FIRST RECONCILIATION AND FIRST COMMUNION
Formation for these two Sacraments is very important, they are the Sacraments that help sustain us in a life of grace as we mature and strive to live our lives in conformity to Christ. For children, preparation for First Reconciliation (also known as First Penance or Confession) and First Communion is a two year process. Formation typically begins in the first grade, although it may begin later, depending on family circumstances. The Sacraments are celebrated during the second year, usually in January and May. Children then continue in faith formation classes, learning about the teachings of Jesus, the teachings of the Church, and our call to be disciples, serve others, and spread the Good News. We do this through celebration of the Sacraments, an on-going life of prayer and service, and continual study and growth in our knowledge of, and relationship with, Jesus.
Confirmation preparation takes place during the High School years. It typically begins in the ninth grade and includes retreats, social events, service, and deepening our knowledge and understanding of the faith. The process aims to help youth come to own their faith, to make it real and relevant for their lives. During their Sophomore year, students enter into the proximate preparation, and focus more on learning about the sacrament itself and its meaning and implication for their lives. Once Confirmed, youth are called to further the mission of the Church, which is to evangelize, to help others to come to know the love and joy found in following Christ. This happens as much by their witness, how they live their lives, as by what they say and do. People who have developed a strong relationship with Jesus and who, with the help of the Holy Spirit, strive to do his will in all things, naturally attract the attention of others; they are somehow different, they are grounded in what is most important in life.
RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS (RCIA)
Persons Seeking Baptism: Each person's life and faith journey is different; there are many different roads that lead people to Jesus. Recognizing this fact, the Church provides the means by which people of any stage or walk of life may be initiated as members of the Catholic Church. For children age 7 or older, and for adults, this process involves participation in the RCIA. The RCIA includes a number of stages of preparation, the first of which is the inquiry stage, a time to come and ask whatever questions you may have without any pressure or commitment to proceed.This is followed by the Period of the Catechumenate, then the Period of Purification and Enlightenment, which is a more intense preparation immediately prior to reception of the Sacraments. Following the Easter Vigil, there is a period called Mystagogy, which is a time to "unpack" and deepen your understanding of the experience and what it means for your life. More information about the various stages of the RCIA process may be found at this link: http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/who-we-teach/rite-of-christian-initiation-of-adults/
Progress through the RCIA is very individualized, there is no set time frame for completion.Each person's progress through the process is determined bytheir own situation and needs. When ready, the individual will receive the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) at the Easter Vigil.
Persons already baptized as Christians who desire to become members of the Catholic Church: If you have already been baptized in another Christian denomination and are interested in joining, or coming into Full Communion with the Catholic Church, the process is similar as that described above, although the date of your reception into the Church would not necessarily be the same. More general information about this process may be found at http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/who-we-teach/rite-of-christian-initiation-of-adults/
If you would like more information about the RCIA process at St. Ann, please contact Bill Pollitt at 910-484-6843 or [email protected]
Marriage in the Catholic Church is one of the seven Sacraments. As such, it requires preparation, prayer and discernment prior to, and after the bond has been made. In order for it to be an expression of total, faithful, and fruitful love, which if we are honest, is the desire of each of our hearts, God must be at the center. Preparation of heart and mind, as well as the miriad plans for the actual wedding celebration, all are things to which the couple must attend. Those seeking to be married in the Church should approach the Parish a minimum of six months to a year prior to the proposed wedding date. Please email the pastor at [email protected] or contact the parish office at 910-483-3216 for questions or more information on the preparation process.
Not married in the Catholic Church but want to have your marriage blest?
Catholics who have married outside of the Catholic Church are encouraged to have their civil marriage recognized by the Church. We call this a convalidation. These couples, who were no doubt well intentioned and sincere in professing their vows outside of the Catholic Church, are not considered validly married in the eyes of the Catholic Church because Church law requires baptized Roman Catholics to marry before a bishop, priest, or deacon and two witnesses. If a couple finds themselves in this situation but want to have the Church officially recognize their marriage, then they should contact a priest in order to begin the process of convalidating their union. This process is usually not very difficult and often helps the couple live their faith more fully. Below is an outline of the usual procedure. Please email the [email protected] or call the parish office at 910-483-3216. For more information about the process of Convalidation see the link below:
"The rituals and prayers by which a sacrament is celebrated serve to express visibly what God is doing invisibly.
In a sacramental marriage, God’s love becomes present to the spouses in their total union and also flows through them to their family and community."
CONVALIDATION OF A CIVIL MARRIAGE
Catholics who have married outside of the Catholic Church are encouraged to have their civil marriage recognized by the Church. We call this a convalidation. These couples, who were no doubt well intentioned and sincere in professing their vows outside of the Catholic Church, are not considered validly married in the eyes of the Catholic Church because Church law requires baptized Roman Catholics to marry before a bishop, priest, or deacon and two witnesses. If a couple finds themselves in this situation but want to have the Church officially recognize their marriage, then they should contact a priest in order to begin the process of convalidating their union. This process is usually not very difficult and often helps the couple live their faith more fully. If you would like to have your marriage convalidated, please contact the Pastor.
"You have not chosen me. I have chosen you. Go and bear fruit that will last." (Jn 15:16)
We are all called and have a vocation. We have a general vocation as a baptized Catholic Christian, but we also are given a specific vocation, a way of life in service to God and his Church and to one another. Marriage is a vocation, as is the call to consecrated religious life, consecrated virginity, and Holy Orders (the priesthood and permanent diaconate). For more information on vocations and help with discerning the vocation to which you are called, please visit our vocations page.