The Sacraments are tangible expressions of God’s life and grace in our lives.
SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION
Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation are the way the Christian Community welcomes new members. People can become a member of the Church either as an adult through the Inquiry or as a child. We welcome children into the Church in stages. The first step is usually Baptism, followed by the Sacrament of Reconciliation, First Eucharist and then Confirmation.
Initiation of Children
Children of catechetical age 7 years and older engage in a process where the parents prepare them for the Sacraments with the assistance of the parish.
Friar Peter Knappen
Baptism of Infants and Young Children
Baptism celebrations for children under the age of 7 take place during the Sunday liturgies, once a month, every second month.. To reserve a date for your child's baptism complete a Request for Baptism and forward it to the Ministry Centre along with an Affirmation of Faith for each sponsor. Forms are also available at the Ministry Centre. Once we receive all the documents, we will contact you to confirm a date.
Infants are baptised into the Church on the basis of the parents' faith. Parents need to be registered members of St. Bonaventure Parish and practice their faith on a regular basis. Sponsors or godparents are representatives of the extended spiritual family of the Church. Along with the parents, they present a child for baptism and act as official representatives of the community of faith. Although only one sponsor (godparent) is required for a baptism, two are permitted as godfather and godmother. Sponsors must be at least 16 years old, Confirmed and practicing Catholics. Each sponsor must conplete an affirmation of faith before the baptism. Where there is only one sponsor, a member of another Christian religion may act as a Christian witness.
Photos are not generally allowed during most of the liturgy except as directed by the Presider.
Requests for Baptism Records
Sacramental records contain confidential and personal information and need to be treated with the same respect as government records that are subject to privacy legislation under provincial and federal law.
If a parent is making a request for their chid's baptism record, we need:
- photo identification (driver’s license, passport etc) of one of the parents
- the parent’s full name
- the child’s full name, date of birth and approximate date of the Baptism.
If the requested record is for a person who is over 18 years old, that person needs to make the request, not the parent.
If a person is asking for their own record we need:
- photo identification (driver’s license, passport etc)
- names of parents
- date of birth and approximate date of Baptism.
The easiest way for most people to make a request is to forward their request and identification to firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests from parishioners can be picked up at the Ministry Centre. We can scan and email records to people who are no longer in the parish. If the certificate is to be mailed, we need the complete mailing address. Requests are processed within a week.
The Eucharist is the central act of worship of the community. Part of being Catholic is sharing in our "communion". Usually children are initiated into this sacrament at about 8 years old.
First Communion is a parish event. Our Catholic schools assist in the remote preparation by helping parents to teach the faith. The more immediate preparation takes places through a series of meetings at the church. Young parishioners who do not attend St. Bonaventure School may need to attend some additional evening sessions with their parents and participate in a home program of catechesis using a book which the parish recommends.
In the early Church the Sacraments of Initiation Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation, were celebrated at the same time and involved the Bishop. As the Christian community grew and the Bishop was unable to be present, a local priest or deacon would baptise. At a later date, when the Bishop was present he would "confirm" the Sacrament.
Confirmation is celebrated with young people at age of 13 or 14. We encourage adults who have not completed their Initiation and have not been Confirmed to contact
the Ministry Centre.
The Catholic School is involved in the remote preparation of the young candidates for Confirmation while the more immediate preparation takes place through the parish. Parents and candidates attend a series of meetings at the Church. Young parishioners who do not attend St. Bonaventure School may need to attend some additional evening sessions with their parents and participate in a home program of catechesis using a book which the parish recommends.
Confirmation is celebrated on or around Pentecost. The local Bishop celebrates the Sacrament at St. Bonaventure every two years. At other times the Pastor presides.
First Reconciliation is celebrated with our young parishioners before celebrating First Communion. The Catholic School is involved in the remote preparation of the young candidates for Reconciliation while the more immediate preparation takes place through the parish. Parents and candidates attend a series of meetings at the Church. Young parishioners who do not attend St. Bonaventure School may need to attend some additional evening sessions with their parents and participate in a home program of catechesis using a book which the parish recommends.
We celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Saturday afternoons from 4:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. and by appointment. During Advent and Lent we hold special communal celebrations of the sacrament.
Reconciliation Rooms are at the back of the church under the choir loft. A red light that is visible from the body of the church indicates which one of the rooms is in use. The door is left open when the room is available.
The Sacrament is also available by appointment with one of the friar-priests. This arrangement might be more suitable for longer sessions that require more time. The Sacrament is a liturgical act of worship and not really suited for prolonged consultation or counselling. Those who would like to talk with a friar about problems they are having may arrange for an appointment.
There is no need to feel uncomfortable if you have not been to confession for some time. Tell the friar-priest that it's been a while and that you need some help with the sacrament. He will guide you to make a good confession without being judged. The friars’ goal is to help you honestly and sincerely discover how God is call you, calling us, to grow closer to the kind of life God has destined for us.
The Archdiocese of Toronto requires that couples who intend to marry contact their parish at least one year prior to the expected wedding date. Contact the Ministry Centre as soon as possible, before setting any dates.
Weddings can be expensive. We invite you to moderation in making your plans. The wedding day is one day in hopefully a life-long journey. It is important for Christians to reflect a degree of simplicity in the arrangements. There is no fee for celebrating weddings at St. Bonaventure although it is one of the most labour intensive ministries. A donation to the friars is always appreciated. As a guide, consider the cost of flowers, music or rings to determine an appropriate donation.
We require that you have music at your wedding - a musician (organist or guitar) and a cantor. The friars will discuss options with you. Our musicians and cantors have a fee of $200 each.
Some of the requirements for marriage
- The bride or groom must be registered members of St. Bonaventure and practice their faith on a regular basis.
- The couple must participate in a marriage preparation course. Participants learn about communication, foundations for a successful marriage and the meaning of the Sacrament of Matrimony. Catholic Family Services in Partnership with the Archdiocese of Toronto offer a number of courses throughout the year.
- Catholics need to provide a recent baptism certificate by contacting the church where they were baptised.
- You will also need a marriage license which you can appy for at the City of Toronto, Registry Services, City Clerk's Office.
We will work with you to make your wedding day and the beginning of the Sacrament of Matrimony a truly holy, beautiful and memorable experience.
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
This is a sacrament of healing for those who are seriously ill. It is different from the "Last Rites" or Viaticum, which is the prayer and communion given to those who are dying. The Sacrament of the Sick is an anointing that calls upon the Lord to restore health in mind, body and spirit. It is preferable to celebrate this sacrament before entering hospital and in the company of friends and family.
Contact: Ministry Centre, 416.447.5571
In case of a life and death emergency, after office hours, which requires the presence of a friar-priest, please call: 416.441.0932.