SACRAMENTAL MINISTRIES - 2020/21
As we enter the third year of Restore, Renew, Proclaim the Hope That is Christ, we are still fine tuning our program. (This page is under construction. )
Due to Covid-19, we've substituted monthly Sacrament Huddles and
Family of Faith meetings for traditional weekly classes. This year, there is a significant at-home component. Thank you for your prayers and patience as the process unfolds.
To start sacramental preparation, you need to contact the parish office. Sacramental Ministries are a partnership between the family and parish to prepare for, celebrate, and live the Sacraments each day of our lives. Preparation is a three year process and includes home activities, family and/or youth retreats, faith formation events, and specialized sessions. Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and First Holy Eucharist) are covenants between the initiated and God and His Church. As such, they require a commitment to full participation by the child, parent, sponsor, and parish.
For more information on Bishop Libasci's diocesan-wide initiative, Restore, Renew and Proclaim the Hope That is Christ, (often referred to as "restored order,") please visit the diocesan lifelong faith formation website www.catholicnh.org/parishes/formation/lifelong.
Candidates are expected to be at all meetings. We stress that the candidates take responsibility and show initiative for being present and participating. Also, parents must support this by keeping faith formation a high priority in the family.
Understand the (age appropriate) teachings of the Faith: It is recommended to have at least three years of faith formation to prepare for Sacraments of Initiation. If you have not attended faith formation for three years, special arrangements may be made to assess readiness and set an ISP - “individualized spirituality plan."
Participate fully in a life of faith as a disciple of Christ: The Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and First Eucharist are the initiation to Catholic life. Regular reception of the Eucharist continues past Confirmation; faith formation is lifelong. There is no graduation from our faith and spiritual growth. We should all strive to be saints in order to obtain heaven.
Find companions for your journey: We all need the support of the Body of Christ (Catholic Community). The gifts of the Holy Spirit help us to follow God’s commands (for example, the Ten Commandments, Beatitudes, etc). It is not possible alone. Start thinking of a sponsor (practicing Catholic) for Confirmation. If you choose someone who does not attend Sacred Heart, St. Helena, or St. Mary’s, try to find a “prayer buddy” from the parish to accompany you. Most parishioners would be honored to be asked, and there is no commitment other than to pray for and encourage each other.
Research saints in order to choose your Confirmation name: Students should be prepared to present a project (paragraph, drawing, song, poster, skit) to share why they selected their saint. The presentation is to be FUN, more like show-and-tell than anything stressful. It can be informal (very small group) or presented to the large group, for example, at the Family Confirmation Retreat.
Perform Corporal and Spiritual Acts of Mercy: These used to be called “service hours.” Our goal is to have a relationship with Christ and desire to know, love and serve Him. Therefore, the parish does not track “service hours.” As St. Teresa of Avila said, “Christ has no body but yours, no hands no feet on earth, but yours.” We expect evidence of service in your preparation for Confirmation. There are many service opportunities in the parish and community throughout the year. Check the bulletin or ask for help if you have trouble finding ways to serve others.
Submit necessary enrollment paperwork: We require updated sacramental records including the dates and location of your child’s Baptism and First Communion. We need a recent copy of the Baptismal certificate on file. Also, there is a form for sponsors to complete indicating that they are fully initiated, practicing Catholics willing to take on the duties and responsibilities of a sponsor.
Celebrate!: First Holy Communion and Confirmation are momentous occasions in a soul’s life. As one has a special outfit for sport teams, band, choral concerts, weddings, fancy dinners, etc., it is important to take care with how we present ourselves to God when requesting the grace and gifts of the sacraments. For Confirmation and First Holy Communion, a white dress is appropriate for girls, and for boys, a shirt and tie (or suit) is expected. The emphasis is not on the clothes, and it should not be a hardship. We do have some dresses and suits available in the office that were donated by families whose children are now grown. Please take some effort to look beautiful or handsome for God and to show respect to your fellow students.