Phone (905) 684-3964

Fax (905)-682-8235

3 Lyman St, St. Catharines, ON L2R 5M8

©2017 by Cathedral of St. Catherine of Alexandria – Diocese of St. Catharines. 

Holy Orders

Sacraments of the Church

Baptism

Baptism is the first of three Sacraments of Initiation in the Catholic Church.  In the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read:”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.  Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.”

Adult Baptism - Adults wishing to be baptized follow the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.   This process consists of 4 stages – Inquiry, Catechumenate, Purification and Enlightenment, and Mystagogy.  Adults receive all three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation) at the Easter Vigil.   At the Cathedral, RCIA sessions usually run from late September to May.  Currently session are held on Tuesday evenings from 7-9 pm with a Dismissal session taking place at the 10:00 am Mass on Sundays to reflect on God’s Word.

Infant Baptism – Infants and younger children are welcomed into the Catholic Church through the faith of their parents.  Baptism is celebrated at the Cathedral most Sunday afternoons.  Parents are invited to a preparation meeting to talk about the Rite, the importance of the Sacrament of Baptism and how to help their child grow in faith. 

 

Please complete the form for Baptism and submit it to the office or call the Cathedral office.

Eucharist

The Eucharist is called the “source and summit of the Christian life”.  When we receive the Eucharist we are receiving Jesus – body, blood, soul and divinity.  At Mass, the bread is changed into the Body of Christ and the wine is changed into the Blood of Christ.  This is known as transubstantiation – the appearance of bread and wine has not changed but Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist. (Real Presence)  While our senses see bread and wine, our faith tells us that it is Jesus who is present.  It is important to take time for loving thanksgiving with Jesus after we receive Him in Holy Communion.

Receiving Communion

Those who are in full communion with the Catholic Church may receive Communion if they are not conscious of grave sin and who have abstained for one hour from any food and drink, except for water and medicine.

First Communion 

Catholic school - Students in Grade 2 are prepared to receive their First Holy Communion. Within the triad of Home, School and Parish children learn about Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist.  In early May a group celebration at Mass begins with the procession of First Communion students who will then receive Communion with their families.

Public school – Students who do not attend Catholic school but wish to receive their First Holy Communion are asked to have their parents contact the Cathedral office for a program they can follow.

Adults who are becoming Catholic receive their First Communion at the Easter Vigil

Confirmation

Confirmation confers the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we need to be witnesses to Christ in our daily lives.  The Sacrament of Confirmation is conferred by the laying on of hands followed by the anointing in the form of a cross with the oil of chrism on the forehead. The bishop is the usual minister of this sacrament. A Sponsor is needed who undertakes to encourage the confirmed Christian to fulfill the promise to be Christ’s witness. A person may choose a Confirmation name – usually the name of a saint who can be a good role model, or stay with their given name provided that one of their given names is a saint’s name.

This third Sacrament of Initiation is usually received in Grade 8, although this may vary in other Dioceses.  Students are prepared at school, with the assistance of the parish and of course, the home.  Those who do not attend a Catholic school should contact the office for further information in preparing to receive this Sacrament.

Adults who are becoming Catholic receive their Confirmation at the Easter Vigil.

There are 7 sacraments in the Catholic Church.  Sacraments can be defined as outward signs, instituted by Christ to give grace.  In these liturgical actions, physical materials and words make God present in special moments of our lives. 

The sacraments can be divided into three categories:

Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation

Sacraments of Healing – Penance/Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick

and Sacraments of Vocation or Service – Matrimony, Holy Orders

Penance/Reconciliation

In the Sacrament of Reconciliation we celebrate a merciful, forgiving God.  The Holy Spirit moves us to recognize our sinfulness and instills in us a desire to be radically transformed.

We prepare for this Sacrament by prayerfully doing an Examination of Conscience. This often involves looking at the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes and Jesus’ law of love and reflecting on our responses.

 

There are 4 parts in the Rite of Penance:e

- we express and celebrate the love of God

- we confess our sins

- we are asked to do a penance

- the priest prays the absolution prayer

 

At the Cathedral the Sacrament of Penance is celebrated Monday to Friday at 11:45 am to 12 noon and Saturday from 8:30 am to 8:50 am and 3:45 pm to 4:15 pm.  At other times please contact the priest.  

Catholic school - Students in Grade 2 are prepared to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Penance.  Within the triad of Home, School and Parish children learn about right and wrong and asking for God’s forgiveness in the sacrament of Confession.  Often a class celebration of First Penance takes place. 

Students in Catholic School are also given the opportunity to receive the sacrament usually during the Advent and Lent seasons. 

Public school – Students who do not attend Catholic school but wish to receive the Sacrament of Penance are asked to contact the Cathedral office for a program to learn about the sacrament.

Anointing of the Sick

The church has various pastoral programs to care for the physical needs of parishioners who are seriously ill.  Because the Church sees illness as a sacred time, it wants to be present with the afflicted, and it does this in the Anointing of the Sick.  The sick person receives spiritual healing and physical healing as well ( if it is God’s desire) in addition to the Spirit’s gift of strength.  If someone is dying, this sacrament, along with the reception of a final Eucharist, known as viaticum, (food for the journey) prepares the person.

Anointing of the Sick is a repeatable sacrament of healing.

If someone is in the St. Catharines hospital they may contact the Catholic chaplain, Fr. Andrew Goodwin, to receive the sacrament.  Anyone who is at home and wishes to be anointed may call the Cathedral office to make arrangements to receive the sacrament.

The church has various pastoral programs to care for the physical needs of parishioners who are seriously ill.  Because the Church sees illness as a sacred time, it wants to be present with the afflicted, and it does this in the Anointing of the Sick.  The sick person receives spiritual healing and physical healing as well ( if it is God’s desire) in addition to the Spirit’s gift of strength.  If someone is dying, this sacrament, along with the reception of a final Eucharist, known as viaticum, (food for the journey) prepares the person.

Anointing of the Sick is a repeatable sacrament of healing.

If someone is in the St. Catharines hospital they may contact the Catholic chaplain, Fr. Andrew Goodwin, to receive the sacrament.  Anyone who is at home and wishes to be anointed may call the Cathedral office to make arrangements to receive the sacrament.

Marriage

Marriage is a convenant, a partnership of the whole of life which is ordered toward the good of the spouses and procreation and education of children.  When made between baptized persons, Marriage is raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.  It is the only sacrament that the couple actually administer to one another.  The priest is only a witness.

Christian marriage is a personal relationship of life-giving love in which a man and a woman make the love of Christ present to each other and become a sign of the love of Christ to those around them.

Marriage Preparation

Couples wishing to marry in the Diocese of St. Catharines are expected to attend a Marriage Preparation program.  This may take place in their own parish, another parish in the Diocese or even in another Diocese.  At the Cathedral the Marriage Preparation program takes place on a Friday evening and all day Saturday in late April or early May.  

At the Cathedral weddings can be scheduled on Saturdays at 11:30 am, 1 pm and 2:30 pm.  If you are looking at another day or time, please speak to the priest. In any case, you must make an appointment with the priest in order to set a date and time for your wedding.

Holy Orders

All members of the church participate in the priesthood of all believers through Baptism.  However some men are called to serve Jesus and the Church today through the celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Orders.  Through their leadership in the Church, they help continue Jesus’ presence on earth in the tradition of the apostles.

Those who are called to be priests are ordained through the Rite of Ordination.  In celebrating this Rite, men receive a permanent spiritual mark, called a character, signify that they represent Jesus’ presence in the Church.

There are three levels of participation in the Sacrament of Holy Orders:  as bishop, as priest (from presbyter, which is Greek for “elder”) and as deacon.