Christian initiation is accomplished by three sacraments together: Baptism which is the beginning of new life; Confirmation which is its strengthening; and the Eucharist which nourishes the disciple with Christ's Body and Blood for his transformation in Christ. (CCC 1275).
"Baptism is birth into the new life in Christ. In accordance with the Lord's will, it is necessary for salvation, as is the Church herself, which we enter by Baptism...The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ" (CCC 1277, 1279).
Infant Baptisms at St Bernadette Parish are celebrated at 10am, on 1st and 2nd Saturdays in English; 3rd and 4th Saturdays in Spanish. Parish registration (90 days) is required for parents and sponsors, as well as class attendance for parents. Please contact the parish office to schedule the baptism at least four weeks in advance. Baptism classes are held on the first Monday of each month in English and the first Friday of each month in Spanish at 7pm in the Bradican Room. Please call the parish office to register for the class.
For those children 8 years or older seeking baptism, please find more information about our RCIC (Rite of Christian Initiation of Children) program. For those 18 years and older, please consider RCIA.
"The Eucharist is the heart and the summit of the Church's life, for in it Christ associates his Church and all her members with his sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving offered once for all on the cross to his Father; by this sacrifice he pours out the graces of salvation on his Body which is the Church. The Eucharistic celebration always includes: the proclamation of the Word of God; thanksgiving to God the Father for all his benefits, above all the gift of his Son; the consecration of bread and wine; and participation in the liturgical banquet by receiving the Lord's body and blood. These elements constitute one single act of worship...Communion with the Body and Blood of Christ increases the communicant's union with the Lord, forgives his venial sins, and preserves him from grave sins. Since receiving this sacrament strengthens the bonds of charity between the communicant and Christ, it also reinforces the unity of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ" (CCC 1407-8, 1416).
The reception of a child's first Holy Communion in the Lord's body and blood takes place at the conclusion of the second grade year, which also prepares the child both to receive his or her first confession (also called penance and reconciliation).
A child's first confession will take place during one of the regularly scheduled class periods during the Lenten season. Sacramental confession must precede the first reception of Holy Communion.
- Parent Meeting: Sunday, October 16, 2016 (6:30pm in the church)
- First Confession Service: During class time March 19, 20, and 21
- First Communion Masses: Saturday, May 20 & Sunday, May 21, 2017 (All Masses)
"Confirmation perfects Baptismal grace; it is the sacrament which gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us more firmly into Christ, strengthen our bond with the Church, associate us more closely with her mission, and help us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds...A candidate for Confirmation who has attained the age of reason must profess the faith, be in the state of grace, have the intention of receiving the sacrament, and be prepared to assume the role of disciple and witness to Christ, both within the ecclesial community and in temporal affairs" (CCC 1316, 1319).
In the Diocese of Arlington, Confirmation is conferred on students during the 8th or beginning of the 9th grade year. Our bishop visits St Bernadette Parish during the spring. This year, Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Military Archdiocese will celebrate the Mass of Confirmation on Thursday, May 11, 2017, at 7:30pm.
- Parent Meeting: Sunday, October 23, 2016 (6:30pm in the church)
- NET Ministries retreat: Monday, January 16, 2017 (9am-4pm)
- Confirmation Consultation: Scheduled during the Lenten season
- Rehearsal: Tuesday, May 9, 2017 (6:00pm)
- Mass of Confirmation: Thursday, May 11, 2017 (7:30pm)
Please read our 2016-2017 Parent & Catechist Handbook