Sacramental Ministry Mission Statement
The mission of the Sacramental Ministry is to prepare God’s children to receive the sacramental gifts of Baptism, Eucharist and Reconciliation. To strengthen and nourish them and be transformed by the Holy Spirit to more deeply experience the beauty of our Catholic faith.
The Sacrament of Baptism
“Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other Sacraments.” (CC # 1213)
It is a joyous sacrament of rebirth, belonging and holiness. Baptism is a Sacrament of initiation that is the consecration of the child into the Catholic faith community as a member of the Body of Christ and a commitment by the parents to raise their child in the Catholic faith and to be a disciple of Jesus.
In seeking Baptism, St. James Church and the Diocese require that all new parents attend a Baptismal Preparation class prior to having their child baptized.
The one session class will cover the meanings of Baptism, parental responsibilities in their child’s faith formation, discipleship, how to choose godparents, and the signs and symbols of the Baptismal Rite.
When choosing godparents, it is required that at least one godparent must be a practicing, confirmed Catholic in good standing with the Church. At St. James Church the preparation class is a private session and arranged personally on an “as needed” basis.
Baptisms can be arranged for infants and young children.
If you live in the St. James Parish area and are not registered, you will be asked to register as a parishioner.
If you are not living in the area but requesting to have your child baptized here, a letter from your home parish pastor granting permission to have your child baptized outside your home parish is required, as well as, certification that you have attended a Baptism preparation program.
Baptisms are scheduled with the priest or deacon through the Baptismal Coordinator. We encourage baptisms being celebrated during the Masses so as to welcome our newest members in the presence of the St. James Church community.
Private baptisms can also be scheduled at a time approved by the pastor or deacon.
To schedule an appointment for the Baptismal preparation class and arrange a date/time for your child’s Baptism, or if you have any other questions regarding baptisms, contact:
The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation
Preparing for the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) for the first time requires special sessions dedicated to understanding the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a sacrament of healing and a way to strengthen our relationship with God.
The program teaches the children about:
- The meaning of their baptism.
- God’s commandments and how to follow Jesus’ teachings.
- The proper way to confess their sins and the prayers used in the Sacrament.
- How to share in God’s gift of peace and to share it with others.
St. James Church begins preparing children for the Sacrament of Reconciliation in their second year of religious education classes.
Following Diocesan guidelines, children preparing for this sacrament must be baptized, have completed one year of Religious Education, and be currently enrolled in weekly religious education.
Reconciliation classes begin in January, and consist of four Saturday morning sessions from 9:30-11:45AM.
Each of the four sessions begins with a Prayer Service to set the theme for the session. Parents are required to be present during the Prayer Service with their child and to stay for a presentation.
The Sacrament of First Reconciliation, which gives the children the opportunity for individual confessions, is celebrated on the Saturday that follows the completion of the four preparation sessions. Family members are invited to attend.
The complete schedule for the First Reconciliation preparation program can be found on the Events page.
For more information or to register for the First Reconciliation preparation program, contact:
The Sacrament of the Eucharist
Jesus says, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven” (John 6:51). “The Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christians life.” (CC #1324)
Preparing to receive the Eucharist for the first time requires special sessions dedicated to understanding the Sacrament of the Eucharist as the true presence of Jesus.
During the preparation sessions some of the topics that are taught to the children are:
- The importance of worshiping together as a family and a faith community.
- The different parts of the Mass and ways to actively participate.
- The meaning of signs and symbols used in the Sacrament.
- The proper way to receive the Eucharist and Cup.
- About the gospel passage of Last Supper of Jesus.
- How to live faithfully as disciples in their journey of faith that began with Baptism.
The Catholic Church refers to families as the “Domestic Church” and, as such, families have the responsibility to set the foundation of faith formation. To reinforce the concepts taught during the preparation sessions, family participation in weekend liturgy is very strongly encouraged.
St. James Church begins preparing children to receive the Sacrament of First Eucharist in their second year of religious education classes. Following Diocesan guidelines, children preparing for this sacrament must be baptized, have completed one year of Religious Education, and be currently enrolled in weekly religious education.
The children (usually in 2nd grade) will begin First Eucharist (Communion) preparation classes for the Sacrament in March. First Eucharist preparation classes are on Saturday mornings from 9:30-11:45AM.
Each of the four sessions begins with a Prayer Service to set the theme for the session. Parents are required to be present during the Prayer Service with their child and to stay for a presentation afterwards.
The children and their parents also attend a 3-hour workshop. The workshop consists of:
- A review of the Mass and how to fully participate.
- Bread making by the children while the parents attend a special presentation.
- A family clay project.
- Time to create their own banners that are placed in the church on the day they receive First Communion.
The Sacrament of First Holy Communion is celebrated on the first weekend in May at the 9:00AM Mass on Sunday. The complete schedule for the First Eucharist preparation program can be found on the Events page.
For more information or to register for the First Eucharist preparation program, contact: