There are two preparation courses a year, in March and September. They are held on Tuesdays; in March in Sileby and in September in Syston. There are three sessions. At the third of these sessions, Baptism days and times are arranged. The courses are led by Sheila Breed, Cath Jackson, Stephen Banks, Anne Skevington and Karen Mee.
The Sacrament of Baptism provides the foundation for Christian living; it is the gateway to life with Jesus Christ. It is much more than a “naming ceremony” or a blessing for the baby. Baptism is a sacrament founded by Christ Himself and through baptism:
We are forgiven Original Sin – Baptism is the ordinary way of getting to heaven.
We become members of the Church.
We are born again as children of God.
The sacrament of Baptism is a serious matter and needs careful thought and preparation. The rite itself is quite explicit about the role and responsibility of parents who wish to bring their child into the family of the Church through Baptism. In asking to have your child baptised you are accepting the responsibility of training him/her in the practice of the faith.
You come to Mass on Sundays, when God’s family comes together.
You teach your child to pray.
You teach your child the beliefs of the Catholic faith and how to lead a good, virtuous Christian life, loving God and loving our neighbour.
There are a number of things you need to do before the Baptism:
See the priest for a baptism application form and once this is returned he will make appropriate arrangements for preparation in readiness for the celebration.
Choose the child’s name(s). At least one of the names must be a “Christian” name, i.e. the name of a saint.
Choose godparents – normally one or two. At least one godparent must be a practising Catholic aged 16 or over.
(Please note: If you live in another parish but wish to have your child baptised at St. Gregory's for good reasons, then permission must be sought from the Parish Priest of where you live.)
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
An older generation used to talk about “the Last Rites,” referring to the sacraments of Confession, Anointing and the Eucharist received when someone was close to death. It may well be that Anointing is received at the same time as the other two sacraments, but it is a sacrament in its own right and not just for those at the very moment of death.
Given the sacrament is generally received privately, many people will not have witnessed it. The ceremony is simple and very beautiful. The priest lays his hands in prayer on the sick person’s head and then anoints their forehead and hands with holy oil. Christ instituted the sacrament to give the human soul the grace required at its hour of need. In His Providence, God may wish to heal the sick person in this life, or He may be preparing them for that journey into eternal life. In both circumstances, the priest and the family are often privileged to see the sacrament bring enormous peace and comfort to the sick person. It is something, therefore, that should be asked for by every Catholic at the appropriate moment.
When is “the appropriate moment”?
The sacrament of anointing exists for those who are in some danger due to sickness or old age. Thus we should not hesitate in asking for this sacrament if someone is in a serious condition or is facing the prospect of serious surgery. The priest will always be happy to answer your request.
Data Protection regulations make it very difficult for priests to discover now when a Catholic is seriously ill in hospital. It therefore falls to family and friends to notify the priest of someone who is seriously ill. If the circumstances permit, it might be possible for the Anointing to be celebrated before entry to hospital. In any event, we should not hold back from the spiritual help Christ wishes to give us.
“Is any among you sick? Let him call for the priests of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven,” (James 5:14-15)
With Baptism and the Eucharist, the sacrament of Confirmation completes the process of our becoming full members of the Church. Through this sacrament we receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the grace Our Lord Jesus Christ won for us on the Cross, the help we need to live our lives as adult Christians.
At what age are people confirmed?
In the Diocese of Nottingham people are normally confirmed when they have reached at least school Year 9. If you are significantly older than this, it might be better to join the group of adults preparing to be received into the Catholic Church through the RCIA programme.
What are the requirements?
If you were not baptised at St. Gregory's, you will need to produce your Baptism certificate.
You must be serious about the practice of your faith and receiving the sacrament. This means you should be coming to Mass on Sundays.
You must attend all of the preparation sessions, participating in them in a mature way.
You need to choose a Confirmation name. This is the name of a saint who inspires you.
You need a sponsor, someone who gives you a good example as a practising Catholic. This can be any practising Catholic – other than your parents – aged 16 or over.
The Confirmation programme will be advertised in the parish newsletter, and you will be able to find out details, therefore, by coming to Mass. You must enrol on the programme before the first session and attend all the sessions and the day’s retreat put on by the parish. During the sessions we look at, in an adult way, what we believe as Catholics and how the teachings of Jesus and His Church affect the daily lives we live. We also prepare for the sacrament by arranging to go to Confession.
Preparation for Confirmation is held every two years, in the "odd" years: 2013, 2015, 2017 …
Normally the Confirmation Mass will be celebrated by the Bishop in the Easter season.
RECONCILIATION & COMMUNION PREPARATION
The Preparation Programme is jointly run with the Divine Infant of Prague Parish, Syston. Children in Year 3 or above who are at least 7 years of age may be considered to have reached an age where they have a good understanding of the Sacraments. The child should be baptized and their family should therefore present them to Father Clement as being ready to be enrolled in the Programme. The Programme is for children who attend both Catholic and non-Catholic Schools/Academies.
The Programme begins in September of each year and is led by the priest and Catechists from each Parish. It involves a number of Key Parents’ Meetings and Children’s Sessions. Both Parents’ and Children’s meetings are held jointly between the Parishes, but children will make their First Holy Communion in their own Parish.
Each Children’s session focuses on a different part of the Mass and has a ‘special’ visitor who is involved in Parish life. The visitor speaks to the children and answers their questions about their role in Parish life eg in preparing the Church, as a reader, priest and Special Minister of Communion. Each children’s session is then followed by a Liturgy in Church with both parents and children present.
Children will make their First Reconciliation during Advent and their family First Communion will take place at a Mass of the family’s choosing between Maundy Thursday and the Feast of the Ascension. There then follows both a Parish Celebration for all the children and a final celebration Mass at Bishop Ellis School.
This year there are 17 children in total being prepared for their First Holy Communion.
If you have a child who you feel is ready to take this next step in their Sacramental development or would like further information, please phone 0116 260 8476 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marriage is for the good of the individuals and of society as a whole. Thus, it is part of the order of God’s Creation for all humanity. Between a baptised man and woman, the institution of marriage was raised by Christ the Lord to the level of a sacrament. That means it is an action of Jesus Himself and in marriage we receive His grace to live out our marriage and family lives.
The Purposes of Marriage:
There are two inherent purposes of marriage: the mutual welfare and support of the couple, and the procreation and upbringing of children. To be a valid marriage, the couple cannot deliberately exclude either of these purposes. Marriage is about love – you must be certain that is the man/woman whom you want to spend the rest of your life with. Marriage is also about openness to receiving children as a gift from God. The physical relationship between a couple is something beautiful and precious – but to be reserved for marriage so children can be brought up in a loving and stable home.
The Properties of Marriage:
1. Unity: Marriage is between one man and one woman. A husband and wife have a legitimate claim to each other’s time and affection. There must be mutual trust and commitment in an exclusive relationship founded on love.
2. Indissolubility: At the wedding ceremony you take vows “till death do us part”. Christ taught that marriage is for life and the Catholic Church upholds His teaching.
These are difficult commitments to make. That is why we need the grace of the sacrament and the strength gained from living a Christian life. A marriage celebrated after proper prayer and preparation and in accordance with the teaching of the Church, is the most beautiful state of life and something which brings life and true joy to this world and contributes towards the eternal happiness of the whole family. A good Christian family is at the heart of all parish life.
Preparation for Marriage:
Do not make commitments, for example booking a reception venue, until you have spoken to the priest and established that you are able to marry in church on the date you want.
You must give the priest at least six months’ notice of your intention to marry.
You need to complete certain documentation giving evidence that you are baptised and free to marry, i.e. neither of you are in a marriage which is still existing in the eyes of the Church.
You need to attend a marriage preparation course – the priest will give you details when you make your first appointment with him.
You need to comply with the civil requirements for a marriage. It is your responsibility to obtain the necessary certificate/licence from the local authority. The wedding cannot take place without this.
The marriage will normally take place in the parish church of the bride or the groom. To marry at St. Gregory's at least one of you must be a Catholic connected to the parish.
Frequently asked questions:
What if one of us has been married before?
If either of you has been married before and your partner is still living, you should discuss the details with the priest. For a Church wedding both parties must be free to marry – i.e. not be in a marriage that still exists in the eyes of the Church. However, it can be worth exploring whether there was, in fact, a valid marriage in the first place (This is a thorough process that will take some time).
What if you want to marry a non-Catholic or a non-Christian?
In principle, this is not a problem. A Catholic should get married in a Catholic church unless permission is received to marry elsewhere. Obviously, the two of you must discuss your respective beliefs and how these will impact on your marriage and future family. As our faith is a precious gift, the Catholic partner promises to do all they can within the unity of the marriage to continue practising their faith and to share that faith with any children through having them baptised and brought up as Catholics.
“What God has joined together, let no man put asunder,” (Matthew 19:6)
Everyone has a God-given vocation which they must seek to discover and give effect to in life. This is how we find true happiness in this world and hope to attain our eternal salvation. There are two vocations raised to the level of a sacrament because they concern not just the good of the individual himself/herself, but the wider good of the Church and society; these are holy matrimony and Holy Orders (Priesthood). We need strong, loving families and good, holy priests – the two go together and support each other.
Is God calling me to priesthood?
That is a question every young, single Catholic man should ask himself. Is God calling me to serve Him and His people in this way – by celebrating the sacraments in the person of Christ, by preaching the Gospel and by leading others in the ways of truth, charity and prayer?
This call from God might make itself known in a number of ways, often through the example of a priest we know. If we find this question keeps coming up then we need to explore it further. God will make matters clear to us if we take the issue seriously – that means doing a number of things:
Listening to Him in prayer. We should pray regularly every day – the familiar prayers we know by heart, but also giving time for silent prayer.
We should be going to Mass regularly – every Sunday certainly, but also during the week where possible. We might consider offering to serve at the altar during Mass, if we do not already do so.
We should be trying to keep the Commandments and to live by the teaching of the Church in all areas of our lives.
We should go to Confession regularly.
We should contact our parish priest – or another priest we feel able to speak with. He can give us some insight into the reality of priesthood. He can also help us in our spiritual lives, by talking about the life of prayer, suggesting parish activities we might get involved with, reading we might find helpful or areas of our life that might need reflecting upon.
For more details go to www.ukpriest.org/.