The Essentials of Being a Devout (Practicing) Catholic

As a Catholic, basically we are required to live a Christian life, pray daily, participate in the sacraments, obey the moral law, and accept the teachings of Christ and his Church. Following are the minimum requirements for Catholics:

  • Attend Mass every Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation
  • Go to confession annually if not more often or when needed.
  • Receive Holy Communion during the Easter season. Receiving weekly or daily is encouraged.
  • Observe laws of fasting and abstinence: one full meal on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday; not eating meat on Fridays during Lent.
  • Obey the marriage laws of the Church
  • Support the Church financially and otherwise

Knowing the faith is the first step to being Catholic, accepting the faith is the second step, and practicing the faith is the third - and most difficult - step. Obeying the rules involves appreciating the wisdom and the value of the various rules and laws, And, we are asked to put that belief into action, to practice what we believe.

 

 

Confirmation

The preparation for Confirmation is a two year program. Children are expected to attend Mass and Religious Education classes on a regular basis. Only two classes may be missed per year. Parents are expected to attend all meeting and activities related to their child's/children's preparation. If a child has persistent absences of two or more times, the student, parents, and the pastor should be notified in order for intervention and discussion to get to the bottom of the issue. The DRE and those teaching in Confirmation preparation programs recommend candidates for Confirmation. The decision concerning who is or who is not to be confirmed always belongs to the pastor.

Baptism

Parents and Godparents should attend a pre-baptism class: this can be arranged with the pastor. The best time for the class is before the child is born. At least one parent should be a practicing Catholic. Godparents must be practicing Catholics. If they are members of another parish, their pastor should provide a letter of verification. One godparent is required; if there are two godparents they must be a godmother and a godfather. A practicing, non-Catholic may be admitted as a Christian witness in place of one godparent. 

Celebration of the Sacraments

Sacraments are intended to be celebrated in the context of a faith community and should be protected from any taint of superstition. The celebration of any sacrament presumes the practice of faith, which, in the case of Baptism, give the church "reasonable hope that the child will be raised in the practice of the Faith." It does a disservice to the sacrament when it is celebrated without the serious intention of practicing one's faith. Parish registration helps to insure that individuals are an active part of a faith community and affords them the opportunity, not only through their financial contributions but also through their active contributions. Keeping these things in mind, anyone preparing to receive a sacrament or wanting verification of parish membership to be a godparent should be an active parish member for a minimum of six months.

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