What is Baptism?
On behalf of St. Bernard Catholic Church, congratulations! We know this is an exciting time for you as you welcome a new member of your family. We rejoice with you and invite you to make your child also a member of Christ’s Body by bringing them into the Church through the Sacrament of Baptism.
Baptism is the first of three Sacraments of Initiation whereby a person becomes a member of the Church. These three sacraments taken together "lay the foundations of every Christian life" (CCC 1212) and Baptism as the first of these initial sacraments is "the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments" (CCC 1213). In his encounter with Nicodemus, Jesus said that "no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit" (John 3:5) signifying the sacrament of Baptism which he would institute. It was in his own baptism by St. John the Baptist that Jesus purified the waters of the earth preparing them to be a vessel of God's grace. It was in his suffering, death, and resurrection that Jesus opened the fountain of Baptism to all people. Baptism was fully instituted as a sacrament when Jesus commissioned his apostles to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19).
The Effects of Baptism
The first effect of the Sacrament of Baptism is the washing away of original sin and the forgiveness of all personal sins if the person being baptized is old enough to have committed any personal sins. Just as we use water to wash our bodies from dirt, the waters of baptism wash our souls from spiritual dirt or sin.
The second effect of Baptism is being made a new creature by being reborn through water and the Holy Spirit. In baptism, the Holy Spirit descends upon the person and takes up residence in his soul. Thus, Baptism makes us the dwelling place of the Most Blessed Trinity and a holy temple of God. Due to original sin, we are deprived of the divine life of the Holy Spirit. But when this original stain is washed away, we are born anew and made adopted children of God.
The third effect of Baptism is being made members of the Church, the Body of Christ, and the family of God, and unites us to all the baptized throughout the world.
Finally, Baptism leaves an indelible (permanent) mark on our soul which identifies us as being configured to Christ and sealed with the sign of faith. This mark can never be removed.
Before having your child baptized, there are several things you will need to do.
First, you will need to download and complete the Baptism Form (see below). This includes a basic information form as well as a Parent Testimonial form to be signed by the Catholic parent(s) stating that they will raise the child in the Catholic faith and two Godparent Testimonial forms to be signed by the godparents stating that they meet the criteria listed on the form in order to be a godparent and that they will help the parents raise the child in the Catholic faith.
Both the parents and godparents will then need to complete a baptismal seminar if this is their first child to be baptized at St. Bernard Church. These are held at the St. Bernard Church Office. Contact our office for more information.
Once this is complete, a date can be set for your child's Baptism. Our regularly scheduled Baptisms occur on the second weekend of the month following the 11:00 AM Mass on Sunday.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a baptism, please contact us at 337-332-2159
If you are an adult and are interested in being baptized, please contact Emmaline Thibodeaux at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling us at 337-332-2159.
What is Confirmation?
By now it has probably been many years since you or your child was baptized into the Catholic faith and became an adopted child of God. At our Baptism, the Holy Spirit descended upon us, filled us with divine life, and transformed us into a temple of the Holy Spirit. Confirmation completes the grace of Baptism as we are enriched by a special outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands and anointing by the bishop, which seals and confirms the baptized in union with Christ as they are sent forth to bear witness to Christ by word and example. As St. Ambrose says, "Recall then that you have received the spiritual seal, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the spirit of holy fear in God’s presence. Guard what you have received. God the Father has marked you with his sign; Christ the Lord has confirmed you and has placed his pledge, the Spirit, in your hearts."
In the Diocese of Lafayette, Confirmation takes place in the eleventh grade of high school. Confirmation at St. Bernard Church usually takes place in the Spring. All those to be confirmed must attend our Confirmation Preparation program which takes place on select Sundays from 6:00 pm until 7:30 pm beginning in the Fall prior to the date of Confirmation.
For more information and for a physical copy of the Registration packet, please visit our office. We plan begin online registration soon.
If you would like more information about our Confirmation program, please contact Christine Angelle by calling the office at 337-332-2159.
If you are an adult and are interested in being confirmed, we offer adult confirmation twice a year. The program consists of three Saturday classes prior to the weekend of Confirmation. If you are interested in being confirmed as an adult, please call the office at 337-332-2159.
WHAT IS THE RECONCILIATION?
“Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against Him and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which, by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1422)
The sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance is known by several names:
The “sacrament of Penance” expresses the way it consecrates the Christian sinner’s personal and ecclesial steps of conversion, penance, and satisfaction” (CCC, 1423).
The “sacrament of confession” refers to the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest as an essential element of this sacrament. In a profound sense it is also a “confession”—acknowledgment and praise—of the holiness of God and of his mercy toward sinful man.
The “sacrament of forgiveness” illustrates how the priest’s sacramental absolution God grants the penitent “pardon and peace.”
The “sacrament of Reconciliation” is another name because it imparts to the sinner the love of God who reconciles: “Be reconciled to God.” He who lives by God’s merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord’s call: “Go; first be reconciled to your brother” (CCC, 1424).
The Lord Jesus Christ, physician of our souls and bodies, who forgave the sins of the paralytic and restored him to bodily health, has willed that his Church continue, in the power of the holy Spirit, his work of healing and salvation, even among her own members. This is the purpose of the two sacraments of healing: the sacrament of Penance and the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. (CCC, 1421).
Preparing for Reconciliation
Despite the feelings of many Catholics who consider the sacrament of Reconciliation either unnecessary or frightening, the fact remains that few things could be more necessary for our salvation than this humbling sacrament. Many people have avoided celebrating the sacrament, sometimes for years at a time, because they “don’t know what to do.” The following brief explanation is intended for a person who has not been to confession in some time. The person who is going to confession is called a “penitent” because he or she wishes to do penance and to turn away from sin.
PreparING FOR RECONCILIATION
Before going to confession, the penitent compares his or her life with the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, and the example of Christ and then prays to God for forgiveness. An Examination of Conscience can be found here.
Going to Confession
Reconciliation may be face-to-face or anonymous, with a screen between you and the priest. Choose the option that is the most comfortable for you.
The priest welcomes the penitent and then both make the sign of the cross, saying, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.” Next the priest briefly urges the penitent to have confidence in God.
If the penitent is unknown to the priest, it is proper for the penitent to indicate his or her state of life, the time of the last confession, difficulties in leading the Christian life, and anything else that may help the confessor in exercising his ministry.
Confession of Sins and the Act of Penance
The penitent then confesses his or her sins. If necessary, the priest should help the penitent to make a complete confession and to have sincere sorrow for sins against God. The sorrow a penitent feels for his or her sins is known as contrition and must include an intent to sin no more and to avoid all future occasions of sin. Through confession of sins, the penitent looks squarely at the sins he is guilty of, takes responsibility for them, and thereby opens himself to His grace and to the communion of the Church in order to be forgiven of his sins.
The priest may then offer suitable counsel to help the penitent and, when appropriate, leads him or her to resolve to make appropriate penance or satisfaction. The penance corresponds to the seriousness and nature of the sins and may suitably take the form of prayer, self-denial, service to one’s neighbor, and works of mercy. Such a “penance” serves not only to make up for the past but also to help the penitent to begin a new life of grace.
The Act of Contrition
After this, the priest will ask the penitent to make a good Act of Contrition. The following is one example of the prayer:
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you, and I detest all my sins, because of your just punishment, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to sin no more, and to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen.
Absolution by the Priest
Following this prayer, the priest extends his hands, or at least his right hand, over the head of the penitent and pronounces the formula of absolution. As he says the final words he makes the sign of the cross over the head of the penitent:
God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. The penitent answers, “Amen.”
Dismissal of the Penitent
Then the priest tells the penitent to go in peace. The penitent responds with “Thanks be to God.” The penitent continues his or her conversion and expresses it by a life renewed according to the Gospel and more and more steeped in the love of God.
St. Bernard’s Confessional is located in the back left corner of the church
What is the Eucharist?
So Jesus said to them, “Amen, Amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven…I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever, and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (John 6:32, 51)
The Eucharist, the living and real presence of Jesus Christ, is the source and summit of the Christian Life. "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 so 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.'” (CCC, 1323).
Eucharistic Adoration enables the faithful to encounter Jesus Christ as physically present in the Blessed Sacrament. Our parish is blessed to have a perpetual adoration chapel.
If you would like to have a Mass offered for a particular intention, fill out this Mass Intention Form and turn it into the Office (email@example.com). If you have any questions, please contact the office at 337-332-2159.
If you know of a parishioner who cannot make it to Mass due to age, illness, or other circumstances and desires to receive the Eucharist, please call the office at 337-332-2159.
WHAT IS MATRIMONY?
“But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female. For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” (Mark 10:6-9)
On behalf of St. Bernard Church, congratulations on your engagement! We know this is a special time as God prepares your hearts to give yourselves totally to one another through the beauty of this holy sacrament.
Sacred Scripture opens with the story of the creation of man and woman, who are made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). This story reveals that God himself is the author of marriage. Marriage is a sign of God’s love for His Church and an unbreakable covenant. It is a covenant by which a man and a woman form an intimate communion of life and love with each other. Together a man and woman join in a lifetime partnership to support one another, to accept children lovingly from God, and to serve others in their capacity as husband and wife.
Because the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is such an amazing gift, St. Bernard Church seeks to preserve it with you and prepare you for your marriage. Marriage preparation must take place at least six months prior to the date of the wedding. Couples who celebrate the sacrament of matrimony at St. Bernard Church undergo preparation through Witness to Love. Learn more about Witness to Love here.
We also provide sacramental marriage preparation to couples seeking to validate or bless their civil union in the catholic church. Learn more about marriage preparation for couple's in civil unions here.
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the office at 337-332-2159.
WHAT ARE HOLY ORDERS?
“From the very beginning of the Church, there have been men and women who have renounced the great good of marriage to follow the Lamb wherever he goes, to be intent on the things of the Lord, to seek to please him, and to go out to meet the Bridegroom who is coming.” (CCC, 1618)
Jesus says, “There are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it.” (Mt. 19:12). The Lord calls men and women to follow him in an exclusive way through the sacrament of Holy Orders and consecrated life.
In the sacrament of Holy Orders, Jesus’ mission which he entrusted to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time. By being configured to the person of Christ the Head, priests share the one priesthood of Christ and so continue his redemptive work for all humanity.
Through consecrated life, the baptized propose to follow Jesus more closely, to give themselves over to God who is loved above all and, pursuing the perfection of charity in the service of the Kingdom, to signify and proclaim in the Church the glory of the world to come. (CCC, 916)
DO I HAVE A VOCATION?
If you believe God has placed the call to follow him through Holy Orders or consecrated life, you are encouraged to seek spiritual direction from one of our priests. You can also contact the diocesan vocation director Fr. Patrick Broussard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ANOINTING of the sick
WHAT IS THE ANOINTING OF THE SICK?
Is there anyone sick among you? He should ask for the presbyters of the church. They, in turn, are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. This prayer uttered in faith will reclaim the one who is ill, and the Lord will restore him to health. If he has committed any sins, forgiveness will be his. (James 5:14–15)
Some frequently asked questions about the sacrament:
Q: Who should receive the Anointing of the Sick?
A: Anyone who is ill, about to have or has had serious surgery, the chronically ill, those suffering terminal or other illnesses.
Q: When should the sacrament of the sick be administered?
A: It is not necessary to wait until a person is dying before calling a priest. The Anointing of the Sick “is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death” (CCC, 1514).
Q: I have been anointed in the past, and I am ill again. May I be anointed again?
A: If some time has passed and you are experiencing another illness, you may receive the sacrament again.
At St. Bernard Church, Anointing of the Sick is available upon request. Call the office at 337-332-2159. In case of an emergency after hours, press one for the emergency line.
The Rite of Christian Burial
Contact Sherry at (337) 332-2159 for questions concerning funeral arrangements.