Faith in our time requires us to grow and learn to relate with God in new and positive ways. As are called to grow in our understanding of who the one we call Father, Son and Holy Spirit is in our lives, and he calls us to be and do.

We are invited and challenged to develop our faith life in the same way that we develop the academic, social, sporting, emotional parts of our lives

Our parish provides opportunities for this to happy by providing a variety of groups, programmes, and activities to enrich our faith and faith experiences.

Baptism of Children

Mission
to facilitate and assist parents/guardians to prepare for, and organise for their child’s baptism into God’s family

The majority of Catholics are baptised into membership of the Church as a baby or child and grow up in an environment where the Church is always part of their lives.

The preparation strives to encourage the family to full and active participation in the process and ceremony of baptism and the on-going life of the Parish. At its heart is the understanding of parents/ guardians as the first and best teachers of the child’s Christian faith and relationship with Jesus. Parents/guardians are guided to make an informed decision about baptism.

The parish offers a range of programmes to facilitate to reception of babies, children and young people into the Church. The programmes up to the age of about 10 years old prepare children for the reception of the Sacrament of Baptism – the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation. The completion of the process of initiation is undertaken in the Sacramental Preparation Programme offered by the Parish each year. For details of the Junior Sacramental Programme.

This courses are arranged when the need arises and on an individual basis with the family, whose member is to be baptised into our faith family. Parents are encouraged to have their child baptised during Eucharist. This, we feel, is the best expression of God’s family that the child is being welcomed into. Ceremonies are celebrated during Sunday Eucharist celebrations at times convenient to the family and the Parish.

Please contact the Parish as early as possible to ensure that the Preparation for the Sacrament of Baptism can be undertaken in a timely manner.

If you wish to explore baptism more please contact the Parish Office.

Completing the Sacraments of Initiation for Children

Baptism is the first sacrament that a Christian receives. It marks the beginning of the process of initiation and is not the only Sacrament of Initiation. Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist together form the gateway through which people enter into full participation in Catholic life. The process of Initiation continues with Confirmation and culminates with the reception of Eucharist for the first time. For those received into the Church as adults these three sacraments are conferred at the one ceremony. The usual practise for most Catholics however is to be baptised as infants or young children. The ensuing Sacraments of Initiation are administered when the child reaches the age of reason.

Archdiocesan policy encourages parishes to offer programmes that all children who have reached the age of reason to complete the Sacraments of Initiation on an annual basis. The programmes offered are home based and parish lead and school supported, and written for children aged approximately 8 years old.

It is Archdiocesan policy to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation before the receiving First Eucharist. This was the practise of the Church in the earliest part of its history. It also highlights the significance that it is in receiving Holy Communion that we become full members of the Church. We are baptised to begin our journey to the Eucharistic table. The Sacrament of Confirmation strengthens and helps us as we journey to receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour at Eucharist.

Being home based means that the programme is undertaken by parents with their children. The Church believes that parents are the first and best teachers of the faith for their children. Written material is supplied to parents to provide background material and activities to be undertaken in the home.

The Parish supports the programme through the Junior Sacramental Programme Co-ordinator. This Coordinator arranges the formal group sessions of the programme and liaises with the Parish Priest about the actual celebrations and their timing in the life of the Parish. The Coordinator is also available for any assistance parents may in the course of the programme.

The Church requires that before First Holy Communion Catholics receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To allow this to occur as part of the process the following timetable has been adopted by our Parish.

Preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation takes place during the Season of Lent in the first term of the School Year. The celebration of First Reconciliation usually takes place in the Parish Rite II celebration as preparation for Easter.

Confirmation is conferred around the season when the Church celebrates Pentecost. This is usually during the second term of the academic year. First Holy Communion preparation takes place during the third academic terms and the ceremony normally takes place during early spring.

Junior Sacramental Programme

Mission:
to prepare the special young people of our Parish for First Reconciliation, Confirmation and First Holy Communion

The Parish provides a home-based parish and school-supported programme to prepare candidates for the reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Rite of Initiation begun at Baptism and brought to completion by the reception of Confirmation and First Holy Communion.

In line with Archdiocesan policy the Sacrament of Confirmation is conferred to candidates before First Holy Communion which is the culmination of the initiation process. Children need to have turned 8 years by 1st November of the year they are included in the programme. The programme caters for children aged 8-12 years.

The Sacramental Programme runs over the course of the year commencing with First Reconciliation to coincide with the Lenten Season (first term of school), Confirmation, usually in the second term (depending on the availability of the Archbishop) and First Holy Communion being celebrated around September (third term).

We welcome any enquiries about the programme.

Marriage Preparation

Mission:
to assist and help engaged couple appreciate the Catholic approach to marriage. The programme seeks to provide assistance in enhancing their future married life together and to arrange the celebration of the wedding ceremony

Your wedding is a time of celebration and joy. We want to help you plan and prepare for this special day, when you receive the Sacrament of Marriage and prepare for your future life together in the best possible way.

Because of the great appreciation we have for married life the Church requires that couples, intending to marry, undertake a process of preparation and discernment. It is intended that this provide engaged couples with an environment where they can assess the relevance of God in their marriage, and the strengths and weaknesses of their relationship.

It helps engaged couples more fully appreciate the married life they are beginning. It combines practical advice with Catholic teaching and wisdom on marriage, its lifetime joys and rewards.

The Parish has a peer-to-peer marriage preparation process is offered. Married couples help engaged couples to prepare for their life together.

While our local Parish Priest should be the first point of contact for arranging preparation for marriage and the wedding ceremony the Archdiocese employs a Marriage Education Co-ordinator who can also provide some guidance and assistance.

Paperwork Process

When you meet with the priest, he will go through an official document, called a Pre-Nuptial Enquiry. You will also need baptismal certificates. These certificates are available from the parish in which the baptism took place.

The priest will also discuss other papers that may need to be completed.

Priest for Wedding

If there is a priest friend whom you wish to perform the Marriage ceremony, please do not hesitate to make this known and we will make him most welcome.

Photographs

We would appreciate that you ask photographers to respect the dignity of the Sacrament and the occasion, by being as discreet and as unobtrusive as possible, so as not to disturb the flow of the ceremony. Most photographers, if requested, will be happy to oblige and will still capture those special moments.

Confetti

Confetti is hard to clean up. Please refrain your guests and save us the extra work of cleaning up.

We are happy to help with any other aspects of planning for your wedding.

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

Mission:
to provide a process within which adults wanting to become Catholics join God‘s family

During the first centuries, the growth of the Church came very largely through the baptism of adults. In recent years, the Church has returned to many of these first century ceremonies for welcoming adults who seek baptism into the life of Christ. This journey of faith, this period of reflection and discovery, and the ceremonies that accompany it have been brought together in a programme the Church calls ‘The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults’ or ‘RCIA’.

Our Parish warmly welcomes new members into the family of God, regardless of age. For those people who choose to enter the Catholic Church as adults the Parish offers a process of discernment and prayer called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. The course is open to all adults searching for faith from those who are not yet baptised and know little about Christianity to those who have been baptised into another Christian faith tradition.

The RCIA is a discernment process for those adults who have heard the call of God in their lives and, moved by the Holy Spirit, consciously and freely seek to become part of the Catholic Church later in their life journey. Having responded to the call of God candidates (called catechumens) enrol in the process that takes from three to six months. Through prayer, study and sharing, this process aims to help those interested in Jesus Christ to develop a personal relationship with him. Having developed this relationship they are encouraged to make an informed choice whether or not to be received into the Catholic Community.

The course moves through a series of faith sharing sessions covering different aspects of Catholic faith, thinking and practice. Discussions take place, as required, in a caring and supportive environment either in groups or on a one-to-one basis. It runs once a year starting around August or September.

At the end of the discernment process catechumens become fully initiated into the Parish family through the three Sacraments of Initiation and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. These Sacraments of Initiation are the Sacrament of Baptism, the Sacrament of Confirmation, and the Sacrament of Eucharist are received together in one celebration during a Parish Mass usually at the Easter Vigil Service.

Enquiries are welcome at any time of the year whenever the Holy Spirit moves people along their faith journey.

Rite of Christian Initiation of Children of Catechetical Age (RCICCA)

Mission:
To prepare teenagers, and young adults of our Parish for Baptism, Reconciliation, Confirmation and First Holy Communion

The Church recognises that God moves in the hearts and minds of people in his own time, when they are ready to listen to his word. He calls people to join his family, the Church, in all periods of their life. Accepting this, the Parish warmly welcomes new members around the Table of the Lord and strives to provide appropriate processes and programmes to cater the needs.

The parish offer teenagers and young adults home-based parish-supported reflection programme to prepare them for the reception of the Sacrament of Initiation and Reconciliation. The Sacraments of Initiation include Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist.

In line with Archdiocesan policy the Sacrament of Confirmation is conferred to candidates along with First Holy Communion which is the culmination of the initiation process. The programme caters for children aged 13 to about 18 years.

This Sacramental Programme runs as required during the year.

We welcome any enquiries about the programme.

Sacramental Preparation

Mission:
to provide a suitable faith experience to all individuals and the parish community to prepare and experience the love of God in their lives through the Sacraments of the Church

Our Parish community provides a Sacramental Preparation process that moves members in their faith relationship with God. Process and programmes are provided for members to participate in preparation for the following Sacraments:

  • Baptism of Children
  • Reception of First Reconciliation, Confirmation and First Eucharist (Junior Sacramental Programme)
  • Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RICA)
  • Rite of Christian Initiation of Children of Catechetical Age (RCICCA) – teenagers
  • Reception of the Sacrament of Marriage

See the specific Sacramental Preparation programme for further details.

Sacred Heart College Lower Hutt

www.sacredheartcollege.school.nz

Scripture Study Group

Mission:
in an informal setting to provide a place to delve deeper into the Sunday Scriptures presented each week and to find practical and personal ways to live this out in the weeks ahead

This small group meets one morning a week for most of the year to spend time reflecting on the meanings and messages of the readings that are proclaimed the following Sunday.

In this way the members of the group strive to make God’s Word more alive in their lives and more relevant as they strive to follow Jesus Christ in their everyday living.

Meetings are held in members’ homes and are informal and relaxed.

St Bernard’s College, Lower Hutt

www.sbc.school.nz

St Brendan’s Primary School, Heretaunga

Mission:
We are a Catholic School providing students with the challenge to strive for personal excellence, to celebrate their successes, grow spiritually and become positive contributors to society.

St. Brendan’s School is an integrated Year 1 – 8 Catholic school whose Special Character, (Catholic Character) focuses on helping our students to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ in their daily lives, and to live by His values. We pray together every day. Our Catholic Character underpins everything we do at St Brendan’s School.

Strong relationships are maintained with the Parish and Parish Priest.

Contact: (04) 939 1909
Email: office@stbrendans.school.nz
Webpage: www.stbrendans.school.nz
Address: 56 Palmer Crescent Heretaunga

St Michael’s Primary School Taita

Mission:
to enthuse and involve the young people of our Parish in Gospel living

www.stmichaels.school.nz

St Patrick’s College Silverstream

www.stream.school.nz

Youth Group

Mission:
to enthuse and involve the young people of our Parish in Gospel living

Our Parish is committed to young people.

We seek to provide quality services enabling young people to see, experience and celebrate who they are called to be by God. Our youth activities encourage a strong sense of belonging, commitment and active participation in church and society. Fun-filled, challenging and community-building activities as well as prayer and reflection provide emotional, social, spiritual and faith development of young people.

The group meets generally meets each Friday evening of the School terms in our Parish Meeting Room for fun – friendship – and faith. Meets are a mix of games and faith sharing in a friendly and safe environment.