Sacraments are the life of the Church. It is part of the central role of the Church to provide the Sacraments to the faithful. Please see the information below on their practice at St. Margaret Mary’s Parish.
Anointing of the Sick
The Sacrament of Anointing is the Church’s prayer for healing and comfort for those who are ill. It can be celebrated by arrangement with the Parish Priest through the Parish Office.
An annual Mass of Anointing is celebrated in our churches. Those who are frail or ill have the opportunity to attend this mass together and receive the Sacrament of Anointing. The parish provides transport to the mass. For further details and assistance please contact the Parish Office.
Baptism is the beginning of a process of belonging to the Church. We know that children need time to grow and develop. The Catholic Church spaces the process of Christian Initiation over many years.
The Church is also conscious that your child will one day need to own for themselves’ what you do for them at Baptism.
Christian Initiation for children begins with the celebration of Baptism. Over the next eleven years your child will also celebrate First Reconciliation, First Eucharist and Confirmation which completes initiation into the Catholic Church.
Like all sacraments of the Church, baptism is a celebration for all, not just those immediately known to the candidate. Baptism is not a private family affair. It is the very business of the worshipping community which receives the newly-Baptised person into its midst.
It is in this community that your child will grow in and develop his or her relationship with God and celebrate the other sacraments which will complete his or her initiation into the Catholic Church (Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation).
The death of a loved one is an especially sensitive time for families and friends.
The Parish works with the family and the Funeral Director in planning the details of the funeral. It is important to allow sufficient time before the Funeral for making all the necessary decisions.
The Rite of Christian Funerals allows great involvement for the family in choosing appropriate readings from Sacred Scripture and the various prayers and hymns used for the celebration of a funeral as well as various types of involvement by family and friends in the celebration itself.
Your funeral director will normally make contact with the Parish on your behalf to determine the date and time of the funeral.
The Parish will work with you in planning the details of the Funeral itself. For further details and assistance please contact the Parish Office.
Christian Marriage is the making of a life-long covenant of love between two baptised persons. It is the making of a true partnership of the whole of life recognised, celebrated and blessed by the Church in the sacrament of Christian Marriage.
In virtue of the sacrament of marriage, married Christians signify and share in the mystery of the unity and fruitful love that exists between Christ and his Church; they thus help each other to attain holiness in their married life and in welcoming and rearing children; and they have their own special place and gift among the people of God.
A marriage is established by the marriage covenant the irrevocable consent that the spouses freely give to and
receive from each other. This unique union of man and woman and the good of the children impose total fidelity on
each of them and the unbreakable unity of their bond. To make the indissoluble marriage a clearer sign of this full meaning and a surer help in its fulfillment, Christ the Lord raised it to the dignity of a sacrament, modelled in his own nuptial bond with the Church.
Christian couples, therefore, are to nourish and develop their marriage by undivided love; in a merging of human and divine, they remain faithful in body and in mind, in good times and in bad.
The sacramental celebration of Reconciliation is one of the Church’s two sacraments of healing. It is sometimes called ‘confession’ because it involves acknowledging our sins and acknowleding God’s holiness and mercy towards us. It is called ‘reconciliation’ because it celebrates our reconciliation with God by proclaiming God’s mercy and forgiveness, and our intention to live according to the Gospel of Christ.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is celebrated from Tuesday to Saturday at 8:30am and Saturday afternoon between 4:30 PM and 6 PM, just before the Vigil Mass, at St Margaret Mary’s Church, Merrylands. It is also available to all by appointment. During this time there is also Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a process with a fourfold purpose:
For the unbaptised, the process provides the spiritual background and support to become a fully initiated Roman Catholic.
For those baptised in another Faith, the process provides a new environment for conversion.
For those baptised as Catholics, who have not received First Eucharist or Confirmation, the process prepares them to become active members of the parish community.
For those interested Catholics who wish to deepen their faith.
The RCIA, as it is today, dates back to 1972 and was prepared by the Vatican Council. It is very similar to the way that people became Catholic in the early days of the Church.
This process is unlike conversion programs of the past. The RCIA is an ongoing four-step process within parish life. It is designed to welcome new members into the Church, and at the same time, to lead every Catholic parishoner to deeper belief and renewal of his or her Christian Faith.
The process involves, in most cases, a weekly gathering of candidates. Here, each candidate is encouraged to study and discuss the basics of our Christian Religion with the members of the RCIA Team.
In addition to spiritual guidance, each candidate has added support of a program sponsor, (a layperson and member of our parish) who assists with the many practical aspects of Faith. Sponsors likewise introduce the candidate to the parish community and its various ministries.
The RCIA process focuses on a person’s growth in the Spirit within a Christian community. Following the practice of the early church the RCIA develops embryonic faith by participation in and celebration of the Rites of the local Christian community. It is a journey in faith for all who participate in the process whether they be those who are inquiring about the Catholic faith or the Catholics who are supporting the inquirers in their journey in faith.
The RCIA program provides an understanding in the basics of the Catholic faith, by educating the candidate in the following:
- The Mass
- The Eucharist
- The Life of Christ
- The Sacraments
- Community Service
If you are interested, (or simply curious) or know of anyone who might like to become a part of the RCIA please contact the Parish Office.
The Sacraments are a key part of church life and are celebrated within our Parish church community. Each year St Gertrude’s Parish offers a special program to help candidates and families prepare for the celebration of the Sacraments of First Reconciliation (Confession), First Holy Communion (Eucharist), and Confirmation. This programme is open to all children of eligible age living within the parish boundaries, regardless of which school they attend.
Candidates are eligible to prepare for and celebrate the Sacraments of:
- First Reconciliation in Grade 3 and above (click here)
- First Holy Communion (Eucharist) in Grade 3 and above (click here)
- Confirmation in Grade 6 and above (click here)
If parents at any stage, are concerned that their child is not ready to receive the sacraments in the above mentioned classes, then it is their prerogative, after suitable discussion, to have their child wait until the next appropriate sacrament intake.