Frequently Asked Questions
What are parish office hours?
Ordinarily, the rectory office is staffed Monday through Thursday by our secretary from 9 AM until 7 PM, and by high school staff until 6:30 PM on Friday. On Saturdays, the hours are by appointment. On the Sabbath, the office is closed.
Why is it important to register in a parish?
Every Catholic is obliged to register in and become an active member of the parish within whose boundaries he or she lives. Registration gives the diocese an accurate assessment of the size of the parish, which assures that enough priests are assigned to meet the pastoral needs of the parish. It is also important when a person needs a letter certifying that they meet the requirements to stand as a sponsor/godparent, when it comes time to set up a wedding, when a child reaches school age, and many other occasions. Just because you went to school in a given parish does not mean you belong there forever. Once you move out of the boundaries, you must register in your new parish.
How do I register at Saint Martha’s?
Because we want our people to be participating in the Sunday Eucharist, we are happy to meet with you after any Sunday Mass (including the Saturday Vigil) to register in the parish.
I have been away from the Church for a long while. How do I “come back?”
Every priest is thrilled when someone who has been away from the Church comes to Reconciliation. The priest goes into “low gear” and makes the person as relaxed as possible, and welcomes him/her back gently in the Name of Christ and His People. If you have issues you wish to discuss, or simply want to speak outside the confessional as part of returning to the practice of the Faith, just call the pastor; he will always make time for you.
I was taught by someone in Catholic High School years ago that you don’t have to go to Sunday Mass. Is that true?
That person did you as grave disservice. The Third Commandment of God requires that we attend Sunday Eucharist. It is a grave obligation, and therefore deliberately omitting this action is a grave offense, and Reconciliation is necessary before we receive Holy Communion. Parents who prevent their dependent children from coming to Sunday Mass through laziness or antipathy are guilty of a grave offense. However, remember that the offense must be deliberate. If you are ill, if the weather and travel is dangerous, if you are impeded from going to Mass through no fault of your own, you may excuse yourself from Mass.
How do I set up baptism for my child?
It is expected that the parents are registered and practicing members of the parish. Parents, at the time of a child’s Baptism, pledge to Almighty God that they will raise the child in the practice of the Faith, so they must be practicing the Faith themselves. To set up a date for Baptism, speak to one of the priests or deacon after Mass on Sunday. He will set the date and gather necessary information, and give you the date for the next Pre-Jordan class.
How would I set up a wedding?
The proper form of marriage for any marriage involving a Catholic is before an authorized Catholic priest and two witnesses. Without prior permission to do otherwise, any other marriage involving a Catholic is not valid according to Church Law.
If both parties are Catholic, the celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage takes place in either the church of the bride or the groom. If you wish to marry in Saint Martha Church, call and speak to one of the priests who will guide you through the whole process of preparation to receive the Sacrament of Marriage.
What are the requirements to stand as a godparent/sponsor?
The proposed sponsor must be 16 years of age, not be a parent of the person he/she is sponsoring, must have received the Initiation sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist), must attend Mass faithfully and receive the sacraments, must live a life in conformity to Catholic moral teachings and iof married must be married licitly according to Church Law and practice.
How do I get a sponsorship certificate?
If you stop by the rectory during regular office hours, you will be given an affidavit to fill out in which you attest that you fulfill all the above requirements. One of the pastoral staff will then sign and seal this affidavit, which becomes your certificate.
How do I get copies of baptismal or confirmation certificates?
Call the parish secretary, with the required information (name, date of birth, parents’ names, etc.) and the certificate will be prepared for you in a timely manner.
May I receive Communion in a non-Catholic Church? May a non-Catholic receive Communion in our Church?
The short answer is “no.” Our Catholic Faith believes and teaches that the Eucharist is not a mere symbol, but the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, Whose Real Presence endures after the celebration of the Eucharist. Other churches do not share our belief in the Eucharist, and also do not hold to many of the doctrines passed down through the ministry of the Apostles through the centuries. Since we believe that the Eucharist not only reinforces our unity, but is also a sign of unity of faith which already is, we can not allow those who do not share our faith receive Communion at this time, nor should Catholics go to Communion in non-Catholic churches. All should pray for that unity of Faith which would one day make intercommunion a possibility, but we do not have that reality as yet, and pretending we do would perhaps curtail the efforts of those working so that “all may be one.”
How may I arrange for Holy Communion to be brought to a relative who is homebound?
Call the rectory. Sister Claire will arrange for a special minister of the Eucharist to visit each Sunday, and the pastoral staff visits the homebound monthly, to keep them in touch with the parish family.
How do I join a parish organization?
In the weekly bulletin (available online on this website) is a listing of the contact persons for the various groups and organizations in the parish. All our groups would love to have you as a member!
When should I receive the Anointing of the Sick?
The Anointing is given to those for whom serious illness becomes an obstacle to spiritual comfort and peace. If you are going into the hospital, ask the priest on the Sunday before to anoint you. The homebound are anointed when the priests visit them on their visits.
How often should I go to confession?
We are obligated to confess our sins when conscious of serious (mortal) sin. However, it is a salutary practice to confess even our lesser (venial) sins regularly. Certainly, the changing of the seasons should remind us to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
What are some possible signs of a vocation to the priesthood?
You should mention the possibility of priesthood as a calling from God to any young man who lives his Faith well, is an example of service and who shows interest in his parish and the things of God. Good health and the ability to handle college and graduate level work are needed requirements indications. If you suspect someone may have a calling, tell the pastor.