LORD'S DAY MASS TIMES
Saturday 5:00pm, Sunday 8:00am, 9:30am & 11:30am
 Weekday Mass Schedule:Please consult Bulletin.
Children's Ministry:  at 9:30 & 11:30a.m. Mass.
Reconciliation:Tues. 6:30-7:00pm, Sat. 4:00-4:30pm

St. Mary of the Visitation Parish

16 Cooper Street, Cambridge (Hespeler), Ontario     N3C 2N2
Tel:519.658.4443 Fax:519.658.6783 St.Vincent de Paul:519.658.6511
We are connected to our past, committed to our future, and compassionately focused on being a Family of Faith with something for everyone.

Sacraments

Message from Bishop Crosby 

The word "Sacramentum" means "a sign of the sacred". The Sacraments are ceremonies that point to what is sacred, and is required to attain grace. Sacraments are instruments used to attain sanctifying grace, the unmerited gift coming directly from God. If you learn more about the sacraments, you can celebrate them more fully. 

The Joy of the Sacraments

In the case of First Holy Communion and Confirmation, preparation occurs on three levels; family, school and parish. The schools play an invaluable role in helping the parish prepare for these celebrations. However, they are celebrations of the parish community, not the school, and as such, all inquiries and communication about Sacraments are done through the parish. Parents must request Sacraments for their children–they do not automatically happen because the child is in the Catholic school system.

Infant Baptism

The Christian Community of St Mary of the Visitation Parish is eager to welcome your child as a member of Godís family in Baptism. The celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism occurs regularly at our parish. The majority of our celebrations occur during Mass on a scheduled Lord's Day Mass. Please contact the parish office and the secretary will complete a preliminary form with you. You will then meet with our pastor and together a date is arranged with him.

It is a good idea to call several months in advance before the desired date of Baptism. Sometimes couples contact the parish office even before their baby has been born. For families unfamiliar with our parish, we encourage you to register, to become familiar by attending Mass regularly with our community and to seek Baptism after a time of preparation. Get to know us and let us get to know you. In either case, thank you for considering Baptism for your child. It's wonderful that you wish to share your faith with your child in this way. We offer an excellent Children's Ministry at the parish to assist families and parents in making the Lord's Day special. If we can help you in any way, please ask.

Teens or Adult Baptism or Confirmation (RCIA)

Our parish is blessed each year with several older children, teens and adults who consider receiving the Sacraments of the Church. In some cases these have been members of our other faith communities or Christian Churches and are now seeking to become members of the Catholic Church. Others are already Catholics who have not received their Sacraments as young children and now seek these. We are pleased to meet with you to discuss the opportunities we have each year for you to become a full member of the Catholic Church. Please contact the parish office and speak with Father Freitas.

RCIC - Plugged In (Older Children)

Recent changes to our Diocesan policy have indicated that children who have passed the usual age for First Communion (above grade 2), and have not been Baptized, are to prepare to receive all the Sacraments of Initiation at once. The model for older children is thus similar to the process for adults who, when they are Baptized, also are Confirmed and receive their First Holy Communion at Easter. Beginning this Fall we will be introducing "Plugged In", a group for children, and their parents, who gather on Monday evenings to prepare for their full initiation into the Church (also called the RCIC). Please contact the parish office and speak with Father Freitas. registrations are underway.


First Holy Communion and First Reconciliation

Holy Communion Information

Preparation for this Sacraments occurs on three levels; family, school and parish. The schools play an invaluable role in helping the parish prepare for these celebrations. However, they are celebrations of the parish community, not the school, and as such, all inquiries and communication about these sacraments are done through the parish. Parents must request these sacraments for their children–they do not automatically happen because the child is in the Catholic school system.

There are parent meetings designed to assist parents to help their children prepare for the celebration of Reconciliation and Eucharist. Parishioners are asked to present their children for these sacraments through a formal petition that is made available at the first parent meeting in the Fall of the year. Parents are requested to provide proof of baptism for their children and, in some cases, pastoral intervention is required when there are obstacles to full communion with the Catholic Church. Parents are asked to work with their children to help them prepare for these sacraments.

It is very important that all parents who wish these children to receive the sacraments make the effort to attend Sunday mass with their children as part of the preparation process and beyond. We offer an excellent Children's Ministry at the parish to assist families and parents in making the Lord's Day special. As a community, we are most happy to assist families in their preparation for these sacraments and offer an opportunity each year for every child to bring forward the gifts at Mass. Details are shared at the parent meeting.

Questions concerning the reception of the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist by children may be directed toward the parish priest who will assist you in the process. For specific dates see our Holy Communion Information page.


Confirmation

Confirmation Information

Preparation for this Sacraments occurs on three levels; family, school and parish. The schools play an invaluable role in helping the parish prepare for these celebrations. However, they are celebrations of the parish community, not the school, and as such, all inquiries and communication about Sacraments are done through the parish. Parents must request Sacraments for their children–they do not automatically happen because the child is in the Catholic school system.

The Sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated annually at the Parish with students in either the seventh or the eighth grade. Students wishing to complete their initiation by receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation are asked to formally request the Sacrament through petition that is made available at the first parent meeting in the Fall of the year. In addition to this meeting, each young person who wishes to be confirmed be invited to become involved in some form of apostolic service or ministry within the parish. An enrollment ceremony also occurs on a given Lord's Day weekend. There is also a parish retreat for all students preparing for Confirmation which takes place in co operation with Camp Brebeuf, and a series of special parish based activities called Searching in the Spirit.

We welcome the opportunity to assist young people in completing their initiation into the Catholic faith and enjoy their involvement within the community. It is very important that all parents who wish these children to receive the Sacraments make the effort to attend Sunday Mass with their children as part of the preparation process and beyond. We also offer an excellent youth ministry in the parish to assist teens and their families. If we can help you in any way, please ask.



Sacrament of Marriage

Marriage Information

For Roman Catholics, the Sacrament of Marriage is a living sign of the presence of God in our lives. A man and a woman are joined in the inseparable sign of God's love for the Church, the world, and themselves. The decision to marry therefore much be based on much reflection and prayer. It is much more than just planning a ceremony, but is it about preparing for a life together. All couples are asked therefore to complete a Marriage Preparation Program and meet several times with our Pastor.

Our parish welcomes your desire to enter into this Sacrament. If you are registered parishioner of St Mary's you are welcome to consider our Church for your celebration. A Catholic who lives in another parish community or even in another province or country, must first contact their own parish priest who will be responsible for all necessary documentation and preparations for marriage, only then can a date be arranged for marriage at St Mary's.

Arrangements for marriage can only be made between the pastor and the couple intending to marry. Arrangements are not made between third parties, by telephone or email. The bride or groom should contact the parish office to arrange an opportunity to meet with our pastor.

As you continue in your married life, or during your period of engagement. We invite you to see many of the opportunities for involvement in the parish which are available. We especially invite you to consider being a part of our Young Adults Group and also checking out our Couples Ministry page.

What is a Convalidation?

One of the most common obstacles affecting a Catholic's ability to receive Communion at Mass arises because a Catholic has been married outside the Roman Catholic Church without previously obtaining the appropriate dispensation from the Diocese. Often this obstacle can be overcome easily, by simply meeting with a priest and working towards convalidation, which is simply a "renewal of vows" within the Church. In some cases, when the civil union is ecumenical and has taken place in a sacred place, a sanation (a "retroactive" dispensation) can be granted if the non-Catholic spouse is unwilling to renew consent before a priest and two witnesses. In other cases, more work may be necessary, but generally something can be done. If you would like to discuss this further with the hope of being able to return to the full practice of your Catholic faith, please contact Father Freitas or through the parish office.


Sacrament of the Sick

Each year our parish offers a parish Anointing of the Sick Mass. This Sacrament is also offered upon request for those under going serious medical treatment, preparing for surgery. Ministers of Communion to the Sick also bring communion to those who are sick or confined at home, in nursing homes or hospital each Sunday. Mass is also celebrated each month at St Luke's Place. To ensure a visit when hospitalized please make sure to indicate at registration that you are a Roman Catholic and a member of St Mary Parish. For further information see our Pastoral Care Page.

Deaths

When a death occurs in your family, please advise our parish office immediately and they will assist you in making appropriate funeral arrangements while doing their best to help you deal with your grief in a spiritual way. We like to meet with families prior to their visit at the funeral home, wherever possible to discuss the arrangements.

Our parish also offers a Bereavement Ministry for those who have suffered the loss of a loved one.