- First Eucharist
- Anointing of the sick
- Sacraments of Commitment, Ordination and Marriage
Sacramental preparation will be done by catechists in our parish
What is a catechist ?
This strange and for some people difficult to pronounce word is de name of those fellow-parishioners who perform the ministry of catechesis, which is the instruction and education of children, young people and adults in the faith, through the teaching of Catholic doctrine in a systematic way to make them disciples of Christ. Some of them are preparing parents who ask BAPTISM for their children, and remind them that the parents are the first catechists. The parish-catechists are only giving a helping hand. Other catechists prepare the children for the first RECONCILIATION and FIRST HOLY COMMUNION, year One and year Two. The parish even offers a POST-COMMUNION class. Then there is CONFIRMATION year One and year Two, and also a POST-CONFIRMATION. The Catholic education goes on and on. For those who are planning a Christian marriage (marriage in the Church) the Center for Catechesis offers twice a year a PRE-CANA COURSE, referring to Cana in Galilee, where Jesus attended a wedding, according to the gospel. Finally there is also the R.C.I.A. (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) for those adults who want to become Catholics. To top it off : there is even a RCIA-YOUTH, for young people who never got the chance to be baptized, and confirmed and who never did their first Holy Communion, but who now feel to follow Jesus and to become a Catholic. Support our catechists who are working hard for the English-, Spanish-, and Creole-speaking parishioners for the glory of God.
REQUIREMENTS OF INFANT BAPTISM FROM 0-7 YEARS OLD
1)“Only one male or one female sponsor or one of each sex is to be employed.” (Canon 873) When there are two, one must be male and the other female. Godparents must meet all of the following criteria, which are established by the universal church law and which do not vary from place to place. Godparents must:
a.have completed their sixteenth year of age (Canon 874, #2)
b.be active, practicing Roman Catholics
c.have been baptized, having made their First Communion and Confirmation within the Roman Catholic Rite, “leading a life in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken,” by living a life consistent with their own baptismal vows.
d.not be the father or the mother of the one to be baptized.
2)Must show proof of religion (Certificates or Letter from Parish Priest when coming from abroad)
3)Must present a copy of any form of picture ID.
4)One baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community, and is an active and participating member of their faith community (provided they are not a former Catholic) can participate within the service (example lighting the candle, holding the baby, etc.), but is admitted as a Christian witness to the baptism, with the Catholic sponsor’s name being the only one on the Catholic Baptism Certificate.
5)Must attend the two sessions on the Sacrament of Baptism and the Liturgy presented on the two Thursdays before the baptism, 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm, which is then valid for ONE YEAR if they are asked to be a godparent to another child.
1)One parent MUST BE Catholic (because there must be a “founded hope that the infant/child be brought up in the Roman Catholic Faith...”) (Canon 868)
2)Proof of religion of Catholic parent must be provided (anything official which states the Roman Catholic religion)
3)A copy of picture ID must also be provided (both parents if necessary)
4)If a guardian is responsible for the child(ren), a legal document of guardianship must be submitted
5)Parents/Guardians must attend the two sessions on the Sacrament of Baptism and the Liturgy presented on the two Thursdays before the baptism, 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm, which is then valid for ONE YEAR if they are asked to be a godparent to another child.
1)Once all the documents are submitted, then a baptism date and the mandatory classes will be scheduled.
2)All documents submitted must be originals.
3)The witnesses (non Catholic) are also invited to attend the two baptism sessions held on Thursdays in the parish hall, Philipsburg from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm along with the parents and godparents.
4)Normally, in the Season of Lent, there are no baptisms, only in case of emergency.
5)After the parents have presented all the required documents and have read the above information, they are required to sign the parish book stating they have received and understand the above information.
6)Parents/Guardians will be asked to purchase the Candle, White garment and the Booklet "Welcomed by Name, Our Child's Baptism.” All 3 items are available on the island at the Catholic Bookstore, Front Street. The parents and godparents can take the booklets with them to the preparation classes. In the booklet, parents and godparents will find information and prayers to help them as First Teachers and Role Models of their child/godchild after the celebration of the Sacrament.
7)An envelop will be given at the first baptism class for the offering/stipend for the sacrament of Baptism. Parents/Guardians are asked to make an offering that is to their discretion. They are invited to return their contribution at the second baptism class or to the catechist or priest on the day of baptism. If for whatever reason this was not possible, they may also place it in the collection basket at one of the following Masses.
Baptism classes for children between 8 and 13 years old will be given on Saturdays. The candidates should register at the Center of Catechesis before September.
Baptism for teenagers and adults will be organized in the RCIA program.
Registration at the moment is ongoing for:
RCI-children/ Youth: for children and youth under 18 years, who are desirous to join the Catholic church;
RCIA: for Adults who are desirous to join the Catholic Church.
First Eucharist is celebrated with children who are in group 5 after they have completed the necessary instruction at the Catholic schools or the parish program. Candidates for First Holy Communion and their parents are to participate in the Sunday Eucharist., There are two Sacraments of Healing: Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick
Registration continues for
Pre-First Communion: For children in group 1,2,3,(former K1,2,and grade1);
First Communion/First Reconciliation: For children, in group 4,5,6,7,8, ( former grade 2,3,4,5,6);
Post-Communion: for children who have done their F. Communion/F. Reconciliation:
Confirmation is celebrated annually in the parish. Children as well as adults are to prepare for the sacrament by obtaining proper instructions. Candidates for the Sacrament of Confirmation should be in Highschool and up. Registration for the Sacrament of Confirmation is in September at the Center of Catechesis. The annual date for the celebration of the Sacrament of confirmation is set by the Bishop after consultation with the parish.
Registration continues for
Confirmation: for children who have done their F. Communion/F. Reconciliation and are in Secondary School.;
Post- Confirmation: for children who have done their Confirmation and are in Secondary School.;
The Sacrament of Reconciliation before Sunday Mass for those who request it; or make an appointment. Reconciliation, formerly called confession, is celebrated prior to First Holy Communion. The sacrament is also available in the parish upon request and on Saturday afternoons 5:15-5:45 (Philipsburg). Penitential services with individual confession and absolution are offered during Lent and Advent.
Anointing of the Sick is celebrated upon request with those who are in danger of death because of a serious illness or old age. The parish priest should be notified of Catholics who are hospitalized for serious medical reasons so that the sacrament might be celebrated with them.
Marriage is a sacrament of commitment between husband and wife. All Catholics are expected to be married in the Church and not just by the state. The parish requires all who intend to get married to notify the parish at least three months ahead of time (preferably six months) so that the necessary preparation can be made. They are also required to participate in a parish marriage preparation course scheduled twice a year (February and August). Marriages are celebrated in St. Martin of Tours parish not only for couples living on the Island of St. Maarten, but also for couples living off island (e.g. USA, the Netherlands). In both cases the necessary paper work and preparation is required and must be completed before the marriage celebration. Parish guidelines are also provided to each couple.
DOCUMENTATION IN PREPARATION FOR MARRIAGE
- Baptismal Certificates of the bride and groom
- Affidavit of Free to Marry Status for both bride and groom. Copy of annulment decree or divorce decree, if applicable
- Statement that the couple has made the Pre-Cana preparation course or its equivalent
- Letter from the pastor of the bride indicating that he grants the priest of St. Martin of Tours Parish in Sint Maarten or another priest appointed by the pastor to perform the wedding (called Delegation)
- The pre-nuptial inventory as done in local parish
- Names of the two Catholic witnesses (please print)
- Copy of the civil marriage license (obtained before the church marriage)
- Completed wedding planner for St. Martin of Tours Parish
THIS MATERIAL MAY BE DELIVERED OR MAILED TO THE PARISH IN ST. MAARTEN. IF MAILED FROM OVERSEAS, USE FEDEX SERVICE. IF A MARRIAGE SERVICE COMPANY IS WORKING WITH YOU, THAT COMPANY MUST SUPPLY THE PASTOR WITH ALL THE NECESSARY DOCUMENTATION.