. Mass is also celebrated each month at St Luke's Place. To ensure a visit when hospitalized please make sure to indicate at registration that you are a Roman Catholic and a member of St Mary Parish. For further information see our Pastoral Care Page.
When a death occurs in your family, please advise our parish office immediately and they will assist you in making appropriate funeral arrangements while doing their best to help you deal with your grief in a spiritual way. We like to meet with families prior to their visit at the funeral home, wherever possible to discuss the arrangements.
Our parish also offers a Bereavement Ministry for those who have suffered the loss of a loved one.