Common Enquries

FIRST COMMUNION

When can my child receive Holy Communion?

As Catholics we believe that Holy Communion is not just a “wafer” or a piece of bread but the true body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore the act of receiving Holy Communion is something sacred and to be carried out with great reverence.

When children reach the “age of reason”, Catholic children should prepare to receive their first Holy Communion. The first Holy Communion programme in the parish runs from October to May for children in Year 3 at school or above. Notices are given at Mass and in the parish newsletter from September.

If you miss all of these notices, it is an indication that you should begin to practise the Catholic faith, together with your child, (including Sunday Mass each week) to ensure that your child is properly disposed to begin preparing for first Holy Communion. It is essential the child to be practicing before receiving First Holy Communion.

BAPTISM

How do I arrange a Baptism?

One or both parents should come to see the parish priest, Fr Marcus on Friday evening between 6pm-7pm. You do not need to telephone or make an appointment. If this time is unsuitable please make an appointment by phoning 01843 592071

How soon should I have my child baptised?

Children should be baptised within the first weeks after birth. You are very welcome to come and arrange a date for the Baptism before the child is born. (The priest will then also be able to give the blessing for an expectant mother and pray for the safe delivery of the child.) It is wrong to put off the Baptism simply in order to have a more elaborate celebration party afterwards. It is better to have the Baptism sooner and make the celebrations more simple. You could then always have a big party for the child’s first birthday if you wish.

I am not married. Can my child be baptised?

Yes. A child may be baptised so long as there is a well-founded hope that they will be brought up in the practice of the Catholic faith. If you have any questions about marriage in the Catholic Church, please ask the priest because there are often misunderstandings in this area.

I do not live in the parish. Can I have my child baptised in Ramsgate and Minster Parish?

Yes, if you regularly come to Mass here. If you are not coming to Mass, you need to decide which will be the Church you are going to start attending. It will usually be more appropriate (and more convenient) for you to start going to Mass at your local parish and to arrange the Baptism there.

How many Godparents should we have?

The Church’s Canon Law states that there should be one or two Godparents. If there are two, they should be a Godfather and a Godmother.

Who can be Godparents?

Godparents must be Catholics over 16 years of age who themselves regularly come to Mass.

What about non-Catholics?

Alongside the Catholic Godparent(s), a non-Catholic who is a baptised Christian may stand as a Christian witness, similar to a Godparent. The important thing to remember is that Godparents must be able to affirm the Creed. In other words, they state solemnly that they believe in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, they believe that Jesus rose from the dead and they believe in the Catholic Church.

Neither I nor my spouse is Catholic. Can our child(ren) be baptised Catholics?

Only if one of the parents decides to become a Catholic themselves. This is a process which involves prayer, instruction and sharing in the life of the Catholic community over several months at least. (See: Becoming a Catholic.) The most appropriate conclusion to this process is for the family to be baptised together. Please ask the priest for further details.

Are there places in the Catholic school?

Catholic schools are often over-subscribed. Baptism alone will not be any guarantee of a place. First priority is always given to those who come regularly to Mass.

I had a child baptised but I never got a Baptism certificate. How can I get one?

Every parish keeps a Baptism register in its permanent archive. A certificate can always be provided for you by the parish where your child was Baptised. The easiest way to get one is to send a note to the Parish Priest. Give the child’s full name, date of birth and date of baptism and enclose a stamped addressed envelope.

Please note

  • If the name has changed, be sure to give both the present name and the name at the time of the baptism.
  • If you do not know the date of the Baptism, say roughly when it was, the year and, if possible, the month.
  • If the child was adopted, you will be referred to the Adopted Children’s Register which is held by the Archdiocese. But the Parish Priest may give a brief note to affirm that the child was baptised, if this is necessary for an application to a Catholic school.

 

CONFIRMATION

How do I get confirmed? How does my son or daughter get confirmed?

Confirmation is a precious gift of grace won for us by Jesus Christ through his death on the cross. So if you wish your child to be Confirmed, you need to ensure that they receive this gift in the right way. Your family needs to be practising your Catholic faith. This means at the very least that you should be coming to Mass every Sunday. You also need to keep free all the dates in the Confirmation programme. Most important of all, you must help your child to prepare seriously and actively to receive the sacrament.

Young people

Families are invited to enroll young people in Year 8 or above and are invited to join the Confirmation Programme each year.

If you miss all of the notices that are given in Church over a two month period, it is an indication that you need to begin to practise the Catholic faith, together with your child, (including Sunday Mass each week) to ensure that your child is properly disposed to begin preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation, perhaps next year.

It is not possible to enroll candidates for the programme after it has started.

Adults

Adults who have not been Confirmed should contact the Parish Priest and arrangements will be made for them to receive the sacrament and the necessary preparation which proceeds it.

MASSES

How do I have a mass said?

It is possible to request a mass for a specific intention (which will be printed in the newsletter and announced at the mass). The intention is the priests personal offering and prayer as he offer the Holy Sacrifice. It is customary to make a donation of 10 pounds when making a request although no-one would be refused an intention if they could not afford it. If you would like to have a mass offered then please take a designated brown envelope from the back of church and fill in the relevant details, alternatively contact the parish secretary on ramsgateandminster@gmail.com or telephone 01843 592071 on Tuesday or Friday mornings.

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