The Sacraments of Initiation
Christian Initiation consists of three sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation and First Holy Communion. Due to some historical oddities, the order of these three sacraments has shifted with Confirmation almost always being celebrated after First Holy Communion. Regardless, all three sacraments work together to instill grace, conform the soul to Christ and full incorporate the whole person into the Church.
For infants, the basic path begins with Baptism. Instruction follows as the child matures. For unbaptized adults seeking to become Catholic, the path begins with instruction so that the choice of Baptism can be made deliberately and with full, complete and conscious consent. For baptized non-Catholics, instruction is tailored to the Christian experience of each interested party.
For all, the process begins with a visit to the parish priest.
Baptism is the first step on the path to salvation. It incorporates the soul into Christ and His Church. It seals the soul against Satan and washes away the stain of Original Sin leaving only the purity of God's creation. In a word, it is astounding! In seeking Baptism, for yourself or your child, you are giving perhaps the greatest gift any one can offer beyond the gift of life itself.
Parents ought to have their children baptized as soon as possible and should be careful to arrange for the best possible Godparents. The time of Godparents having any legal responsibility for the child is long past. Sadly, the time of the Godparent being merely an honorary title given to any close friend has replaced it. The Godparent is not merely an honorary uncle or aunt. He or she takes real spiritual responsibility for the child's eternal welfare. It's big work and it has eternal consequences. As such, Godparents must be Catholics, Confirmed and regularly attending Holy Mass and receiving both Confession and Holy Communion. If married, they should be in "regular" marriages, recognized by the Church.
Baptisms are scheduled through the office for a convenient date. Typically, Baptisms are celebrated immediately after the Saturday 4p Mass or the Sunday 9a or 11a Mass. First time parents must meet with Father beforehand for an informal instruction.
This form provides all the necessary data for our records. It will be sent to the parish office which will keep it entirely confidential and pass it along to our clergy. If you prefer a certain member of the clergy, just let us know.
The Baptism or Conversion of Adults
Adults interested in the Catholic Faith should contact the parish office (318.352.3422) to schedule a no-obligations meeting with our pastor. Instruction is provided in a one-to-one environment by one of several tutors at the choice of the one seeking the Faith. We have individuals, couples, younger and older tutors, clergy and lay people. The program is tailored to the needs and experience of the seeker.
First Holy Communion
Children in the United States usually make their First Confession and First Holy Communion in the second grade, around the age of seven. Participation in a program of religious preparation (CCD or Catholic School) is expected and required. Children with special needs ought to be discussed with pastor in advance. If your child is already enrolled in our CCD program or in St. Mary’s School, you don’t need to do anything else. If not, please fill out the form below or contact the office (318-352-3422) for more information. If you or your child "missed" First Holy Communion in second grade and would like to enter into the life of the Church, please make an appointment by contacting the office.
First Holy Communion is scheduled for the 11am Mass on Sunday, May 7, 2016. A mandatory rehearsal and First Holy Confessions will take place at 9am on Saturday, May 6, 2016. The rehearsal will last less than an hour, but first confessions will go on longer depending on your child’s place in line.
The Bishop of the Diocese of Alexandria has set the typical time for Confirmation in the Diocese at eleventh grade. As with Holy Communion, a program of preparation is required and special needs students should be discussed with the pastor well in advance. Students in our CCD program or at St. Mary’s School don’t need to do anything else. Adults who were baptized Catholic but never Confirmed should make every effort to receive the sacrament. Arrangements can be made by contacting the parish office (318-352-3422) for more information.
Confirmation is scheduled for the 4pm Mass on May 20, 2017.