Sacrament of Baptism
Sacred Heart celebrates Baptism on the first and third Sundays of the month at 2:00 PM. Since Baptism consecrates the child as a follower of Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church, and parents are recognized as the first and best teachers of the faith, Sacred Heart provides a pre-baptismal program for new parents.
Sacrament of Confirmation
The Sacrament of Confirmation seals our Baptism, confirms our commitment to the Church and the work of Christ, and empowers the confirmed to grow individually in the Spirit. Programs of preparation are offered for both children and adults.
Sacrament of Eucharist
When we gather to celebrate the Eucharist, we join in the prayer of Jesus, who gives Himself to us in His Body and His Blood, so that we may be united in His love to God and to one another. Jesus instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper, inviting us to remember all that He did and said helping us towards salvation.
Our program of preparation for First Holy Communion is a two year plan, usually beginning in first grade. For older children, our Faith Formation Program uses the same format that begins when a child enrolls. For adults we offer the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults – see below).
RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults)
The RCIA is a process developed by the Catholic Church for prospective converts to Catholicism who are no longer children. Candidates are introduced to aspects of Catholic beliefs and practices. It is a period of reflection, prayer, instruction, discernment and formation.
Those who enter the process are expected to begin attending Mass, attend the sessions and become increasingly involved in the activities of the parish.
***For those who were Baptized Catholic as children, but who would like to prepare for Confirmation and First Holy Communion, Sacred Heart Parish offers a program of preparation.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Reconciliation is a Sacrament of Healing. The journey of faith calls us to on-going conversion and in this Sacrament we experience God’s mercy and healing love. God offers to forgive our sins and when we confess, our relationship with God and His people is strengthened. The priests of Sacred Heart welcome you: on Saturdays beginning at 4pm…throughout the year especially in the holy seasons of Advent and Lent…and at any other time by appointment.
Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick
Jesus came to reveal the Kingdom of God. This Kingdom of love and healing is offered to us when we need healing. Sacred Heart Parish celebrates communal anointing twice a year at Mass — in the Spring and Fall. Those who are suffering any form of physical, emotional, spiritual or mental illness may present themselves for the reception of this Sacrament. In addition, those who are homebound, anticipating surgeries or in need of this Sacrament are encouraged to call to set up a time to receive this Sacrament of Healing.
Sacrament of Marriage
Sacred Heart Parish, along with the entire Catholic Church, is delighted to work with couples as they prepare for and celebrate this wonderful Sacrament. Preparation for a life united in marriage is meant to deepen the understanding that all true love comes from God and that Christian love binds together a man and woman in a mutual self-giving that leads to the fulfillment of each spouse and the possibility of becoming co-creators with God bringing new life into the world and Church. As a couple, you will minister the Sacrament to one another. The purpose of marriage preparation is to aid each couple in their spiritual and practical evaluation of that choice, so as to deepen the quality of your commitment. Each couple begins this process by meeting with one of our parish priests. Please contact the Pastoral Center at least a year in advance of the intended date to begin the process. As part of the process each couple will be asked to complete a two-fold program: FOCCUS (an on-line survey) and Pre-Cana.
Sacrament of Holy Orders
All who receive Baptism are baptized into the priesthood of Jesus Christ and are called to ministry within the Church. However, from within the Church some are chosen for a unique and special ministry through Holy Orders. Holy Orders is a three-tiered sacrament. It is received by Deacons, Priests and Bishops.
The role of the Deacon can be lived in two ways: as a Permanent Deacon (not called to priesthood) the man is called to use his gifts and talents proclaiming God’s Word, officiating at weddings and baptisms and serving the people of God within a parish or other Church ministry; or as a Transitional Deacon (called to priesthood) where the candidate serves for a time as a Deacon, serving the needs of the Church, before becoming a priest. In both cases it is service that underlies this calling.
At the heart of the call to priesthood is the call to serve the Church by “gathering the people, telling the story and breaking the bread”. A priest celebrates the Mass and other sacraments, preaches the Gospel in words and deeds and ministers to the needs of God’s people. He is often present to the people during some of the most important moments of their lives. The priest is called upon to lead and direct God’s people towards the Kingdom of God, while still living here on earth.
Bishops are primarily called to teach and “govern” the Church. As ”overseers” they teach in the name of the Church. As vicars of Christ and successors of the Apostles, Bishops work together throughout the world to promote unity within the Church, the Body of Christ…and to insure that our faith is passed along to each generation.
If you believe that you are being called to Holy Orders, or if you know someone who might be, please contact one of the priests of the parish… or contact the Diocesan Vocation Office at 516-678-5800 x214 or Vocations@drvc.org.