Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in its mission.
To schedule a Baptism, please contact the Parish Office. Families having a first child baptized are asked to attend an Informational Session discussing the importance of Baptism. Deacon Edward Shoener facilitates these sessions.
If you are an adult and are interested in being baptized, please see the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). Click here.
CHOOSING GODPARENTS IN THE CATHOLIC TRADITION
The Catholic community calls Godparents to:
Help their godchild grow in faith
Teach their godchild about Catholic traditions
Model for their godchild how to live a Catholic life
The law of the Roman Catholic Church requires that each child being baptized have at least one Godparent (either male or female) to serve as his or her spiritual role model and friend.
Two Godparents, one Godmother and one Godfather, are the custom in the United States, but are not required. If two Godparents are chosen, the Church requires that one be male and one female (there may not be two Godparents of the same gender). Some families may wish to choose more than two sponsors for their child. Although parents are welcome to ask any number of others to help their child grow in the Catholic faith, only two names may be officially recorded in the Sacramental register.
To be a Catholic Godparent, one must:
Be a Catholic who has already received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion and regularly participates in the sacramental life of the Church;
Be an active member of a Catholic faith community;
Be at least sixteen years old;
If married, the proposed Godparent must be in a sacramental marriage that was celebrated in a Catholic Church or in another Christian church with the Catholic Church’s permission, in the presence of a Catholic priest or deacon (or duly delegated minister) and two witnesses;
If the Godparent is not a registered member of Saint Peter’s Cathedral parish, they must acquire a "Sponsor Card" from the parish they belong to and bring the Sponsor Card on the day of the Baptism
The celebration of a child’s First Communion is an exciting event in the life of a parish. The Cathedral parish welcomes your child as they join us in receiving our Lord in the sacrament of the Eucharist. If you are a parishioner and your child is in the 2nd grade, please contact the Parish Office for information on sacramental preparation.
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).
Monday - Friday: 7:30 - 7:50 AM
Thursday before 1st Friday: 3:15 - 4 PM
Saturday: 10:30 - 11:30 AM
PREPARING FOR RECONCILIATION
Ask God for the Holy Spirit’s help to examine your conscience well by prayerfully reviewing your conduct in light of the commandments and the example of Christ. The questions below should assist you in making a thorough review.
Tell the priest the specific kind of sins you have committed and, to the best of your ability, how many times you have committed them since your last good confession. Avoid generalizations and inform the priest of any relevant circumstances in which your sins were committed.
You are obliged to confess only mortal sins, since you can obtain forgiveness for your venial sins by sacrifices, acts of charity, prayer and other pious actions. Confession of venial sins, however, is very helpful for avoiding sin and advancing in holiness toward Heaven.
If you are in doubt about whether a sin is mortal or venial, mention your doubt to the priest. For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.” (CCC 1857)
Always tell the priest your state of life: married or single, priest or religious, under religious vows or promises.
EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE
Catholics for centuries have found it profitable to examine their consciences in light of the Ten Commandments. Penitents are encouraged to expand on them in their prayerful review of their conduct.
“I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before Me.” (Ex 20:2,3)
Have I really loved God above all things or have I put other things — work, money, drugs, TV, fame, pleasure, other people — ahead of Him?
Have I made time for God each day in prayer?
Have I denied my faith in God or endangered it by practices of the occult or through reading or programs that are opposed to faith and morals?
Am I whole-hearted in accepting and following God’s teaching or do I only pick and choose the convenient parts of His message? Have I tried to learn and understand my faith better?
Have I denied my faith before others? Have I been willing to affirm, defend and practice my faith in public and not just in private?
Did I despair of or presume on God’s mercy?
HOW TO MAKE A GOOD CONFESSION
GOING TO CONFESSION
The penitent and the priest begin with the sign of the Cross, saying:
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
The priest urges the penitent to have confidence in God with these or similar words:
May the Lord be in your heart and help you to confess your sins with true sorrow.
The priest may read or say a passage from Sacred Scripture after which the penitent then states:
Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been (however many days, weeks, months or years) since my last confession.
The penitent then states his or her sins. For the confession to be valid, the penitent must confess all of the mortal sins he or she is aware of having committed since the last confession, be sorry for them, and have a firm purpose of amendment to try not to commit the same sins in the future.
After this, the priest will generally give some advice to the penitent and impose a penance. Then he will ask the penitent to make an act of contrition. The penitent may do so in his or her own words, or may say one of many memorized acts of contrition like the following:
Act of Contrition
O My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you, whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with the help of your grace, to do penance, to sin no more and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered and died for us. In His Name, O Lord, have mercy.
After this the priest will absolve the penitent in the following words:
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 makes the sign of the Cross and answers: Amen.
The priest will then dismiss the penitent with a short prayer and encouragement. The penitent should then immediately try to fulfill the penance imposed if it is something that can be done quickly.
Confirmation completes the grace of Baptism by a special outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which seals and confirms the baptized in union with Christ and calls them to greater participation in the worship and apostolic life of the Church.
Please contact the Parish Office for more information regarding this sacrament.
Sacred Scripture opens with the story of 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 people 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. Marriage involves a major commitment. 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.
Congratulations on your engagement! The Cathedral of Saint Peter is pleased to share in this privileged time in your life. Preparing for the Sacrament of Matrimony is an exciting time yet also a serious responsibility for all couples. Preparation for your wedding ceremony is only one facet in that process. The Cathedral will strive to help you attend to all details involved in laying the groundwork for the beginning of your new life together.
Couples interested in having their wedding ceremony at the Cathedral are asked to contact our Pastor, Monsignor Dale Rupert, by calling the Parish Office. Once approval for the wedding has been given and a date selected, preparations for the ceremony will begin. No dates may be scheduled without first speaking to Msgr. Rupert.
You may choose a priest or deacon outside of the Cathedral parish to witness your marriage. The priest or deacon chosen will also do the marriage preparation. He will be responsible for obtaining all dispensations and documents needed.
A confirmation is needed (fax, phone, letter) from the priest or deacon that he is assuming responsibility for your marriage preparations.
Couples living outside of the Diocese of Scranton should be prepared by their parish priest or deacon. The procedure is the same as above. The priest or deacon must be in good standing and have proper ecclesiastical faculties from his diocese.
At least one party must profess the Catholic religion. Profession of faith implies some practices of religion such as prayer, attendance at Mass and reception of the Sacraments. Since christian marriage is a sacrament, it is the responsibility of the priest or deacon to ascertain that the parties are properly disposed to receive the sacrament.
A written letter from the bride’s or groom’s church parish, or from the Catholic party’s parish (mixed religion), is required for parties who reside outside of the Cathedral parish.
Marriage of a Catholic to a non-Catholic is permitted by the Church with proper dispensation. In order to obtain dispensation, the Catholic party is required to promise that he or she will continue living his or her faith in the Catholic Church and will do all in his or her power to have the children baptized and reared as Catholics. Special permission to celebrate the wedding ceremony of a mixed-religion couple within the context of the Mass must be obtained by the priest or deacon preparing the couple for marriage.
All engaged couples are requested to attend a series of meetings with the priest who is preparing them for the Sacrament of Matrimony. The initial meeting will include completing the application for marriage, determining if there are special circumstances involving either party, information on marriage preparation in the Diocese, including Pre Cana and Foccus (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding & Study). Subsequent meetings will involve the review and discussion of Foccus results and preliminary review of the plans for your marriage in the Cathedral.
All Catholic parties will need to obtain from your home parish a copy of your baptismal certificate with notations indicating the reception of First Holy Communion and Confirmation.
Wedding rehearsals are generally held the day prior to the wedding between 4:00-6:00 p.m. The Cathedral has a wedding coordinator who will be in attendance at both the wedding rehearsal and the wedding ceremony.
Pope John Paul II wrote, "Without priests the Church would not be able to live that fundamental obedience which is at the very heart of her existence and her mission in history, an obedience in response to the command of Christ: 'Go therefore and make disciples of all nations' (Mt. 28:19) and 'Do this in remembrance of me' (Lk. 22:19), that is, an obedience to…announce the Gospel and to renew daily the sacrifice of the giving of his body and the shedding of his blood for the life of the world."
The Sacrament of Holy Orders is experienced in three degrees:
ordination to the diaconate
ordination to the priesthood
ordination to the episcopacy (the bishops, who are the successors of the apostles)
Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, all of the faithful experience a universal call to holiness. In Holy Orders, however, men are consecrated to the service of all the faithful, nourishing them through Word and Sacrament.
To learn more about Holy Orders in the Diocese of Scranton, please visit: scrantonvocations.com
Anointing of the Sick
The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is intended for all those among us who are suffering from serious illnesses, particularly those with a potentially life-threatening condition. It is most likely one of the last Sacraments one will receive. It is not a Sacrament only for those who are at the point of death. The faithful are encouraged to seek the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick if they become seriously ill, will be undergoing a major medical procedure (surgery, chemotherapy, etc.) or have advanced in age.
Please call the Parish Office whenever someone is seriously ill or is admitted to the hospital or a local health care facility. Local hospitals and health care facilities no longer notify parishes about the admission of parishioners.
Sacramental Record Requests
To request a copy of your sacramental record for a sacrament which was given at the Cathedral, please fill out the appropriate form.