Sacraments of Initiation

Baptism/Confirmation/First Eucharist

Baptism

The origin and foundation of Christian Baptism is Jesus.  Before starting his public ministry, Jesus submitted himself to the baptism given by John the Baptist.  The waters did not purify him; he cleansed the waters.  . . .  Jesus did not need to be baptized because he was totally faithful to the will of his Father and free from sin.  However, he wanted to show his solidarity with human beings in order to reconcile them to the Father. By commanding his disciples to baptize all nations, he established the means by which people would die to sin – Original and actual – and begin to live a new life with God.

In Baptism, the Holy Spirit moves us to answer Christ's call to holiness. In Baptism, we are asked to walk by the light of Christ and to trust in his wisdom. We are invited to submit our hearts to Christ with ever deeper love.

~from the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults

INFANT TO 3 YEARS BAPTISM: 

Contact should be made at any time during pregnancy or following the birth of your child.  The sacrament is normally celebrated at one of the Sunday (or Saturday Vigil) liturgies.  However, during the pandemic, Baptisms are being scheduled to take place privately.  Parent Preparation classes are required with the Baptism of your first child and are scheduled periodically throughout the year.  Please complete and return the BAPTISMAL REGISTRATION FORM to the parish office to schedule a date for the celebration. Likewise, please contact the parish office for the date of the next scheduled class (most often the second Thursday of the month in the evening). For more information, please read the Baptism Information document. If an intended Godparent is not a member at St. Thomas the Apostle, please have them complete the Godparent Information document.

Please contact the parish office for information or to register for the upcoming Baptism Preparation Class.

CHILD BAPTISM:

Contact should be made as soon as Baptism is desired.  The process of preparation is dependent on the age and background knowledge of your child.  Normally, if your child is younger than age six, preparation is similar to that of infant Baptism and the sacrament is celebrated at one of the weekend liturgies.  For children over the age of six, they will receive instruction and preparation for the sacrament.

Please contact Joyce Hollowell if the child to be baptized is over the age of 4 years old.

ADULT BAPTISM:  Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

Classes begin in the fall, however, contact should be made whenever one is led by the Spirit to become a member of the Catholic community.  Preparation may take several months to years but varies depending on each individual’s experience, and the time of year when first initial contact is made.  The Sacraments of Initiation will be celebrated at the Easter Vigil Mass. Visit the R.C.I.A. page to learn more.

Please contact the parish office for more information.

Confirmation and First Eucharist

Confirmation - The prophets of the Old Testament foretold that God's Spirit would rest upon the Messiah to sustain his mission.  Their prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus the Messiah was conceived by the Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.  The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus on the occasion of his baptism by John.  Jesus' entire mission occurred in communion with the Spirit. Before he died, Jesus promised that the Spirit would be given to the Apostles and to the entire Church.  After his death, he was raised by the Father in the power of the Spirit.

Confirmation deepens our baptismal life that calls us to be missionary witnesses of Jesus Christ in our families, neighborhoods, society, and the world.  . . .  We receive the message of faith in a deeper and more intensive manner with great emphasis given to the person of Jesus Christ, who asked the Father to give the Holy Spirit to the Church for building up the community in loving service.

~from the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults

First Eucharist - The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. The term “Eucharist” originates from the Greek word eucharistia, meaning thanksgiving.

In the celebration of the Eucharist, bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit and the instrumentality of the priest. The whole Christ is truly present -- body, blood, soul, and divinity -- under the appearances of bread and wine, the glorified Christ who rose from the dead. This is what the Church means when she speaks of the "Real Presence" of Christ in the Eucharist.

CHILDREN ENTERING 2ND GRADE:

Classes are offered to baptized children in Second Grade who wish to complete the Sacraments of Initiation.  Working closely with their parents, children will be prepared to make their First Reconciliation, and receive the Sacraments of Confirmation and First Eucharist during this Sacramental year.  Classes begin each fall.

Children are required to attend class each week, weekend liturgies with their parents, and attend the Confirmation/First Eucharist Retreat in the spring.

Parents are required to attend Parent Preparation Meetings in the fall and winter of this year, as well as, help their child complete workbooks at home that will correspond and reinforces the lessons the children are being taught in class.

Contact Joyce Hollowell for more information or to register.

CHILDREN WHO ARE OLDER THAN 2ND GRADE:

If a student is entering the 3rd grade they will be placed in the Sacramental Preparation classes with the 2nd grade students.

Students who are 4th grade and above will be asked to attend Religious Education classes with their peers (4th, 5th, 6th, Junior High or High School) as well as attend additional instruction and preparation for the Sacraments based on the students level of understanding.

Contact Joyce Hollowell for students in 3rd – 12th grade.

ADULTS:  RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS (RCIA)   

See Adult Baptism, and contact the church office.

COMPLETION OF INITIATION:  Confirmation only:

STUDENTS IN 3RD GRADE AND ABOVE:

The children will be asked to attend Religious Education classes with their peers (3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, Junior High or High School) as well as attend additional instruction and preparation for the Sacraments based on the students level of understanding.

Contact Joyce Hollowell for students in 3rd – 12th grade.

ADULTS:  RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS (RCIA) 

Adults seeking to be confirmed will be asked to participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults in the degree that it is appropriate and helpful as determined by the parish staff.  Contact the church office for more information.