If you are new to the parish, and would like to become an official member of St. Casimir Church, you are invited and strongly encouraged to register at the parish office. It is very helpful all the way around. We also encourage you to use the envelopes. It not only gives a visible witness to your sacrificial giving and support of your parish, we also have a record of your donations for tax purposes and we have a “hard copy” of your presence and participation. For those who wish to make St. Casimir their parish family with future plans to celebrate a baptism, a wedding or obtain a letter to be a godparent or sponsor, it is necessary to be formally registered and actively participating on a regular basis for at least three months before dates can be set or letters can be written. We look forward to hearing from you!
The Faith Community of St. Casimir is a Tithing Parish. As God has been generous to us, we are invited and challenged to be generous with what we have received. We are encouraged to share our time, our talents and our treasure–they are all gifts from God entrusted to us to be used for the good of all. The Bible tells us that Tithing is God’s plan to continue His works and to support His and our Church. In the area of our finances, to Tithe in the traditional sense means to offer 10% of our gross income to God in the following way: 5% to our parish family and 5% to other charitable works. Whatever you decide to give in terms of your time, talent and treasure, it puts God and His works first. Also, whatever you decide is between you and God.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN SACRAMENTAL PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN:
Normally, here at St. Casimir, the celebrations of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist take place in the 2nd grade for those children of St. Casimir Parish who were in the 1st grade last year at our school (or another Catholic School), or those 2nd grade children of St. Casimir Parish who do not attend a Catholic school, but who have participated for at least one year in an approved religious education program the prior year. Families of children who wish to participate in St. Casimir’s program need to be officially registered as members of the parish. Please call the parish office for more information about the program and the schedule of dates and times for the parent/guardian meetings as well as the dates and times of the classes for the children.
NON-SACRAMENTAL PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN:
Our non-sacramental program for children is a home-based program. The parents/guardians of the children work with our Religious Education team on a regular basis and are the actual teachers of their children. Families of children who wish to participate in St. Casimir’s program need to be officially registered as members of the parish. Please call the parish office for more information.
Confirmation is celebrated every two years here at St. Casimir. It is a year-long program beginning in the Spring (the even years) for those who are in the 7th and 8th grades (or higher). Families of children who wish to participate in St. Casimir’s program need to be officially registered as members of the parish. Please call the parish office for more information.
RCIA–ADULT SACRAMENTAL PROGRAM
The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is a program for adults who wish to become fully initiated members of the Catholic Faith Community. It is intended for those adults who have never been baptized or those adults who have been baptized in a non-Catholic Christian congregation who wish to become members of the Catholic Faith Community or those adults who have been baptized in the Catholic Faith Community but have not completed their initiation through the reception of the Sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Eucharist or those fully initiated Catholics who wish to update themselves in the area of the faith, doctrine, etc. If you or someone you know are interested and would like more information, please contact the parish office.
MINISTRY TO THE INFIRM
We at the St. Casimir Church miss you at your rightful and accustomed place in the Eucharistic community. We all know what a great privilege it is to be present and participate in the liturgy of the Mass and to receive the grace of our Lord in the Eucharist, and how you must be yearning for that opportunity.
Pain, discomfort, anxiety, isolation and loneliness are some of the many sufferings that you could be familiar with today. The sacraments of the church that in themselves contain many graces and blessings are very useful in helping you to fight against illness and perhaps give you enough encouragement to restore you to health. When Jesus walked the earth he constantly showed concern for those who were ill. Today, He continues that concern for you in the Church’s ministry to the sick. It is our responsibility to see to it that you are always remembered in the prayer of your fellow parishioners, especially when we come together and worship on the Lord’s Day. We also want to ensure that you may frequently receive the sacraments that give us so much joy.
We have lay volunteer “Ministers of Care” who can bring you Holy Communion after Mass on the weekends. This is a wonderful way for the Faith Community to include you in the celebration of the Lord’s Day. The minister will come to your home and offer with you a communion service that will help prepare you for receiving our Lord in the Eucharist. You can even help plan the service if you wish, by choosing the readings or by including your family or caretaker. It is a wonderful way for you and us to be a living part of the faith community and fulfill Jesus’ desire to come to you even in your sickness and suffering. We invite you to take advantage of this. All you need to do is call the friary office at 410-276-1981 and ask that you be put on the “Pastoral Care Visit List” and one of the ministers will give you a call to set up a time to visit. Also, Fr. Dennis is always available to celebrate the sacraments of penance or anointing of the sick; all you need to do is call the friary office and make arrangements.
BAPTISM GUIDELINES, PROCEDURES, AND POLICIES
The birth of a child is cause for great gladness and rejoicing. Through Baptism we are joined with Jesus in a very intimate way. St. Paul reminds us that because we are baptized into Christ, we are also baptized into his death so that, in one sense, buried with Jesus, we will also rise with him and share in the fullness of life now and for all eternity. It’s important to remember, as St. Paul says, we are baptized. Sometimes we have a tendency to say that we were baptized. However, Baptism is like Marriage in that it is something that we live out every day. We normally do not say that I was married; we say I am married. Similarly, we should be saying that I am baptized. We live out the commitment made at Baptism everyday. We grow into the grace of our Baptism. Also, by our Baptism we all share in the priesthood of Jesus and, therefore, all of us are called to share in the work of ministry, each in his or her own special calling. It is obvious that the Sacrament of Baptism is so much more than just a rite or ritual that one has to go through. It is the most important of the Seven Sacraments and has implications that go to the core of who we are.
BAPTIZED INTO THE COMMUNITY: Through Baptism one is received into the community of the Church. This usually happens at the local level–the parish. We here at St. Casimir Parish refer to ourselves as a Faith Community. Parents who ask for Baptism for their children do so as members of the Faith Community. Children are baptized into the lived faith of their family; it is an expression of the family’s belonging to the Faith Community and being active participants. Central to the life of the Faith Community is the weekly celebration of the Liturgy (Mass). There are also many other opportunities available that foster and promote one’s participation in and support of the Faith Community.
THERE IS NO RUSH: In the past it was taught that a baby should be baptized as soon as possible. That was because people thought that if, God forbid, anything would happen to a baby before being baptized, she or he would not go to heaven, but would end up in a place called Limbo. This was never an official teaching of the Church; it is not doctrine. The understanding today is that, while Baptism on our part is necessary, the love of God is all-embracing, so much so, that God would never keep from himself any of his little ones–our God is an all-loving, kind and compassionate Father. Therefore, parents should feel free to begin the inquiry and process for Baptism by calling the parish office at a time when it is comfortable and not feel that they have to complete the process as soon possible. The initial inquiry and tentative arrangements can be made before the birth of your baby.
DATES, TIMES AND REGISTRATION: Families seeking to celebrate Baptism for their children need to be officially registered with the parish. So that the celebration of Baptism will be most meaningful, for those parents/guardians who are new to the Faith Community or those who are just returning to regular participation in the life of the Faith Community, the policy here at St. Casimir is to formally register with the parish (contact the parish office) and after a period of three months of regular participation, an appointment can be made with the pastor at which time a date for the Baptism will be chosen. Baptisms usually take place on the last Sunday or Saturday of the month at various Liturgies. Part of the preparation for Baptism includes an instructional session for the parents/guardians and the godparents. The date and time for this session will be determined to accommodate those involved.
The role of the godparents is a supporting role. They assist the parents in their responsibilities of raising their child in the Faith of the Church. When considering who will be chosen as godparents, it is important to remember that they will serve, along with the parents, as models of what it means to be a good Catholic and a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. They should be “All-Stars of the Faith.” Potential godparents are required to be at least 16 years of age and have received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist. They should be attending the Liturgy on a regular basis, striving to live good and holy lives, and living according to God’s teaching in the area of marriage and family. They should be able to have a special and unique relationship with their soon-to-be godchild, and be willing to involve themselves in his or her life and his or her family. Letters need to be obtained from the parishes to which they belong which state that the potential godparents are members of that parish and are qualified to act as godparents. Normally for infants there are two godparents: one female and one male, but one will suffice. While the ideal is to have two Catholic godparents, in certain cases one who is a non-Catholic Christian can stand in as a Christian Witness.
The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. Arrangements must be made at least 6 months before the desired wedding date for practicing Catholics. Inactive or non-practicing Catholics are expected to return to the practice of the faith for a period of at least three months before the wedding date will be considered. In all cases, participating in the Archdiocesan Marriage Preparation Program is required. Please contact the Parish Office to make arrangements for a wedding.
We have a beautiful church building and are conveniently located in a nice part of the city. As a result we receive many, many requests for weddings. Preparing for a wedding is a very involved process and, on the part of the Faith Community, it is a commitment that demands a lot of time and energy, which we gladly expend for the members of our parish family. Currently, there is only one priest here at St. Casimir and, for all of the above-mentioned reasons, we normally do not celebrate weddings for those who are not part of the Faith Community.
PARISH REGISTRATION: For those who have recently moved into the neighborhood or for those who have not been attending Mass regularly, we have a three month period of initial commitment and “getting to know each other” before we set a firm date for the wedding. During this time, it is important to participate in the Sunday Liturgy on a weekly basis. We ask all members of the parish to use the collection envelopes to help support the Faith Community. This gives us an opportunity to have a record of one’s participation in the liturgies. This can be helpful later on when and if one needs a letter in order to serve as a godparent or sponsor.
INITIAL CONTACT: Please be sure to contact us as early as possible. You cannot call us too soon. The Archdiocese of Baltimore calls upon us to begin marriage preparation at least six months before the wedding date–one year prior to the desired date is preferred. Please call the parish office to obtain a hard copy of our Wedding Guidelines. After reading and accepting the guidelines, call the parish office to set up an appointment. Please do not finalize any plans with reception halls until the date and the time of your wedding is set with the parish.