The sacramental life is central to
the spirituality of Catholics.
Through the celebration of all of the sacraments we come to experience God's grace and mercy in very vivid, visible ways. Holy Spirit Catholic Church offers preparation sessions for the celebration of the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) as well as for marriage. We hope the information in these pages answer many of your questions.
The Sacrament of Baptism is the foundation of the Sacramental life of the Church
In this sacrament, we are cleansed from sin and are reborn of water and the Holy Spirit, and incorporated into the Body of Christ. (See the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1213-1284.) We live out the promises we make at our baptism by regularly practicing our faith. It is therefore important that you and the baptismal sponsor(s) pray and reflect about the raising of your child in the Catholic faith.
The Sacrament of Baptism must be requested by the parents of the child and at least one parent must be baptized Roman Catholic.
Baptism preparation classes for parents is a requirement of the diocese. Currently they are held via zoom on the first Tuesday of each month at 7 PM.
Canon Law 874 §1 requires that godparents be:
Designated by the parents.
At least 16 years old.
Fully initiated Catholics (received Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist).
Not bound by any canonical penalty.
Leading lives of faith befitting the role.
Not parents of the child.
Infant/child baptism for children from birth to age 6, contact Katrina Cruz at (757) 468-3600, ext. 108 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsors must be able to answer “Yes” to all applicable questions on the following Sacramental Sponsor Certificate and a church representative MUST sign and seal the bottom of the form.
You must have at least one primary godparent who has been baptized Roman Catholic, is a practicing Catholic in good standing, at least 16years old.
Parents are not eligible to be sponsors.
“This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of me.” (1 Cor 11:14-16)
“The Liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed;
it is also the fount from which all her power flows.” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy ) (Vatican II)
The focal point of our parish community, the event which affects the most people, is the celebration of the Eucharist to Roman Catholics. We believe and hold true that the bread and wine offered at the Mass are transformed into the living Body, Blood, soul and divinity of Christ Jesus in the Eucharist. In the Eucharist we are brought into communion with the Lord and the Universal Catholic Church. Eucharist forms us as a community, and challenges us to mission; that is, sustains and provokes us to carry on the gospel message in our daily lives.
The presence of each member of the community is important at this public event, a sign of our faith. Parishioners are invited to take part in the preparation and celebration of Liturgy in a variety of ways: Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, Cantors, Choir Members, Altar Servers, Mass Coordinators, Ushers, and as members of the Liturgy Committee. More than 500 of us serve in these ministries. Further information regarding these various ministries can be found in the section of this booklet titled “Music and Liturgy.”
Eucharist is one of the three sacraments which initiate us into the church. The parish community supports and assists parents in preparing their children for the initial reception of Eucharist. Details of this program are contained in the section of this booklet titled “Children’s Programs”
Welcome to First Reconciliation and First Eucharist Grades 2-5
Eucharist is one of the three sacraments which initiate us into the church. The parish community supports and assists parents in preparing their children for the initial reception of Eucharist.
(If you have a child in grades 6-12 and who would like to prepare for the sacraments, please contact Katrina Cruz at (757) 468-3600 x108.)
Christian Formation. Children must be registered in Christian Formation classes for the current school year in order to participate in the sacramental preparation program for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist, which is a separate program from Christian Formation.
First Sacraments Orientation. Due to the current circumstance with COVID-19, all meetings in the church are suspended until further notice.
Registration. At your orientation session you will complete a registration form to enroll your child in sacramental preparation. The fee for First Sacraments is $50.00 (can be paid in full or in 2 installments of $25.00) which covers student and parent books for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist, class and retreat supplies, and the First Communion Banner. A certified copy of your child’s Baptismal certificate is required . Please contact Katrina Cruz at (757) 468-3600 x108.
Guidelines. For a list of complete guidelines and requirements for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist, please call the Katrina Cruz. First Sacraments Schedule and Important Information, TBA.
If your child has not yet received Baptism, and you are interested in preparing your child, please click the following:
For children 6 years and younger, click here Baptism.
For children 7 years or older: See below
The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults – Adapted for Children
To begin the process, please register your child for Christian Formation for the upcoming school year TBA on the Formation Page.
Once you have registered for Christian Formation, both parent and child are required to attend the orientation session. Catechists will go review the RCIA process with you as well as the schedule.
If your child is in grades 6-12 and is interested in preparing for First Sacraments, please contact Katrina Cruz, at (757) 468-3600.
UNTIL further notice, 4:30 to 5:30 pm only on Thursdays (No spiritual direction) Masks required.
There are two Parish Reconciliation Celebrations each year; one during Advent and one during Lent. We celebrate First Reconciliation annually for children.
“When he was still far away, his father saw him and was moved with mercy. He ran to him and embraced and kissed him.”
"The Church is solicitous in calling the faithful to continual conversion and renewal. It desires that the baptized who have sinned should acknowledge their sins against God and their neighbor .. The Church carries this ministry out by the Good News of salvation …” (Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship 1973)
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is the way the church celebrates repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, our giftedness, and ongoing conversion. The Sacrament of Reconciliation presents us today with the task of healing and transforming our own individual hearts, as well as furthering Jesus’ mission of healing and transforming the sinful and unfinished condition of the world.
The revised rite allows for the Celebration of Reconciliation of individual penitents as well as the Celebration of a Reconciliation Service prior to individual confessions, emphasizing the relation of the Sacrament to the community. Reconciliation, then, is an across-the-board matter: individual, familial, social, ecclesial.
The parish community supports and assists parents in preparing their children for the initial celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Details of this program are contained in the section of this booklet titled “Children’s Programs.”
The Sacrament of Confirmation is the second of the three sacraments
which initiate us into the Church.
“Baptism incorporates us into Christ and forms us into God’s people. Confirmation signs us with the gift of the Spirit and makes more completely the image of the Lord and fills us with the Holy Spirit so that we may bear witness in the world. Eucharist brings us to the table of the Lord for our eternal life and shows forth the unity of God’s people.”
(Christian Initiation, Introduction)
In the early church all three initiation sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist) were received at the same Easter Vigil. Through the centuries these sacraments have become separated and administered over a period of years. All three sacraments should be received before celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage and must be received before ordination to priesthood or taking of vows as a sister or brother in religious community.
The parish community supports and assists parents in preparing their teens for the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation. We follow the Guidelines of the Diocese of Richmond. In this Diocese, teens may prepare for and receive the Sacrament in the 10th, 11th or 12th grades.
Each family and each teen are unique and at different places on their faith journey. Your teen should attend Mass regularly and express a desire to prepare for and receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Attending Christian Formation classes and youth group may also help in the spiritual journey.
Requirements for Confirmation preparation:
Weekly attendance at Mass
Faithful attendance at Sunday night Christian Formation classes or attendance at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School
Attendance at a separate, direct Confirmation preparation class (12 hours)
Participation in at least one parish youth retreat
Teens are also invited to attend youth group meetings and participate in all other parish youth activities, such as service projects
Requirements for Confirmation Sponsors:
A sponsor must be a baptized, practicing Catholic in good standing, at least 18 years old. Parents are not eligible to be sponsors. The sponsor does not need to be a member of Holy Spirit, but must submit a letter from their pastor saying they are eligible to be a sponsor. According to Church law, if possible, it is desirable that the sponsor be one of the original godparents. The sponsor meets at least once a month with the candidate.
Register in the Spring for the summer session or in the Spring and Summer for the fall session. Youth must first be registered for Christian Formation classes at Holy Spirit or enrolled at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School. A separate Confirmation registration form MUST be completed and submitted to the parish office along WITH a copy of the candidate’s Baptismal certificate.
Confirmation is usually held sometime between Easter and Pentecost. The bishop’s office sets the date. The teens from two parishes are usually confirmed together and we alternate worship spaces.
Those teens who were confirmed at an earlier age participate in this preparation for adult Christian life with their peers who are not yet confirmed: and on the day of Confirmation they renew their baptismal vows and recommit themselves to the witness and ministry expected of all adults in our church.
Those who were not baptized in infancy and who are seven or older and now seek baptism celebrate all three sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil, then in their teen years prepare for renewal of Confirmation with their peers.
For more specific information on the Sacrament of Confirmation, call:
Katrina Cruz, Coordinator of Youth & Young Adult Ministry – 468-3600, ext. 108
Deacon Bob Smithberger (757) 468-3600 ext. 109)
The parish offers a special catechetical process for adult “confirmands” – those individuals seeking the Sacrament of Confirmation and also are at least 18 years of age. The process is similar to the RCIA process with an emphasis on developing a more intimate union with Christ and a more dynamic relationship through the Holy Spirit so that one assumes greater responsibilities in one’s Christian life and in Christ’s church. Adults who have never been confirmed celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation at Pentecost.
All adult Catholics should be confirmed in their faith. In the sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized person is sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit and is strengthened for service to the Body of Christ.
The Church teaches that: “the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. … By the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit.” CCC, # 1285
The parish offers a special catechetical process for adult confirmands (those individuals seeking the Sacrament of Confirmation). The process is similar to the R.C.I.A. process with an emphasis on developing a more intimate union with Christ and a more dynamic relationship with the Holy Spirit so that one can assume greater responsibilities in one’s Christian life and in Christ’s Church. Typically, the sacrament of Confirmation for adults is conferred on the feast of Pentecost.
Preparation for the sacrament usually takes several months and involves a number of activities:
Participation in catechetical sessions.
Participation in “days of prayer.”
Active participation in one of the parish’s ministries or small Christian communities during the period of preparation.
Throughout the period of preparation, meetings with one’s sponsor to discuss one’s relationship with Jesus and the Church.
Attendance at Sunday Eucharistic liturgies.
See the Adult Confirmation schedule for more details.
If you have been baptized but not confirmed, you should contact the parish office or Deacon Bob Smithberger (757) 468-3600 ext. 109) for additional information.
“It is not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain.” John 15:16
The priest is ordained for a particular diocese or religious community and is a servant to that people. He is sent by the bishop and charged to ensure that the mission of Christ to teach, govern and sanctify is fulfilled in a particular place for a particular period of time. The Pastor serves as the shepherd of the community, works in collaboration with the members of the parish, and as priest stands in the person of Christ in celebration of the sacraments.
By ordination, the priest alone presides over the Eucharist which is celebrated by the entire community. The Parish priest or deacon preaches, baptizes, witnesses marriages and conducts funerals. The pastor is assigned by the bishop to coordinate and oversee all the various ministries of the parish.
Pray for vocations to all these ministries, but especially pray for vocations to the priesthood. If you feel you may be called, contact the Diocesan Office of Vocations for more information: www.richmonddiocese.org/vocations.
“Love is patient; Love is kind; Love is not jealous … Love never fails.”
(1 Corinthians 13)
Christian marriage is a journey of faith and love, and as a vocation it is also one way of living a life of commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When a married couple attempts to grow in love through the practical concerns of each day, they make the love of Christ real and present in our world. This is why Christian marriage is a sacrament; it is a living symbol of Christ’s faithful, steadfast love the Church.
If you are intending to be married at Holy Spirit Parish, information on wedding guidelines and processes can be found by clicking on this link: Wedding Guidelines Booklet.
Please keep in mind that the marriage guidelines for the Diocese of Richmond require that a couple contact a parish priest or deacon at least 6 months prior to the proposed wedding date.
The parish community of Holy Spirit, through its many ministries, is here to assist and support couples in their exciting and challenging journey of married life.
VALIDATION OF MARRIAGE
Since the Church teaches that marriage is a sacrament and an outward sign of grace, Christ authorized the Church through the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit to determine the requirements for the validity of the sacraments, including the Sacrament of Marriage. According to the Church teachings, it is a requirement for Catholics to be married according to the “form” (the proper rites) of the celebration of this sacrament.
The Church seeks that all members of the Church be in marriages recognized, blessed and “convalidated” by the Church. Couples may seek to have their union officially recognized by the Church.
1. This form requires that the marriage of Catholics be contracted in the presence of a bishop, priest or deacon. Exceptions can be made in certain circumstances, but only at the discretion of authorities of the Catholic Church. (Canon 1108) Only Catholics are bound by this form. If a Catholic party marries outside of this form and without permission, the couple needs to request the convalidation of their marriage.
2. The Catholic Church does recognize the validity of marriages by non-Catholics with each other, but they are not held to this form. The Church considers the marriage between two baptized Christians (non-Catholic) as sacramental and there is no need for convalidation in this case.
3. Catholics who are not living in marriages recognized (convalidated) by the Church should not receive Holy Communion. The remarriage of persons divorced from a living, lawful spouse contravenes the plan and law of God as taught by Christ. They are not separated from the Church, but they cannot receive Eucharistic Communion. (CCC #1665).
NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING
Natural Family Planning (NFP) is an umbrella term for certain methods used to achieve and avoid pregnancies. No drugs, devices, or surgical procedures are used to avoid pregnancy. NFP reflects the dignity of the human person within the context of marriage and family life, promotes openness to life, and recognizes the value of the child. By respecting the love-giving and life-giving natures of marriage, NFP can enrich the bond between husband and wife.
NFP is a way of following God’s plan for achieving and/or avoiding pregnancy. It consists of ways to achieve or to avoid pregnancy using the physical means that God has built into human nature.
For more information on NFP, please contact the Diocesan Coordinator for NFP at
ANOINTING of the SICK
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
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