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BAPTISM

BAPTISMAL POLICIES

Baptism initiates us into the faith community, frees us from Original Sin and opens the way for us to receive the other sacraments of the Church.
"Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments."(Catechism of the Catholic Church #1213)

Forms: Parents & Godparents

INFANT BAPTISM
"The parents of an infant who is to be baptized and likewise those who are to undertake the office of sponsor (godparent) are to be properly instructed in the meaning of this sacrament and the obligations which are attached to it." (Code of Canon Law Can. 851)

>REQUIREMENTS
Parents seeking the baptism of their child must make an appointment with the pastor, preferably several months before the birth of the child.
The pastor will instruct the parents on their duties and obligations. Since the parents will serve as the child's primary role model and spiritual guide, the pastor must insure that the parents are living out their Catholic faith. If in doubt, the pastor may delay the baptism until the parents show some positive
sign of their faith commitment.
We require that the parents also attend a baptismal seminar held on the first Tuesday of the month at 7:00pm in the Rectory.

SPONSORS
Sponsors serve as the child's godparents. The Code of Canon Law (Canon 874.2) sets down the requirements for the sponsor as one:
1. Designated by the parents to perform this role;
2. at least sixteen years old;
3. is a confirmed Catholic and leads a life in harmony with the faith;
4. not bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared; (i.e. living in an invalid marriage);
5. ...not the father or the mother of the one to be baptized. (c.f. Code of Canon Law Canon 874.1)

NON-CATHOLIC SPONSOR
A parent can select as one of the sponsors a baptized non-Catholic to serve with a Catholic sponsor. However this person does not receive the
designation of 'godparent' but as 'Christian witness.'

SAINT NAME
The tradition of giving the child the name of a saint reflects the community's belief in the 'communion of saints'. Through baptism we become part of the Church which exist in both in the earthly and heavenly realm. The name of a saint helps the child to later identify with one whom the Church recognizes
has achieved our ultimate goal of being one with God in heaven. The saint becomes a role model and a source of intercessory prayer.

SINGLE PARENT
We will baptize the baby of a single parent provided the parent meets the requirements set down for all parents. The father's name will not appear on the baptismal certificate unless we receive a notarized statement of paternity.

INVALID MARRIAGE
We will baptize the baby of parents living in a civil marriage. We hope that the parents will use this opportunity to convalidate their marriage so that they
can return to the sacraments. The priest will assist them in preparing them.

DYING WITHOUT BAPTISM
The Church urges parents to seek the baptism of their child as soon as possible after birth. But what happens when a child dies without baptism? Since
the child has done nothing to reject this source of salvation we trust the child's soul to the hands of God.
"With respect to children who have died without Baptism, the liturgy of the Church invites us to trust in God's mercy and to pray for their salvation." (Catechism #1283)

FURTHER INFORMATION
This document outlines some important points regarding infant baptism. Please contact the priest for any further explanation.


HOLY COMMUNION

The word Eucharist means “thanksgiving.” The Catechism lists several terms to describe the Eucharist: Lord’s Supper, Breaking of Bread, Eucharistic assembly, memorial of the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection, the Holy Sacrifice, the Holy and Divine Liturgy, the Most Blessed Sacrament, Holy Communion, and Holy Mass. (CCC, 1328 – 1332)

The Eucharist is a sacrifice in that in it Christ gives us the very body which he gave up for us on the cross. The Eucharistic sacrifice represents the
sacrifice of the cross…the sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice(CCC, 1365 – 1372)

For children baptized at infancy, the Church extends the reception of the sacraments of Initiation to cover most of early development. Traditionally, the reception of First Eucharist comes around the age 8, or second grade. Preparation for the reception of this sacrament requires a two period of instruction beginning with first grade.

Children attending Catholic school receive instruction during school time. Children attending private or public school must attend PREP.  In addition, all children must attend Mass faithfully and sign the register in the vestibule of the church.

CONFIRMATION overview and guidelines

"Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the 'sacraments of Christian initiation,' whose unity must be safeguarded.
It must be explained to the faithful that the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal graces. For '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. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.'
 
Preparation for Confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a more lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit
- his actions, his gifts, and his biddings - in order to be more capable of assuming the apostolic responsibilities of Christian life. To this end catechesis for Confirmation should strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish community. The latter bears special responsibility for the preparation of confirmands." (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
 
All sacraments are signs of Christ’s presence living in and through the faith community and present in the lives of the recipients. Sacraments are primarily for the faith community and not the individual. The Archdiocese of New Orleans has set the time for the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation in the eleventh grade. Preparation for the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation comes after completing a three year preparation program.
 
At Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Church Parish we design our program around the tenets set out in the Catholic Catechism of the Catholic Church. We view the Catholic Faith in the context of community life, not as a private spirituality. 
 
We designed our Confirmation program for the early teen years as a faith discovery and sharing experience. We believe that one should know,
understand and be aware of his/her faith and its impact upon his/her life. 
 
The Confirmation preparation at Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Church Parish consists of (3) three (year-long) phases that focus on the basic truths of
our Faith as found in the Bible - especially the Gospels - and as proposed, explained and practiced by and in the Catholic Church.

Forms: Registration | Track Sheet - Class 2016 | Track Sheet - Class 2017 | Saints Name | Sponsor | Service Hours 

WEDDING POLICIES
"The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament."(Catechism of the Catholic Church).

The Catholic Church requires that sufficient time and preparation be given in order for a couple to understand the importance of their vows. The dioceses of Louisiana have established a set policy regarding the preparation of couples for marriage. At Ascension of Our Lord Parish, we incorporate these guidelines into our preparation.

Complete wedding information: "Click here"

ANNOITING OF THE SICK
The sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick strengthens the baptized when they experience grave illness or old age. The sacrament unites the sick person to the suffering of Christ and strengthens them to endure the sufferings of illness or old age. The celebration of the Anointing of the Sick consists in the anointing of the forehead and hands of the sick person accompanied with a liturgical prayer asking for special graces of strength, peace and courage.

In time of grave illness or impending death contact Fr. Walter at 985-630-2837. If you are preparing for surgery and can attend Mass, see the priest for the sacrament of the anointing of the sick at that time.

HOLY ORDERS
Holy Orders as a sacrament of service is the sacrament of “apostolic ministry” through which the mission that Christ entrusted to the apostles continues to be exercised in the Church. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate and diaconate. (CCC 1533 – 1600)

In the service and person of the ordained minister, Christ, the high priest, is himself present to the Church. The priestly ministry reaches it summit in the priests’ celebration of the Eucharist which is the source and center of the Church’s unity. All the baptized are a priestly people sharing in the priesthood of Christ. Based on this common priesthood the sacrament of Holy Order is another participation in Christ’s mission where the task of the ordained minister is to serve in the name and person of Christ the Head in the midst of the community. (CCC 1591)

The sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred on by the laying on of hands followed by a prayer of consecration. Ordination imprints an indelible sacramental character. The Church confers Holy Orders on baptized men following Christ who chose men to be the twelve apostles and their successors. (CCC1572 – 1580)