Baptism is the first of the Sacraments of Initiation (with Confirmation and Eucharist) in the Catholic Church. For adults, Baptism is usually celebrated at the Easter Vigil as part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Children may be presented for Baptism only by their parents or legal guardians. The following requirements apply to Baptism of infants and children:
- At least one parent must be a practicing Catholic and member of St. Luke parish. (Infants/children from other parishes may be baptized at St. Luke only with specific written permission of the pastor of domicile.)
- Godparents must have received the three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist).
- A “baptized and believing Christian from a separated Church” may act as a godparent along with a Catholic godparent.
- According to Canon 868, the baptism of an infant may be deferred if there is pastoral concern about the child being raised in an appropriate environment.
Baptisms at St. Luke are celebrated at Mass in accordance with the Rite of Baptism for Children which encourages the presence of the “entire community.”
They are usually celebrated on the third Sunday of each month, excluding the season of Lent. Parents are asked to notify St. Luke parish at least one month before to schedule Baptisms.
The youth of St. Luke parish are Confirmed, usually on an annual basis, when the Bishop is present. Adults are confirmed either at the Easter Vigil as part of their Christian Initiation process, or at the Cathedral at the Bishop’s invitation.
Those to be confirmed:
- are to be part of the St. Luke parish religious formation process, AACT (All Ages Catholic Teaching), and participate in specific St. Luke parish preparation activities and retreats.
- see that through the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) a person is fully incorporated into the Church and shares its mission in the world.
- understand that Confirmation both celebrates the gift of the Spirit received initially at Baptism and affirms the work the Spirit is already doing in the life of the Christian.
- assume a sense of responsibility for participating in the parish community.
- accept personal responsibility for the decision to follow Christ.
- have a basic and growing understanding and appreciation of God’s Word in Scripture.
- understand the need to develop the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit throughout life.
- understand the basic beliefs of the Church as found in the Creed.
Formation sessions for the Sacrament of Confirmation are held in conjunction with the monthly AACT sessions, usually the second Sunday of the month from September through April.
All AACT sessions begin at 12:15pm and are held in the Parish Hall.
As Catholics we understand that our presence at the Eucharistic Table is both an opportunity and a weekly responsibility. Parents have the PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY of preparing a child for First Communion. St. Luke parish religious formation process, AACT (All Ages Catholic Teaching), will support and assist the parents.
The required preparation for First Communion includes:
- participation in St. Luke parish religious formation process, AACT (All Ages Catholic Teaching).
- specific preparation for both child and parents, included in the AACT gatherings.
It is presumed that a child being presented for First Communion regularly participates in Sunday Mass with the St. Luke Community. The First Eucharist preparation is primarily a deepening of awareness of the Sacraments of the Church.
A child is ready to receive First Communion when:
- he/she appreciates the fact that there is a God who knows and loves him/her.
- he/she is aware that Jesus is the Son of God.
- he/she understand that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ.
A child should be presented to the pastor/DRE so that a mutual decision can be reached about the child’s readiness. The date for celebrating his/her First Communion is determined at this time. At St. Luke a child receives First Communion individually as part of his/her family within the context of the gathered faith community rather that as part of a transitory class or social group. First Communions may be celebrated at a Sunday or Weekday Mass, determined ahead of time.
The pastor may delay the First Communion if circumstances warrant.
Formation sessions for the Sacrament of First Eucharist are held in conjunction with the monthly AACT sessions, usually the second Sunday of the month from September through April.
All AACT sessions begin at 12:15pm and are held in the Parish Hall.
Penance takes its place of honor as the Sacrament that celebrates forgiveness and healing throughout one’s life.
The freedom, rights and responsibilities of parents and children are uppermost in determining the time for First Penance. The child’s understanding of forgiveness, reconciliation and the Sacrament of Penance is an ongoing part of the religious formation in the parish and school.
A child cannot be presented for First Penance unless he/she regularly is part of parish worship. In preparation for First Penance, part of the program that is offered is for parents for their own formation, and to assist them in providing the proper environment for their children. Parents are required to participate in this preparation.
Parents are to see that there is a minimum interval of at least three months between the reception of First Penance and First Eucharist. First Penance is usually celebrated first.
Children may celebrate their First Penance at a Parish communal celebration held at the beginning of the Season of Advent or Lent, or individually either by appointment or at the regularly scheduled confession time on the first Saturday of the month. All children should receive the Sacrament of Penance by fourth grade or 10 years of age.
Adults celebrate the Sacrament of Penance as an integral part of the Christian Initiation process.
Formation sessions for the Sacrament of First Eucharist are usually held the second Sunday of the month from September through April.
All sessions begin at 12:15pm and are held in the Parish Hall.
The healing ministry of the Church is an extension of the very healing ministry of Christ. In the Sacrament of Anointing, the faith communit
y commends the sick person to God’s care and gives the grace of the Holy Spirit. The celebration of the Sacrament provides the human touch that is so helpful to those who are sick.
The Sacrament may be celebrated for any Baptized person who has reached the use of reason and who:
- is suffering from physical, mental or emotional illness.
- is anticipating surgery.
- is weakened by old age.
Communal celebrations of the Sacrament of Anointing is scheduled at special times during the year at one of the weekend masses. Individual Anointing of the Sick may be requested as needed in case of serious illness or surgery.
Please call the parish office to arrange for an anointing.
For a Catholic to be validly married “in the eyes of the Church” it is necessary that the marriage take place with the permission of his/her pastor. Catholics must be fully initiated, that is, must have celebrated all the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. The Catholic Church does recognize marriages performed by ministers of other faiths to be true and valid marriages. However, permission of the Catholic Church is required for Catholics.
In the Diocese of Youngstown, a minimum of six months time is required to prepare for a marriage. At St. Luke parish, marriages are not celebrated during the Lenten season.
Marriages may be celebrated in another parish with the permission of both pastors. Marriages which involve special circumstances (for example, under-age, annulments, pregnancy, second marriages, etc.), require special arrangements and additional time, according to parish and Diocesan Tribunal Directives.
The following process is necessary for marriage:
- Contacting the pastor or parish priest to set a date.
- Filling out required documents.
- Submission of Baptismal certificates (for Catholics).
- Pre-marriage counseling and preparations.
Holy Orders includes the episcopate (bishop), presbyterate (priest) and diaconate (deacon).
Vocations to the religious life and vowed service to the Church are special responses to God’s call to ministry and service.
The Diocese of Youngstown has an Office of Clergy and Religious Services to assist parishes in encouraging and supporting vocations and in directing those who discern a vocation.