Sacraments

The sacraments signify and make present the grace of God in our lives.

It’s no surprise, then, that they touch all the stages and important moments of our lives. An active sacramental life is vital to development in the Christian faith and as your local parish we are here to help you on this journey

Baptism

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. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in its mission.

Parents are responsible for bringing their child to the Sacrament of Baptism as soon after birth as possible.

In order that a child be baptized, at least one parent must consent, or someone legally standing in their place, and that there must be a reasonable hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic Faith.

GODPARENTS: A person may only have one or two godparents (also called sponsors). In order for someone to be eligible as a godparent they must be chosen by the parents, have the ability and the intention to fulfill the role, be at least 16 years of age, and be a confirmed Roman Catholic, who has already received the Most Holy Eucharist, is leading a life in harmony with the Catholic Faith (including Marriage) and will be a good role model for the one being baptized, and be neither the father or mother of the child.

A baptized person who belongs to another Christian community may be admitted only as a “Christian witness” (not a godparent) provided there is at least one Roman Catholic godparent who fulfills the above criteria. A non-baptized person cannot be a witness.

If you are an adult seeking to be baptized we are excited that you have heard God’s call and we look forward to working with you through the Right of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) program.

If you’re interested in baptizing your child, completed the registration form, bring it and a copy of the child’s birth certificate to the rectory. Parents and godparents/sponsors are required to attend Pre -Baptismal class.

Baptisms take place on the last Saturday or Sunday of the month.

Baptism Registration Form (Download PDF)

Reconciliation

When he celebrates the sacrament of Reconciliation, or Penance, the priest is fulfilling the ministry of the Good Shepherd who seeks the lost sheep and of the Father who welcomes home the prodigal son on his return. The priest is the sign and the instrument of God’s merciful love for the sinner.

At St. Patrick’s, we celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation thirty minutes prior to Mass on Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning, and any time by appointment.

Participating in the sacrament of Reconciliation is quite simple:

After examining your conscience and telling God of your sorrow, go into the confessional. You may kneel at the screen or sit to talk face-to-face with the priest.

  1. Begin your confession with the sign of the cross, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. My last confession was_____weeks (months, years) ago.”
  2. Say the sins that you remember. Start with the one(s) that is most difficult to say. (In order to make a good confession the faithful must confess all mortal sins, according to kind and number.) After confessing all the sins you remember since your last good confession, you may conclude by saying, “I am sorry for these and all the sins of my past life.”
  3. Listen to the words of the priest. He will assign you some penance. Doing the penance will diminish the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven. When invited, express some prayer of sorrow or Act of Contrition such as:
    O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell. But most of all because I have offended you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.__

Above all, do not worry the priest will help.

Mass/Eucharist

•   Mass Etiquette

  • Fast one hour before Mass
  • Cross yourself with Holy Water upon entering and leaving the church
  • Genuflect toward the Tabernacle when first entering and last leaving your pew
  • Men remove your hat
  • Dress modestly and appropriately
  • No food and drink in church
  • Turn off or silence cell phones
  • Please be quiet while in church
  • Take loud children to the back
  • Respect other boundaries
  • Bow before receiving Holy Communion
  • Do not leave early

•   Receiving Holy Communion

Catholics are encouraged to receive Communion devoutly and frequently. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord without prior sacramental confession.

Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of other Christian churches are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion. We welcome to this celebration those who do not share our faith in Jesus Christ. While we cannot admit them to Holy Communion, we ask them to offer their prayers for the peace and the unity of the human family. All who are not receiving Holy Communion are encouraged to express in their hearts a prayerful desire for unity with the Lord Jesus and with one another.

•   Eucharist for the Homebound

Contact the rectory to arrange for Holy Communion to be brought to any homebound parishioner.

•   Requesting a Mass

It is a time honored Catholic tradition to have Masses said in honor of a particular person. You can request a Mass to be said for a living or deceased family member, friend or loved one by contacting the rectory at 282 Suffolk Street, telephone: 978-459-0561.

Confirmation

In the Sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized person is “sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit” and is strengthened for service to the Body of Christ.

Traditionally, young men and woman of the Parish are confirmed as they complete their religious education. Confirmation customarily takes place once a year when the bishop comes to administer the sacrament.

Marriage

Holy Matrimony is a sacrament that expresses the unbreakable bond between Christ and his people. 

If you are a parishioner and are interested in getting married at St. Patrick’s, please arrange for an initial interview. This interview should take place at least six months prior to your desired wedding date. To begin the process contact the parish office: 



St. Patrick Parish 
282 Suffolk Street
Lowell, MA 10854
Telephone: 978-459-0561

Anointing the Sick

The Rite of Anointing tells us there is no need to wait until a person is at the point of death to receive the Sacrament. A careful judgment about the serious nature of the illness is sufficient.

When the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given, the hoped-for effect is that, if it be God’s will, the person be physically healed of illness. But even if there is no physical healing, the primary effect of the Sacrament is a spiritual healing by which the sick person receives the Holy Spirit’s gift of peace and courage to deal with the difficulties that accompany serious illness or the frailty of old age.

Please advise the parish office of gravely ill parishioners.

Quinceanera/Sweet Sixteen

While not a sacrament of the Church, this is a common practice for many communities and ethnic groups. You can contact the parish office for an interview and to begin the planning process.