7777 28 Mile Road - Washington MI - 48094   -   586.781.9010
 
First Eucharist
 

From second grade on when a parent believes that their child is ready for full participation in the Eucharist and if the child has been part of the religious formation program for at least two years (including the year of first Eucharist), they may bring their child forward as a candidate and prepare their child for First Eucharist. The specific First Eucharist preparation is separate from the required monthly G.R.A.C.E. sessions and the age-specific G.R.A.C.E. sessions. The preparation consists of:

  • Three parent/child evenings, during which a deeper understanding of the Mass and the meaning of the Eucharist takes place.

  • A First Eucharist book is provided for the parents to help their child prepare for the sacrament. A weekly schedule is given for parents to follow so that the material of the book is covered during the time of preparation.

  • A Saturday mini-retreat with all the children and parents as a way to spiritually prepare for the upcoming Sacrament.
  • An interview with the Coordinator of Faith Formation or other appropriate person takes place prior to the celebration of this sacrament. Both the parent and child attend this interview, bringing in the completed First Eucharist book.  

  • As a sacrament of initiation first Eucharist unites a person more deeply to the Catholic community. Along with Baptism and Confirmation it is one of the necessary steps toward full initiation in the Catholic Church. As such the parish believes it is important to celebrate that step at one of the regularly scheduled parish Masses, rather than at an "invitation-only" Mass with just families and friends of the first Eucharist candidates. This allows the children and their families to be welcomed by the community, and it allows the children to be witnesses to the community of that necessary faith in Christ's presence in and through the Eucharist.

    Click for a complete First Eucharist Prep Calendar



 
First Reconcilation
 


From second grade on, when a parent believes their child is ready for the sacrament of Reconciliation, and if the child has been part of the religious formation program for two years (including the year of first Reconciliation), they can bring their child forward as a candidate and prepare their child for First Reconciliation. A letter is sent to all parents of 2nd through 6th grade whose child has not received the sacrament, offering insights as to when a child might best receive this sacrament. The specific First Reconciliation preparation is separate from the required monthly G.R.A.C.E. sessions and the few extra age-specific G.R.A.C.E. sessions. the preparation consists of:

  • Two parent/child evenings, during which a deeper understanding of the sacrament of Reconciliation and its various parts takes place.
  •  A First Reconciliation book is provided for parents to work with their child at home. A weekly schedule is given for parents to follow so that the material of the book is covered during the time of preparation.
  • A Saturday mini-retreat with all the children and parents as a way to spiritually prepare for the upcoming Sacrament.
  • An interview with the Coordinator of Faith Formation or other appropriate person takes place prior to the celebration of this sacrament. Both the parent and child attend this interview, bringing in the completed First Reconciliation book.
  • The celebration of first Reconciliation at one of the regularly scheduled parish communal celebrations of the sacrament, usually in Advent.
  • Click for a complete Reconciliation Prep Calendar


 

 
Confirmation for Youth
 

Confirmation is most often celebrated by young adults in the fall of their 9th grade year. All 8th graders (and other teens who have not yet celebrated Confirmation) are invited to consider becoming a candidate for the sacrament of Confirmation in the spring of each year. A minimum of two years connection to the formation program as a young adult is required for Confirmation. Confirmation preparation includes a parent/candidate session prior to officially becoming candidates; celebrating candidacy at a parish Mass followed by a sponsor/candidate session; willingness to participate in the faith and service life of the parish; interviews with the Confirmation coordinator or other appropriate staff person; two further candidate sessions; a retreat prior to Confirmation; a sponsor/candidate rehearsal; and finally the celebration of Confirmation with the bishop.

A pre-requisite for entering into Confirmation candidacy is an interview with the pastor or other appropriate staff person that ensures a young adult has a basic understanding of Catholic faith, prayers, language and symbols. The age-specific sessions from 1st through 6th grade are designed to cover that basic knowledge and prepare for that interview, which usually takes place during the 7th grade year.

 
Marriage
 

Couples planning marriage participate in an initial interview with the pastor or other appropriate staff person. This interview should take place a year prior to the marriage, if at all possible.  No date for the wedding can be set until the initial interview is completed.  At least one of the marriage partners needs to be registered in the parish or have a clear family connection to the parish six months and preferably one year or longer prior to the marriage.

Couples then take a pre-marital inventory and attend several discussion sessions that explore all the areas any engaged couple should be looking at, as they prepare for marriage. Couples are also to participate in one of the area pre-marriage seminars, led by married couples.  In order for couples to explore the importance of the Catholic faith to their relationship, they are asked to attend two or more of the monthly G.R.A.C.E. sessions. Material and options for learning about natural family planning is also handed out, and an official record of information is completed for their marriage file.  Newly-issued baptismal certificates are required for that file.

A wedding planning book is given to each couple to help them prepare the liturgy of the rite of marriage.  They then meet with the priest or deacon who will preside at the liturgy.  A parish wedding preparation volunteer organizes the rehearsal and takes care of any wedding day practical concerns.

As a sacrament of the Church, when marriage takes place within the Church, the celebration of marriage is to reflect the reverent, sacred, and important moment it is. For a complete set of our guidelines for preparing for marriage and planning a wedding, please see our Marriage and Wedding Guidelines Booklet.

At times one or both of the couple preparing for marriage has been previously married.  Or, a couple wants to have their marriage blessed, even though one or both have been previously marrired. In all such cases some form of a Church declaration of nullity for the prior marriage(s) must be obtained before plans can be made to bless the current relationship/marriage. For a brief overview of Catholic Church annulments, see A Beginning Guide to Catholic Church Annulments.


 
Anointing of the Sick
 


Anointing of the Sick is a sacrament of the Church which people should request whenever they are facing a serious illness--physical illness or disability, mental illness or disability, or serious addictive behaviors.  It is a sacrament that is meant to bring us strength and support in the midst of an illness, not simply at the end of life.  As such, it is a mistake to view this sacrament as a "last sacrament," as it has been called in the past. It is a sacrament that nearly everyone will experience several times in the course of their lives.

The parish celebrates the sacrament in a communal context four times a year, on the last Monday of January, April, July and October.  In addition, if someone knows they will be going in for surgery or are experiencing severe health problems, they can request the sacrament at any time, by speaking to the priest on Sunday or calling the parish office. Ordinarily the sacrament is administered to those who have reached the age of reason, since a key componenet of the sacrament includes the forgiveness of sins. But for pastoral reasons, if it will be a moment of deepening faith for the community or family or individual involved, a priest may celebrate this sacrament with an infant or young child.

We strongly encourage those who are elderly and finding themselves frail, as well as those who have serious, chronic or ongoing health issues, to avail themselves of this communal celebration when possible.

 
Sacrament of Orders
 


The apostolic unity of the Church is connected to the sacrament of Orders. The Church ordains men as deacons, priests (sometimes also called presbyters) or bishops in order to connect the living Church to its apostolic roots. In the course of its history the Church has adapted what constitutes what is considered a "major order" and currently understands three of them as permanently marking a man for life.

Deacons are ordained to witness to the servant leadership of Jesus Christ. Their main work is to bring that model of servant leadership to all they do, both directly within Church ministry as well as in all other aspects of their life.  Permanent deacons may be single or married. Usually they have full time jobs in the secular world and bring their everday life experiences into the work they do as deacons within the Church. Transitional deacons are those men who are called to priesthood. All priests are first ordained as deacons, and then after a further period of formation, are ordained priests. Transitional deacons take on the promise of life-long celibate chastity.  The main liturgical role for deacons is the proclamation of the gospel at the Eucharist.  They may also preside at baptisms and marriages, when these are not celebrated within the Mass. They may not preside at Eucharist, absolve sins in the sacrament of Reconciliation or anoint the sick.

Priests are ordained to be servant leaders of the Word, Worship and Community Formation. For any gathering of the community at authentic Eucharist, an ordained priest must preside. Priests may be connected to a diocese and form with the bishop of that diocese the apostolic leadership of the body of Christ within the diocese. Or they may be connected to a religious order and serve the mission of that order in a priestly way.

Bishops are ordained to be servant leaders of the local Church (called a diocese) in direct succession to the apostles. Together the bishops of the universal Church form a college of bishops, united by the leadership of the bishop of Rome (the pope), which is the visible symbol of apostolic unity within the Church.

See the archdiocese website on Vocations for information on the process of formation of deacons and priests.

 

 


 
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