Baptism of Infants.

If you have a child up to and including 5 years old you may be interested in how to take steps towards their baptism (christening). Children of 6 years and older come more into the domain of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Children. More information in this website is given under Becoming a Catholic: R.C.I.A.

The celebration of Baptism itself ends with final blessings for the parents, including the statement that the parents will be “the first teachers of their child in the ways of faith”. The rite then follows: May they be also the best of teachers, bearing witness to the faith by what they say and do, in Christ Jesus our Lord”.

As all parents know, children are very attentive observers of their parents’ behaviour but they need the stretch of years to learn how to interpret what they see. If you take your child to a church where they can see other children and adults participating in the Mass, then at the very least you are giving the child a concrete learning experience at multiple levels. But you will need to explain what this is all about, and here the heart must speak.

Hence “it is beautiful when mothers teach their little children to blow a kiss to Jesus or to Our Lady. How much love there is in that! At that moment the child’s heart becomes a place of prayer”. Pope Francis. The Joy of Love / Amoris Laetitia.

Your child will be watching you to see how you connect with worship at Mass, and with any form of prayer. No Catholic school can substitute for that, but a school can help, and so can godparents. This is the primary role of godparents in the tradition of the Church.

Grandparents are especially important in helping children to grow in faith if they can show what this means to them in prayer and action. Because of their experience, they help to give the “long view” when it comes to the faith journey. However, parents “are the first teachers of their children” and in the ordinary run of responsibilities they have to make choices which involve purpose and resolve.

The church does not believe that baptism is a one-off event, but a choice about a way of life, and if parents see it as such, but feel the need for guidance, it is the duty of the Church to help. So please ask for this help. In any case you will need to meet a priest, deacon, or catechist for baptismal preparation sessions. That’s a good time to talk about what would be helpful

What do I do next?

Phone the parish number and you will be given guidance re what to do next. If you’ve already done baptismal preparation sessions for one child you do not need to do this again, but always feel free to ask for guidance and extra help.

If you do not live within the boundary of St Wilfrid’s parish, you will need to ask the parish priest who has immediate responsibility for those who live within the parish in which you live. If you are not sure which parish you live in, try contacting the nearest Catholic church to your house, and ask for guidance.

When do baptisms take place?

They are usually celebrated at 12:00 on Sundays, and they last about half an hour.

Funerals at St Wilfrid’s.

If one member suffers in the body of Christ which is the Church, all the members suffer with that member. (1 Cor 12:26)

Funeral Masses are usually at 12.15pm, on weekdays. Members of the faithful who come to the normal 12.15pm Mass will be present, and their presence helps to make real the words of St Paul given above.

Sometimes, according to circumstances, Funeral Services (rather than a Mass) are arranged. These provide the same opportunities as a Mass for readings, prayers, music, etc. The difference being there is no celebration of the Eucharist, so such services are not attended by members of the faithful as at the 12.15pm Mass. The services are about 15 minutes shorter in duration.

Setting a day for the funeral.

Arrangements need to be made between 3 key people: a representative of the family of the deceased, the funeral director, and the priest or deacon. Initial enquiries can be made to the Parish Administrator, who will then contact one of the priests to follow-up, i.e. meet the bereaved family member/s and help them to choose readings and hymns etc, and to offer pastoral support.

Booking an organist.

Maria Hall is the Music Coordinator at St Wilfrid’s, and she is the organist at funerals, unless unavailable. Contact:

Marriages, First Communion, Confirmation.

To get information about marriages, first communion or confirmation contact one of the priests or the parish administrator.