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Introduction to Sacraments
Marriage
Baptism
First Communion
First Reconciliation
Confirmation
RCIC - The Rite of Christian Initiation of Children
RCIA - The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
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Introduction to Sacraments

Sacraments are celebrations of special moments of encounter between God and human beings. They are not, obviously, the only occasions when human beings consciously respond to God who is forever offering His love and friendship, but they are times when, the Catholic Church teaches, a person's relationship with God is assuredly initiated or deepened or strengthened or healed. tanks's

The following sections will introduce you to the Catholic Church's teaching on the seven sacraments. The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1113) Sacraments are powers that come forth from the Body of Christ, which is ever-living and life-giving. They are actions of the Holy Spirit at work in his Body, the Church. They are the masterworks of God in the new and everlasting covenant (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1116).

The purpose of the sacraments is to sanctify men, to build up the Body of Christ and, finally, to give worship to God. Because they are signs they also instruct. They not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen and express it (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1123)
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Marriage

"The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1601).

In the Latin Rite the celebration of marriage between two Catholics normally takes place during Mass because of the connection of all the sacraments with the death and resurrection of Christ.

The parties to a marriage covenant are a baptized man and woman, free to contract marriage, who freely express their consent. The Church holds "the exchange of consent between the spouses to be the indispensable element that makes the marriage" (Catechism,1626). If there is no true consent, there is no marriage.

A couple wishing to marry should call the Pastor at St. Joan of Arc one year prior to the anticipated date of the wedding. To do so, please contact our office.


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Baptism

Baptism is the first of the sacraments of initiation into the Catholic church. It makes us adopted children of God, incorporates us into Christ, pardons all our sin, and forms us into God's people. It confers a permanent relationship ("character") with Christ and his Church which lasts even should one cease to be an active member of the Catholic community. For this reason a validly baptized Christian is never re-baptized and has the right to a Christian funeral.

Bishops, priests and deacons are the ordinary ministers of baptism, although anyone with the right intention may administer the sacrament in case of imminent death. The words for conferring baptism in the Latin Church are: "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit".

Baptisms at St. Joan of Arc Parish are celebrated and witnessed during on the 2nd Sunday of each month during both the 10 a.m. and noon masses. Families who are celebrating their FIRST child's baptism at the Parish are required to attend the monthly baptism class held on the 3rd Thursday of each month.

To arrange attendance at the class and schedule baptism dates please contact our office.
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First Communion

The decision concerning an individual child's readiness to receive First Communion rests in the first place with the child\'s parents in consultation with the child's parish priest and teacher(s). However, it is the duty of the parish priest to see to it that children who have not yet reached the use of reason, or whom he has judged to be insufficiently prepared, do not come to Holy Communion (canon 914).

Adequate preparation (in the Archdiocese of Toronto) is understood to be the successful completion of the initial preparation for this sacrament (either in a Catholic school or in a parish) and of the immediate preparation provided by the parish for all First Communion candidates (e.g. enrolment of all candidates for First Eucharist and, where these exist, additional classes). (Norms for Sacramental Preparation, Archdiocese of Toronto, 76)

Enrolment for First Communion and First Penance (Reconciliation) is required in September of each year. Please see instruction for registration in the Religious Education section.
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First Reconciliation


 Children must be prepared simultaneously for the two sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist since the opportunity of receiving both according to the designated order begins at the same time. The universal law of the Church states that First Communion is to be preceded by sacramental confession (canon 914). Given that a child who has the idea of God, which is necessary for First Communion, could also grasp the concept of sin, priests, parents and catechists may not determine without proper consultation whether or not children may receive First Communion before First Reconciliation.

The basis for this preparation is not so much the state of sin in which a child may be but rather the formative and pastoral aim to educate to the true Christian spirit of penance and conversion, to growth in self-knowledge and self-control, to the sense of sin, to the necessity of asking for pardon from God and above all to a loving and confident abandonment to the mercy of the Lord. (Norms for Sacramental Preparation, Archdiocese of Toronto, 78, 80)

Enrolment for First Communion and First Penance (Reconciliation) is required in September of each year. Please see instruction for registration in the Religious Education section.
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Confirmation

All baptized persons who have not been confirmed and only they are capable of being confirmed. It is required, if the person has the use of reason, that he/she be suitably instructed, properly disposed and able to renew his/her baptismal promises (canon 889).

In the Archdiocese of Toronto, the Cardinal Archbishop has recently delegated authority to pastors to confirm their parishioners due to the large size of the diocese and to enable young people to be Confirmed on or close to the Feast of Pentecost.

Sponsors for this sacrament are ideally, the same persons who served as one's baptismal sponsors. They are intended to be models of faith and so must be Confirmed themselves, be practicing their faith, and be mature enough (usually sixteen years or older) to carry out the role of sponsor. A sponsor can be either male or female. Parents cannot be sponsors for their own children (canons 874 and 893).

Young people in the Archdiocese of Toronto are ordinarily Confirmed in their grade eight year. This applies as well to children of catechetical age (7 to 14 years) who were not baptized as infants but as young children.

Enrolment for the Sacrament of Confirmation is required in September of each year. Please see instruction for registration in the Religious Education section.
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RCIC - The Rite of Christian Initiation of Children

Please contact the parish office for information and the enrolment process for this program.
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RCIA - The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

This Rite involves preparation for and celebration of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, which reveal the intimate relation of these sacraments to one another. The Rite is designed primarily for the initiation of unbaptized adults. The Rite also provides for the initiation of unbaptized children of catechetical age (approximately 7 to 14 years of age), as well as for welcoming baptized Catholics and non-Catholics into full communion with the Catholic Church.

R.C.I.A. consists of four distinct periods of formation: Period of Inquiry; Period of the Catechumenate; Period of Enlightenment and Period of Postbaptismal Catechesis (mystagogy).

Please contact the parish office for information and the enrolment process for this program.
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