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This week's

 

Question of the week

August 17, 2014

Recall someone whose faith
unexpectantly surprised,
challenged, or changed you.

 

 

 

Sacraments

bullet Adults needing Sacraments  
bullet Anointing of the Sick  
bullet Baptism  
bullet Confession Schedule  
bullet Confirmation for Adults and Youth picture here
bullet First Communion  
bullet First Pennace  
bullet RCIA  
bullet Vocations  
bullet Marriage  
 

- Preparation

 
 

- Annulments

 
 

- Convalidations

 


Anointing of the Sick
[click to "Pastoral Care"]
Through prayer and the anointing of the body with the oil of the sick, a special grace of healing and comfort is given to the Christian who is suffering from a serious illness or the effects of old age. Anointing is administered by a priest during times of need by calling the church office.

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Baptism:
For infants and children under school age, call Andrea or Gail at 407-998-5678 to schedule an interview with a priest. Do not set a date until this interview - the preparation process may take up to two months. We ask that you be registered in the parish for at least three months. For school-age children, contact Georgia Langdon.

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Schedule for Confession:  Saturday 3:45-4:45pm.  You may also make an appointment by calling the parish office at 407-647-3392.

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Confirmation
For Youth

One way that many 9th graders choose to take the next step in their faith and in understanding who they are is by preparing for and receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. Confirmation, along with Baptism and Eucharist, is a part of what are called the Sacraments of Initiation into our Catholic Church. Along with being welcomed as fully adult members, there is also an invitation to begin living out our faith in a very real and mature way. Confirmation Preparation is about tending to the soil of the soul so that the seeds of faith can further grow. Our preparation process is designed to be faith-filled, accessible, and partnering.

Click here for more information.

Contact the Youth Ministry Office at 407-998-5667 or email.

For Adults

Contact Sr. Rosemary Finnegan at 407-647-3392 or email.

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First Communion
Preparation for First Communion is a shared ministry with parents, children and catechists (teachers). Children in the second grade and older are fully initiated into the celebration of the Mass through scripture stories and prayer experiences. Child/parent sessions are held four Tuesday evenings starting in January and run through April. Children receive First Communion at parish Masses on the last weekend in April and the first weekend of May.

Children who are preparing for the Sacraments of Penance and First Holy Communion are also enrolled in Faith Formation programs.

Adult catechists (teachers) for First Communion preparation meet every other month for planning and prayer.

For more information, contact: Ann Nesladek ann@stmargaretmary.org or call (407) 647-5171.

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First Penance
Second graders are encouraged to prepare for this sacrament prior to the reception of their First Communion. The children are prepared in two sessions in the fall, with the celebration of the sacrament in November. Children in higher grades who have not prepared for Penance are invited to join in preparation classes for their respective grade levels at this time.

Children who are preparing for the Sacraments of Penance and First Holy Communion are also enrolled in Faith Formation programs.

For more information, contact: Ann Nesladek ann@stmargaretmary.org or call (407) 647-5171.

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Marriage - Preparation Guidelines - "Your Wedding Day"

The Catholic Church believes that Christian Marriage is a sacred covenant that fulfills God’s plan for humanity—that it is a relationship between two persons bonded in a permanent union.  Our Church desires that couples enter into marriage with the highest degree of freedom and knowledge about the vows they will exchange before god and humanity. Here at St. Margaret Mary our marriage preparation process is designed to help couples “begin with the end in mind” and to better understand the challenges they will encounter in their marital relationship.

Couples desirous of celebrating their wedding ceremony at St. Margaret Mary must contact our church office a minimum of six (6) months in advance of your anticipated marriage date and be officially registered at our parish for a minimum of six (6) months prior to beginning your marriage preparation. At least one of the parties making application for marriage must be a baptized, practicing Catholic.

The couple is given an interview with a priest or deacon of their choice.  At that meeting the priest or deacon gives them an overview of the church’s expectation for their marriage and then allows them to take the FOCCUS Inventory.  (This is an instrument which helps the couples see their strengths and weakness in their relationship).  In most situations, this is the priest or deacon who will officiate at the marriage ceremony.

During  a subsequent meeting the priest or deacon shares the result of the Focus inventory, helps set a date for the wedding, informs the couple regarding our necesary 8 week marriage preparation program (known as the Unitas program), completes the necessary paper work  and informs the couple of the necessary documents they will  need to collect.

Subsequent meetings with the priest (or deacon) can be arranged when seen as necessary.

 

UNITAS

Next Class begins February 20, 2014, contact Debbie Benson to begin the Marriage Preparation process, at (407) 647-3392.

The marriage preparation process at St. Margaret Mary is a three phase process completed over a six month period. The goal of this process is to provide engaged couples with the skills or resources needed to enhance their sacramental marriage and strengthen this indissoluble covenant to one another. Ordained priests and deacon, the staff of the Family Life office and trained married couples implement this process which includes several appointments with the priest or deacon who will marry you, a number of visits with a support couple to process the results of your FOCCUS, and eight weeks of UNITAS.

Based on the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, UNITAS is a process of marriage formation designed to help couples develop the skills needed for a healthy, holy marriage.  Deeply rooted in Catholic theology, and the most current psychological principles, UNITAS achieves three goals:
            *To help couples build faith and spirituality in their relationship
            *To help couples develop an understanding of areas such as communication,                          family of origin, conscience development, intimacy building, and family                        formation.
            *To help couples establish ties with their church community.


For Tentative Spring Schedule click here.

For Weekly agenda click here.


For attendance policy click here.

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Annulments

What is an Annulment?
An understanding of a Church annulment has to be based within the Church's teaching of the Sacrament of Marriage. The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is a community of life and love, an enduring partnership between a man and a woman for the giving and receiving of love and for the procreation and education of children. Marriage is a permanent and exclusive covenant, an interpersonal union which extends to the couple's total life together, to physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual community, and to the procreation and education of their children.


According to Catholic church teaching, every valid marriage between two baptized persons is a sacrament, and thus it is permanently binding and cannot be dissolved. In addition, the Church recognizes the validity and permanence of the marriages of unbaptized persons. The Church teaches that certain elements must be present in order for a marriage to be valid. Some of these would be minimal maturity, a personal commitment to marriage and to the other party, average emotional stability, a belief that marriage is a lifelong and faithful union, an openness to children, and a sufficient evaluative judgment in entering marriage.


An annulment ( also called a "decree of nullity") is a judgment of a Marriage Tribunal of the Catholic Church concerning the invalidity of a particular union. If an annulment is granted, it means that in the eyes of the church a basic element was missing from the union in question from the very beginning, and that on account of this, it was not a valid sacramental marriage from the start. The annulment does not deny that a real relationship may have existed, nor does it imply that the union was entered with ill will or moral fault. Rather, an annulment states that the relationship fell short of at least one of the elements seen as essential for a true, valid Christian marriage. Finally, an annulment does not seek to establish guilt or innocence, but rather validity or invalidity.

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Marriage Convalidations

“What Difference Does it Make?”

There are many people attending Catholic parishes or in Catholic families whose marriage is somehow not fully recognized by the Church. Catholic Church law ordinarily requires baptized Roman Catholics to marry before a priest or deacon. Unless they requested and received a "dispensation from canonical form," Catholics who exchange marriage vows in the presence of ministers from other religious traditions or authorized civic officials are not considered having a valid, sacramental marriage.

Those couples may seek to have their union officially recognized by the Church. (In technical terms, this is known as “convalidation” of a marriage.)  After a convalidation, they are able to fully participate in the sacramental life of the Catholic Church.

Preparing for a convalidation is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on and deepen your relationship.  It can make a difference!

For more information, call  Sr. Virginia @ 407-998-5657.

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RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults)
“As the deer longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for Thee, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God…” (Psalm 42:1-2)

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a communal process of spiritual and educational formation for adults who seek to become full members of the Roman Catholic Church through a conversion of mind and heart. The process is open to all persons, regardless of religious background or philosophical persuasion, who genuinely seek, by God’s grace, to live their lives in the distinctive Catholic Christian faith.

The RCIA, (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults), is a process through which non-baptized men and women enter the Catholic Church. (Note: For those people already baptized, see question 3 below). It includes several stages marked by study, prayer and rites at Mass. Participants in the RCIA are known as catechumens. They undergo a process of conversion as they study the Gospel, profess faith in Jesus and the Catholic Church, and receive the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and Holy Eucharist. The RCIA process follows the ancient practice of the Church and was restored by the Second Vatican Council as the normal way adults prepare for baptism. In 1974 the Rite for Christian Initiation for Adults was formally approved for use in the United States.

At St. Margaret Mary, this Christian initiation
begins with inquiry session meetings on

Monday evenings at 7:30. 
What is RCIA?
What are the steps of the RCIA?

Prior to formally beginning the RCIA process, an individual comes to some knowledge of Jesus Christ, considers his or her relationship with Jesus Christ and is usually attracted in some way to the Catholic Church. This time period is known as the Period of Evangelization and Precatechumenate. For some people, this process involves a long period of searching; for others, it is a shorter time. Often, some contact with people of faith and a personal faith experience leads people to inquire about membership in the Catholic Church.

After conversation with an advisor or spiritual guide, the person, known as an "inquirer," may decide to continue the process and seek acceptance into the Order of Catechumens. The inquirer stands in the midst of the parish community and states that he or she wants to continue the process and become a baptized member of the Catholic Church. The local parish assembly affirms his or her wish and the inquirer then becomes a "catechumen."

The period of the catechumenate can last for as long as several years or for a much shorter time. It depends on how the person is growing in faith, what questions and obstacles they encounter along the way, and how God leads them on this faith journey. During this time the catechumens consider what God is saying to them in the Scriptures, what changes in their life they want to make to respond to God's inspiration, and what membership in the Catholic Church involves. Catechumens have a special connection to the Church and even though they are not yet baptized, they also have certain rights in the Church.

When a catechumen and the parish team working with him or her believes the person is ready to make a faith commitment to Jesus in the Catholic Church, the next step is the request for baptism and the celebration of the Rite of Election. This rite includes the official enrollment of names of all those seeking baptism at the coming Easter Vigil. On the first Sunday of Lent, the catechumens and their sponsors and families and members of the parish gather at the cathedral church and the catechumens publicly request baptism. Their names are then recorded in a special book and they are then no longer called catechumens, but "the elect." The days of Lent are the final period of purification and enlightenment leading up to the celebration of initiation at the Easter Vigil. This Lenten season is a period of intense preparation marked by prayer, study, and spiritual direction for the elect, and special prayers for them by the parish communities.

The third formal step is the Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation, which takes place during the Easter Vigil Liturgy on Holy Saturday night when the catechumen receives the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and Holy Eucharist. Now the person is a fully initiated member of the Catholic Church and will continue to live out his or her response to God as a member of this faith community.

After the person is initiated at the Vigil, another period of formation and education continues in the period of the postbaptismal catechesis which is called "mystagogy." This period continues at least until Pentecost and often longer. During the period of mystagogy the newly baptized members reflect on their experiences at the Easter Vigil and continue to learn more about the Scriptures, the sacraments, and the teachings of the Catholic Church. In addition they reflect on how they will serve Christ and help in the Church's mission and outreach activities.

What is meant when people refer to men and women
coming into "full communion with the Church"?

Coming into full communion with the Catholic Church describes the process for entrance into the Catholic Church for men and women who are baptized Christians but not Roman Catholics. These individuals make a profession of faith, celebrate Confirmation and Eucharist, but they are not baptized again.

To prepare for this reception, the people, who are called "candidates," usually participate in the RCIA formation program to help them understand and experience the specific teachings and practices of the Catholic Church. Candidates, however, have already been baptized and committed to Jesus Christ, and many of them have also been active members of other Christian communities. As such, their preparation process is shorter than that of the catechumen.

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Vocations
Jesus says, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few”. Pray that the harvest master will send workers into the harvest. In other words, the Church is as much his concern as it is ours. To that end, we need to pray for vocations (as individuals and as a community) and ask his continued guidance in this area.

If you would like to speak with someone regarding vocations to either the priesthood or religious life, please call the parish office at 407-647-3392.

 

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