"Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit [vitae spiritualis ianua], and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: "Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word [no, 1213 Catechism of the Catholic Church].” Along with Eucharist and Confirmation, Baptism is one of the three sacraments of initiation which form the core of our Faith as they help us to begin and sustain our life in the Church. In the Roman Catholic Church, priests and deacons baptize. Baptism is a commitment to be an active member of the Church. Although it was not so in the early church, Baptism is most often administered to infants. Aside from Lent, Baptisms are typically celebrated in our parish on the weekends immediately following Mass [although there are exceptions]. Parents who are anticipating the birth of the first child are required to take a Baptism preparation class prior to the baptism. For further information or to register, call 724 882 3065. Adults who seek to be baptized and become members of the Church are welcome to participate in the RCIA [Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults] Process.
Reconciliation / Penance
"Jesus calls us to conversion. This call is an essential part of the proclamation of the Kingdom: The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the Gospel... Jesus' call to conversion and penance, like the prophets before Him, does not aim at outward signs, but a conversion of heart [nos. 1427, 1430 Catechism of the Catholic Church.]" The Sacrament of Reconciliation, also known as Confession or Penance, was instituted by Christ for the forgiveness of sins, returning us to the state of grace necessary for reception of the Eucharist, the Body of Christ. This sacrament is celebrated in Our Lady, Queen of Peace Church every Saturday at 12 p.m., and in Saint James Church every Saturday at 3:30 p.m., as well as by appointment. We invite you to take advantage of the opportunity to experience God's love and forgiveness in this sacrament of healing.
Preparation for First Reconciliation
Traditionally, children in the second year of Faith Formation are considered at the age of discretion [around 7 years old] by the Catholic Church. Candidates for First Communion are to receive appropriate catechesis concerning the sacrament of Penance and are to be helped to develop and examine their consciences as they are led to celebrate sacramental reconciliation in readiness for Eucharist. Therefore, children enrolled in the Faith Formation Program, as well as children enrolled in Catholic schools will begin preparation for the sacrament of Reconciliation while they are in the second grade. Parents must recognize the unique role they share in the Christian formation of their children, especially in regards to moral development. For this reason, we hold a parent meeting before formal preparation begins to explain the program to parents who intend to have their children receive the sacrament. We hope that by using this sacramental program, we can assist our second graders as they deepen their personal experience of faith and journey toward conversion. For further information about First Reconciliation, please call Pamela McCauley at 724 882 3065.
"At the Last Supper, on the night He was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of His Body and Blood. This He did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until He should come again, and to entrust to His beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of His death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us [no. 1322 Catechism of the Catholic Church]." "The Eucharist is 'the source and summit of the Christian Life.' The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ Himself, our Pasch [no. 1324 Catechism of the Catholic Church]."
First Eucharist Preparation
Preparation for First Eucharist is a rooted in the family and the parish community. Those who were baptized in the Catholic Church as infants are to be led to eucharistic communion when they reach the use of reason [generally the age of seven]. Thus, children typically begin their formal faith formation to receive First Eucharist as they enter the second grade. After a period of catechesis, followed by a retreat, the children receive the Eucharist for the first time [typically] on the Fourth Sunday of Easter at the Sunday Mass. For more information about preparing for reception of First Eucharist for your child, parents are invited to call Pamela McCauley at 724 478 4958.
Communion for the Homebound
Parish members who are ill or otherwise unable to celebrate Mass each Sunday because or injury or recovery from surgery may request to receive Holy Communion in the home. Father Vincent and parish Eucharistic Ministers distribute Communion to the homebound on the first Friday of each month. For more information on this ministry please call the parish office at 724 882 3065.
Confirmation is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation. As a sacrament, Confirmation verifies the life of the Holy Spirit in the baptized believer. Confirmation completes the process begun at Baptism by initiating young adults into the Church, which is the Spirit-filled community of faith. One who is seeking to receive the sacrament of Confirmation must be a baptized Catholic. Confirmation represents a mature Christian commitment and deepened understanding of faith since first being baptized. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit, and connects parishioners more intimately with God. In the Diocese of Greensburg, those who were baptized into the Catholic Church as infants are normally confirmed when they reach the 8th grade. Our parish's Confirmation program is designed to encourage the candidate to respond to the needs of the parish and the community with his/her interests and talents. For more information about preparing for confirmation please contact Pamela McCauley at 724 882 3065.
Our parish is available for weddings on Fridays evenings and Saturday afternoons. All weddings must be confirmed with the parish office at least six (6) months in advance of the ceremony. No weddings may be scheduled to take place on Sundays, during Lent, or on Holy Days of Obligation. Other exclusions may apply. Any required documentation is to be completed by the priest who will officiate at the ceremony. The pastor of our parish will celebrate the weddings of parish members only. Non-parishioners are to provide a priest or deacon for the ceremony, with the permission of the pastor of our parish. All paperwork, along with permissions and dispensations, must be on file in the Parish Office at least eight (8) weeks before the scheduled wedding date. Please keep in mind that when dispensations or permissions are required [as in the case of interfaith marriages], it may take a longer period of time until all forms are completed. After reserving a desired date, the bridal couple is required to complete all preliminary marriage forms and return them with the total deposit within two (2) weeks. The reservation is not considered to be confirmed until the deposit has been received. The deposit should be in the form of a check made payable to the parish. Click here for a complete listing of the parish Wedding Policy.
Anointing of the Sick
The purpose of the Sacrament of Anointing is to help those who are in need of healing of body, mind or spirit. Anointing is a way of uniting the sufferings of Christ with the sufferings of the sick. If you, or someone you care about is sick, dealing with the problems that come with aging, facing surgery, or struggling with a mental or emotional problem, we invite you to receive the Lord’s healing and strength in this sacrament. Several times each year the sacrament is celebrated communally after various weekend Masses. Individuals may also call the parish office to make other arrangements to receive the sacrament, especially if they are aware of an upcoming medical procedure or hospitalization. Those who have been admitted to the hospital are welcome to call the parish office at 724-478-4958 or contact the hospital chaplain to receive the sacrament.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders is seen from the perspective of service in and to the Church, God’s holy people. Called by God, those who feel the stirring of the Holy Spirit to this life may be interested in pursuing their vocation as a deacon or priest. Deacons participate in the sacramental life of the Church as ministers, and are the helpers of the local bishop in the work of charity and justice. Permanent deacons are men who may be married and hold a job in the secular world, as well as offer their service to the Church. Training for this “order” happens over the course of several years. Those who are to be advanced to the Order of Presbyters [priesthood], are also ordained to the diaconate, but are called temporary or transitional deacons. After a period of ministry in the office of deacons, usually six months to one year, transitional deacons are ordained by the bishop as priests. Priests are given a three-fold office to lead, teach and sanctify the People of God. If you feel you or someone you know has a vocation of the diaconate or priesthood we encourage you to speak with a deacon or priest who will be happy to direct you.