Pastoral Care

The parish priest has a daunting task. His duties are described in detail the Code of Canon Law (if you would like to see exactly what they are click here: Duties of a pastor). I would ask that you always pray for me (as I do for you) that I be able to fulfill my duties in service to you and Christ’s holy Catholic Church.

Below are directions and additional links where you can find more information on how to prepare for the reception of the Sacraments:

ANOINTING OF THE SICK:

* In the case of an emergency, please feel free to call me at any time, day or night. It’s more important that those in danger of death receive the Sacraments before they die than that the priest not be disturbed.

* If you are going to be having surgery, it’s always a good idea to receive the Sacraments of Penance and Anointing of the Sick. Most operations turn out fine, but there is always a certain amount of risk with any surgery, and so it’s prudent to be prepared. Call me and we can schedule a time to received these Sacraments or ask me after one of the weekend Masses.

* Old age and mental illness are also reasons to receive the Anointing of the Sick. If you have a loved one in the nursing home who is growing feeble, I would be happy to go and celebrate the Sacraments with them. Call me and we can schedule a time.

BAPTISMS:

*The Church desires that infants be baptized within the first weeks after birth. As you prepare for your child’s baptism, here are some things to do:

* Attend the Class on Baptism. If this is your first child, you will need to attend a short class on Baptism (about 45 minutes). This will explain what Baptism is and why it is necessary for salvation. The class will also go over the baptismal ceremony so that you will know what to do and say. To set up a time for this class, simply call the parish office either before or shortly after your baby is born. Godparents are also most welcome to attend the class, but their attendance is not necessary.

* Select godparents. When selecting your child’s godparents, consider how well they will help your baby live out his or her Catholic faith. Godparents should be inspirations to your child by what they say and do and how they live out their Catholic faith. One godparent is required. If two are selected, one must be a man and the other a woman (just as our natural parents are a man and a woman). Godparents must be sixteen years of age or older, confirmed and currently practicing their Catholic faith.

* Set the date and time. Call the parish office to set a date and time for the baptism. Normally, baptisms are done on Sundays. They can be done either within Mass at some other time during the day.

* There is no fee for baptisms. However, you may make a donation to the parish if you wish.

WEDDINGS:

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FUNERALS:

* We Catholics have several reasons for celebrating funerals. By our prayers and sacrifices, we offer spiritual aid to those who have died. Because they were temples of the Holy Spirit, we honor the bodies of those who have died. Finally, we offer comfort and hope to the living as they grieve for their loved ones.

* Deceased members of the Christian faithful have the right to a Church funeral and Christian burial. In addition, Church law directs that their funerals be celebrated in their parish church.

* Catholic funerals have three parts, the wake or visitation, the funeral Mass and the burial or committal. Each has a vital purpose. At the wake, mourners can visit in a less formal atmosphere. Prayers are said, stories are told, and loved ones reconnect. At the funeral Mass, prayers are offered for the deceased and for the living within the context of the Mass. Finally, at the burial, the deceased is laid to rest to await the resurrection on the last day. Prayers are said and there is closure as the funeral rites are concluded.

* A word on cremation …

* When planning for a funeral, there are several ways in which family members may participate. They are as follows:

— Family members may choose to place the funeral pall on the casket. Otherwise the funeral directors will do so.
— Family members may select the readings for Mass. They may also serve as lectors at Mass (however, the lector must be a practicing Catholic and preferably a lector in his or her parish).
— Family members may bring up the gifts.
— A family member may offer a eulogy at the end of Mass. This should not exceed five minutes and should be written out. Only one eulogist is permitted at the funeral, but others may speak at the funeral lunch or at the wake.

— Family members may also select music for the funeral. Click here funeral-songs for a list of suggested hymns.

* Registered parishioners may use the Church Hall for a luncheon after the Funeral. Parishioners will also help to prepare and serve the lunch.

* Families will be charged $ a plate for the luncheon. The stipend for the organist is $ it is customary to make a donation to the Funeral committee to help cover the cost of incidentals. Finally, a donation to the Church of $150 is suggested but is not required.

* Saint Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery is consecrated ground. It is owned and maintained by Saint Luke’s Parish. For information on how to purchase a grave, contact one of the Cemetery Sextons.

* Non parishioners (those not registered in the parish) will be accommodated whenever possible, but they cannot expect the benefits of parishioners who have supported the parish over the years. Non parishioners will also need to make their own arrangements for luncheons.

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