Church law requires that parents requesting baptism for their child must be practicing Catholics and must attend a Baptism Class. Godparents also must be practicing Catholics and must present a letter from the pastor of their parish that they are Catholics in good standing. In the event that a godparents is not a practicing Catholic but has expressed a commitment to attend mass on a regular basis, a Baptism Class will be required. A child to be baptized must have at least one godparent who is Catholic. If there are two godparents, one must be male and the other female. In the event that a non-Catholic has requested to be a godparent, the parents of the child must assure that the other godparent is a practicing Catholic. A Baptism Class is offered on the first Thursday of every month or, in special cases, on other days. Please contact the parish office to schedule your baby’s baptism.
Couples wishing to be married in the Catholic Church are required to be practicing Catholics and should never set a date for their wedding until they have first met with the priest or deacon who is performing the ceremony. Diocesan law mandates that there must be a ten month waiting period between the time the couple meets with the priest or deacon and the wedding day. Couples must also participate in either Pre-Cana or Engaged Encounter. These programs are offered by the Diocesan Family Life Office in Jacksonville. Please call 904-308-7474 to make an appointment with one of these programs.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
Children who will be receiving their First Holy Communion must be in the 2nd grade or higher and must have had religious instruction the previous year, either through CCD or an approved Catholic home schooling program. Catholic home schooled children must attend CCD during the year they will receive Holy Communion.
The sacrament of confirmation is administered by the bishop of the diocese every two years. Candidates for confirmation must be in the 7th grade or higher. Sponsors must be practicing Catholics and have reached their 16th birthday. They must also have received the sacrament of confirmation. In addition, it is desirable that the sponsors have been the candidates’ baptismal godparents. Candidates must have had religious instruction in the previous year, either through CCD or an approved Catholic home schooling program.
RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS (R.C.I.A.)
Adults who wish to become Catholics are required to attend weekly RCIA classes. There are three classifications of attendees in RCIA.
Catechumens are those who have never been baptized and are in need of full Christian initiation.
Candidates are those who were baptized in a non-Catholic faith and desire to receive Confirmation and Eucharist.
Catholics who were baptized but have never received Confirmation or Eucharist.
RCIA attendees will receive their sacraments at the Easter Vigil. Sponsors of catechumens or candidates must be at least 16 years old and must have received the Sacraments of Initiation.