Baptism incorporates us into Christ and forms us into God’s people. This first sacrament pardons all our sins, rescues us from the power of darkness, and brings us to the dignity of adopted children, a new creation through water and the Holy Spirit. Hence we are called and are indeed the children of God.
Baptisms are scheduled normally in the Parish on Sundays at 10am in Mary Immaculate Church Ashmore. We would ask parents to contact the Parish Office as soon as possible to arrange the Baptism.
Our Parish offers a Baptismal Preparation Classes at least twice a month.
Baptismal Preparation Classes – Parents planning to baptise their children in our parish, note that the next Baptismal Preparation Classes will be held on (dates to be update), in Mary Immaculate Church, Ashmore.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
The RCIA and associated program educates, then initiates adults to become a Catholic as an adult. You may be aware that in the past people wanting to become Catholic were required to participate in a program of private instruction with the parish priest, consisting of a set number of weekly ‘lessons’ on Catholic doctrine. After the instructions were completed, the ‘convert’ was baptised (if necessary) and confirmed in a private ceremony with only the priest and a sponsor present.
This changed after the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. The current process by which new members are brought into the Catholic Church is called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, or the RCIA.
Becoming a Catholic
The RCIA is best described as a journey of faith which passes through a number of different phases and focuses on conversion of heart and mind to Christ. It is a gradual journey tailored to the needs of the individual – no ‘one-size-fits-all’ any longer!
The process is more public than the older ‘Instruction’ program. Candidates meet regularly with a group of people from the parish to learn about Catholic belief and practice. Various rituals are held in the church at important points along the journey.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is the second of the three sacraments of Christian initiation.
Confirmation completes Baptism, by which in the laying on of hands and the anointing with Chrism Oil, which first happened at Baptism, we are confirmed with the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
We are reminded of our participation in the ministry and mission of Jesus, and strengthened to follow Jesus more closely.
Eucharist is the sacrament that completes the process of initiation and is when one can fully participate in the Eucharist by receiving Holy Communion.
Eucharist is unique among the sacraments as it is at the heart of our faith. For Catholics, the Eucharist, or Mass, is the most powerful way we encounter the real presence of Jesus Christ. Sunday after Sunday (some, of course, gather everyday), Catholics gather to celebrate the Eucharist, the ritual in which, by the power of the Holy Spirit, bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ. We who celebrate are also transformed, becoming Christ’s presence to others, and recognising the presence of Christ in others.
Introducing children to the greatness of God’s mercy in the Sacrament of Penance is a two-step process. A simple celebration of the second rite of the Sacrament of Penance is included as part of the preparation for the First Communion.
In the year when the children turn ten (Year Five) they are prepared to celebrate more fully the Sacrament of Penance with individual confession and absolution (the first rite). This builds on the work of the previous year as they take the second step and learn in greater detail what it means to examine their conscience.
In the Catholic Church, Marriage is a Sacrament of commitment that is most highly honoured and valued. Those who come forward to participate in this Sacrament witness to those gathered of God’s immense love in the world, and the unbreakable bond God has with all people.
In the midst of this understanding, our Parish Community rejoices over the desire of couples to marry in the Catholic Church. The Southport Catholic Parish recommends that couples give AT LEAST SIX MONTHS notice of their intention to marry to the parish office.
This is to ensure that adequate preparation may be undertaken, including the necessary paperwork and planning needed. It also enables you to secure the date and time you wish for this celebration. Therefore we would suggest that the first step would be to book the Church and check on the availability of a celebrant on the required date before anything else is done.
Please contact the Parish Office on (07) 55 10 2222 to make this booking. An information sheet, explaining the necessary steps for marriage, a booking form and information on pre-marriage courses will then be posted out to you. In time the priest will contact you to arrange an appointment to meet and begin the required process.
The Southport Catholic Parish facilitates an approved Marriage Preparation Program for those who wish to marry in one of our churches.
Anointing of the Sick
So what is it for? When administered in the early stages of illness, a person may experience the strength and renewal of God’s Holy Spirit in body, mind and/or spirit. It also confers upon those anointed the assurance of Reconciliation. The Sacrament is meant to be associated with assisting life, healing and health. It often brings hope, comfort and peace to an ill or dying person. This sacrament is administered to a Catholic person only who is seriously ill, preparing for an operation, or is in poor health due to advanced age.
The effects for which we pray in this sacrament are:
- To bring peace & comfort to the sick, assisting against anxiety or loneliness
- To give the sick person strength
- To renew and increase their hope
- To forgive sins and aid conversion
- To help perseverance in suffering and pain
- To bring healing to body, mind and spirit
- To assure the sick of the prayers and support of the Church and its people.
The ‘Anointing of the Sick’ is not meant as the final act of prayer for a dying person. Primarily, it is a sacrament offered to those who need assistance for this life. However, it can be given to a dying person if they haven’t previously been anointed as a preparation for death.
To give Priests’ enough time to administer this Sacrament in time to those who are dying, we encourage families, friends and parishioners to contact Parish Office in advance of the critical moment.
The Gold Coast University Hospital, Gold Coast Private Hospital and Pacific Private Hospital (Palliative Care) have our parish contact details.
Nursing homes and hostels in our parish are visited regularly. By contacting the parish office the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick can be arranged for those who are in need of it. Likewise, those who are seriously ill at home or are housebound can be visited for the celebration of this sacrament through contacting the parish office.
In the face of death, the Church confidently proclaims that God has created each person for eternal life and that Jesus, the Son of God, by his death and resurrection, has broken the chains of sin and death that bound humanity. Christ “achieved his task of redeeming humanity and giving perfect glory to God, principally by the paschal mystery of his blessed passion, resurrection from the dead, and glorious ascension.”
At the death of a Christian, whose life of faith began in the water of baptism and was strengthened at the Eucharist table, the Church intercedes on behalf of the deceased because of its confident belief that death is not the end nor does it break the bonds forged in life. The Church also ministers to the sorrowing and consoles them in the funeral rites with the comforting word of God and the sacrament of the Eucharist.