Sacraments and Faith Formation Groups

Parish Catechist

Specific Activities
The role of the Catechist is to teach parish children and prepare them for each of the Sacraments: First Reconciliation, First Communion and Confirmation. Each course involves six one-hour lessons.
Related duties and tasks include:

  • Attending planning meetings with Parish Priest and St Joseph’s Primary School staff prior and at times during each of the sacramental programs;
  • Assisting in the planning and running of a weekday retreat held for Communion and Confirmation;
  • Liaising with Parish Priest, Parish Secretary, St Joseph’s school staff and the families of the parish children;
  • Attending a Parent Information Evening for each sacrament;
  • Attending each of the celebrations for the sacraments – Reconciliation on a weekday evening, Communion on a weekend and Confirmation on a Friday evening;
  • Attending a Sunday Liturgy for a commitment Mass prior to each of the sacraments.

Time Commitment Required by Members
The time commitment is significant and an indication of the obligation is listed below:

  • Lesson preparation (varies)
  • Planning meetings, generally after school (approximately 5 hours in total)
  • Commitment Masses (Saturday/Sunday) (approximately 3 hours)
  • Three Parent Information evenings (3 hours)
  • Lessons for each of the 3 sacraments (approximately 18 hours)
  • Two Retreat Days (generally 9am-3pm)
  • Celebration of each Sacrament (3 hours)

Areas for Future Development
The key area of development is to identify a suitable person to perform the role of Parish Catechist.
New Members
The Parish seeks a Catechist who:

  • is a trained primary teacher;
  • has a clear understanding of theology;
  • can work within time constraints to prepare the parish children for the sacraments;
  • is approachable and friendly towards the families;
  • has good organisational and time management skills; and
  • is generous with time and committed to the ministry.

Parishioners can also assist by acting as Prayer Sponsors leading up to the reception of the sacraments.
Coordinator
Maureen Duke

Baptism Preparation

Specific Activities
The Group works with new parents on all aspects of the baptism of children, including:

  • Preparation Meeting for parents prior to the baptism of their first child;
  • Assisting at Baptism ceremonies;
  • Hospitality at Preparation Meetings;
  • Making the baptism stoles and putting symbols on them
  • Conducting the ‘Godstart’ Program, which involves sending birthday cards to children up till their fourth birthday.

Time Commitment Required by Members
The time commitment for these activities is:

  • Attendance at Preparation Meetings: approximately 1½ hours. Team members are rostered so usually only attend about three per year while Coordinators attend all meetings.
  • Stoles are made on a number of occasions throughout the year: approximately 12 hours for 60 stoles.
  • Attendance at Baptisms for Team Members: approximately three hours per year;
  • Updating material used: several hours, depending on the number of changes.
  • The time commitment for sending out birthday cards varies each month.

New Members
New members are welcome to help with a range of activities, including;

  • Following up inquiries;
  • Sending a letter to invite first-time parents to a Preparation Meeting and enclosing reading matter, ‘Your Baby’s Baptism’;
  • Visiting parents when necessary;
  • At the Preparation Meeting: Presenting/Operating the Data Projector/Hospitality;
  • Preparing Baptism Certificates and Leaflets for Godparents and keeping records up to date;
  • Preparing a package for the parents which includes a stole, Prayers of Intercession, Scripture Reading for the ceremony and a candle;
  • Making stoles and applying symbols.

Parishioners can also offer assistance for single events or tasks, such as helping with data projection at meetings or providing hospitality for preparation meetings.
Areas for Future Development
The Group will be working on some key themes:

  • To give participants in the Preparation Meeting a greater experience of community:
  • To enable participants to reflect on their experience of having a new child in their family and its meaning for them;
  • To provide an opportunity for parents to reflect on their own faith and hopefully to deepen it;
  • To provide an experience of ‘Church’ which may in some way touch those for whom the church has become irrelevant;
  • To put participants in touch with their own understanding of Baptism;
  • To help them to become familiar with the Baptism ceremony – emphasizing the words and symbols used;
  • To clarify the role of Godparents;
  • To take the ‘Godstart’ Program a step further by arranging meetings for the parents; and
  • To set up an annual ‘Get-Together’ for the parents of all whose children have been baptised during the year.

Coordinators
Sr Philippa Considine csb
Gail Ring

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

Specific Activities
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is the process of welcoming into our community those adults who are seeking faith. The community supports these inquirers by their own faith, prayer and support of those who wish to undertake the spiritual journey to Easter sacraments.
A small group gathers regularly over an extended period to journey with these inquirers. They:

  • offer welcome;
  • listen to the stories of the inquirers;
  • share their own faith with them, helping them learn to ponder the Word of God and so help the inquirers gradually to come to know the Jesus of the Gospels

Time Commitment Required by Members
When required the group meet fortnightly for about 1½ hours, usually in the early evening.
Areas for Future Development
The group has not been meeting over the past year as there were no inquirers seeking faith within our parish. The Holy Spirit draws to faith those who are open to its richness. It is our mission to encourage those who may be interested in our community and to bring them along.
New Members
New members are most welcome, and the group is always open to members of the Parish who may wish to share in the meetings from time to time.
Coordinator
Therese Lechte

Anointing of the Sick and Friendship Group

Specific Activities
Members provide refreshments at the monthly Anointing of the Sick Mass and assist with transport for parishioners when possible.
Time Commitment Required by Members
The Anointing of the Sick Mass is held on the third Tuesday of every month, and members generally help for approximately 3 hours.
New Members
New members are welcome, and parishioners can provide assistance for single events or tasks such as assisting with refreshments on a particular day or providing transport.
Coordinator
Marie Grafen