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SACRAMENTS

Baptisms
Good Shepherd's Baptism Program is designed to help parents prepare for the Baptism of their child before the child is born, when they are likely to have a little more time to make preparations. This is a two-part program; the first session deals primarily with the theology behind Baptism and the second addresses the details of the ceremony itself and offers some suggestions for ways parents can become more involved with the Baptism of their child.

Baptisms may be scheduled at any of the weekend masses; however, they are generally not scheduled at any one mass more than once over any four-week period. Baptisms outside of mass are generally scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon and, like Baptisms at mass, are generally not scheduled more than once during any four-week period.

Details will be worked out on an individual basis with those involved. Please call the Church Office at 814-238-2110 for more information.

Reconciliation/First Holy Communion
Second grade is the time scheduled for the Altoona/Johnstown Diocese for the class reception of these sacraments. A student must attend the first grade Religious Education Program as well as the second grade program for the reception of these sacraments with the second grade class. Requirements for parents include attendance at two Sacramental Preparation Meetings to enrich the family's understanding and participation in these sacramental celebrations.

Older children will be prepared for these sacraments outside the regular classes and will receive the sacraments individually after consultation with the child, the parent/guardian, the Pastoral Minister, and the Pastor.

Confirmation
The diocesan requirement is for a process which culminates in the eleventh grade, but which requires attendance in a parish Religious Education Program in ninth, tenth, and eleventh grades. Scripture study, worship and prayer services, instruction, retreats, and Christian service are all essential parts of the process. Candidates, sponsors, and families commit to a three-year process of preparation before celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation. A sacrament refresher session, as well as retreats are scheduled throughout each of the three years. Sponsors for the Sacrament of Confirmation must obtain a certificate of eligibility from their home parish verifying that they meet the following requirements:

  1. They must be 16 years of age or older;
  2. They must have received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist;
  3. If married, their present marriage must be valid, i.e., recognized as being valid by the Church; and
  4. They must be a practicing Catholic, i.e., they must attend mass regularly.
  5. Adults who wish to be confirmed should contact the church office.

Marriage
The Marriage Preparation Policy for the diocese requires at least nine months' notice for any planned Wedding and attendance at a diocesan Marriage Preparation Program. The diocesan preparation policy is a rather lengthy document entitled "A Pastoral Approach to Marriage Preparation" and its intent is to outline an approach to Marriage which should help to build and shape better Marriages. Brochures summarizing the policy and scheduled programs are available in the church office. Please note that special cases may warrant special consideration and possible delays. Details will be worked out on an individual basis with the parties involved. Please call the church office.

Funerals
Contact the Church Office at 238-2110 to make arrangements.