Sacramental Preparation Guidelines

Contacts for Sacraments:
Rectory Phone # (also for D.R.E.) – 304-723-2054
Church Email –
Brady Webb, Director of Religious Education (D.R.E.) Email –


It would be beneficial to read the following sections about Baptism and godparents before contacting the D.R.E.

Parents should prepare for the baptism of their infant with faith, prayer, and an
adequate understanding of the Sacrament of Baptism. This includes taking instructions
with the D.R.E. One or both parents must attend a Baptism class prior to your child’s
Baptism. Parents are expected to take up the responsibility of helping their children to
know and love God, to share in the Eucharistic celebrations, to receive the Sacrament
of Confirmation, and to always encourage them in a life of faith and devotion.

At least one Godparent is required, but you may have two. Godparents can only be
practicing Catholics. They must be baptized and confirmed and members in good
standing with the Catholic Church. They must be in a regular marriage situation (see
You may also have a Christian Witness if you wish, though it is not required. The
Christian Witnesses can only be baptized Protestants and not anyone who was
baptized into the Catholic Church.
Children seven (7) years of age and older will participate in the Rite of Christian
Initiation for Children (RCIC). (See “Catechumenate” below)
Adults who would like baptism and the other sacraments will go through the RCIA
process (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). (See “Catechumenate” below)
Baptisms are generally celebrated on Sundays at 12:30 (after the 11 AM Mass).
However, we are unable to schedule the date for baptisms until all paperwork all paperwork has been completed, and the Godparents are verified.

Details Concerning Baptism and Godparents:

Below is a list of things to be aware of concerning godparents (and sponsors). You may
also call the rectory and talk to the D.R.E. to discuss the process. Call the D.R.E. at the Rectory:

1. Fill out baptism registration over the phone.

2. Schedule baptism preparation class, if needed.
One class every 5-6 years (or a letter explaining that preparation was
completed if done at a different parish)

3. Discuss required paperwork to be submitted and approved before scheduling the

Choosing Eligible and Faithful Godparents:
(*applies to confirmation sponsors, as well)
1. They are a fully initiated and practicing Catholic:
a. They have received baptism, confirmation, and communion.
b. They are registered with a parish and are regularly attending Sunday
Mass and Holy Days of Obligation.

2. Make sure they are eligible to be Godparents:
a. They are at least 16 years old.
b. They are not one of the parents.
c. If they are married, they are married in the Church or given dispensation
not to do so. If they have been married more than once, the first marriage
ended in the death of the spouse or an annulment.
d. If they are single and in a relationship, they are not cohabiting.

3. Have them complete the godparent forms: (Available in the office, by mail, or
a. Godparent/Sponsor Certificate
i. Signed and sealed by the godparent’s current pastor.
b. Godparent/Sponsor Information Sheet
c. Have them request their baptism certificate from the parish where they
were baptized, including all sacramental notations.

Once the paperwork is complete, the D.R.E. will call to schedule the baptism!


Children begin to prepare for Reconciliation in the second grade. Your child must be
enrolled in CCD instructions or a Catholic school curriculum. All children must have
attended formal religious education at the very least during their first-grade year. If your
child was not Baptized at St. Joseph the Worker Church, a baptismal certificate must be
submitted at the beginning of their second-grade school year. First Holy Eucharist is
usually celebrated in May. For older children who have not yet celebrated this
sacrament, special arrangements are made according to individual and family needs.


The Eucharist is the culmination of the three Sacraments of Initiation. We are called to
honor it as the source and summit of the Christian life. Children’s preparation for the first
reception of the Eucharist begins in the home. The family has the most important role in
communicating the Christian values that form the foundation for a child’s understanding
of the Eucharist. Formal catechesis begins for students in the second grade. This
includes instructions and regular attendance at either a Catholic grade school, CCD
class, (or approved home-school catechesis), attendance at two Experience Days, and
weekly Mass attendance. The children will learn the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory
Be prayers during this preparation time. Attendance at two parent sessions is
expected. A baptismal certificate is required of those children that were not baptized at

St. Joseph the Worker Church. This sacrament unites us closely with with Jesus and
nourishes our life in Christ received at Baptism.


In order to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, a person must be Baptized and has
completed the 6th grade, according to Diocesan policy. Unlike in recent years,
confirmation will be every two years in the fall (2020, 22, 24, etc.). It will primarily be for
7th and 8th graders, but also for those who are Catholic but still need Confirmation.
Announcements will be made in the bulletin, on the website, at Mass, and at the schools
when Confirmation preparation is approaching. It is of high importance that we get the
sponsor information as quickly as possible. It’s never too early to start looking for your
sponsor. See the section on Baptism for the requirements to be a sponsor*.
The Confirmation candidate must fully participate in the Confirmation sessions and at
the Sunday Liturgy. Regular attendance at CCD, or St. Joseph the Worker Grade
School, or Madonna High School, or an approved home-school program is expected.
Arrangements can be made according to the circumstances. Please call the D.R.E. at
the rectory for information.


Those planning a marriage should contact the rectory office at least six months prior to
your wedding. Both parties must be free to marry. If an annulment is needed, please
make an appointment as soon as possible with a priest. The date cannot be set until
this happens. The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston requires all couples to attend Pre-
Cana classes.


Adults who are interested or would like to become a member of the Catholic Church will
come in by way of the Catechumenate and the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of
Adults). This is usually structured as a weekly meeting with a systematic explanation of
the faith along with an introduction to the Church’s teaching, morality, liturgy, and

For children who are age seven or older, they will come into the Church through the
RCIC (Rite of Christian Initiation of Children.)
For adults and children, they will have one sponsor each. The sponsor must meet the
same conditions as godparents to be sponsors, as they serve a very similar function in
the service of the Church. (See section on Baptism for Sponsor Requirements)
Please call the D.R.E. at the rectory for more information.

Please call the rectory to request this sacrament. 304-723-2054.

As a reminder, the Anointing of the Sick is not just a sacrament for those who are dying
or about to die. The sacrament can also be given more than once. Here is what the
Catechism says:
The Anointing of the Sick “is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point
of death. Hence, as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of
death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for him to receive this sacrament
has certainly already arrived.”
If a sick person who received this anointing recovers his health, he can in the
case of another grave illness receive this sacrament again. If during the same
illness the person’s condition becomes more serious, the sacrament may be
repeated. It is fitting to receive the Anointing of the Sick just prior to a serious
operation. The same holds for elderly whose frailty becomes more pronounced.
– Catechism of the Catholic Church, Par. 1514-1515, quoting Pope Paul VI
It is also worth repeating that there is a distinction between “Anointing of the Sick” and “Last
Rites.” The two have often been conflated, but there is a difference. The simple explanation is
that Last Rites are prayers and petitions that are added to the Anointing of the Sick when death
is imminent. This sacrament closely joins our sufferings to Christ’s and strengthens us in the
hope of the resurrection.
It is preferred that if the person can, that they partake of the Sacrament of Penance beforehand,
and the Sacrament of the Eucharist afterwards. That way they are purified, united to Christ’s
own suffering by which we are saved, and given the strength of his whole life in his very own
body and blood. If death is near, that reception of the Eucharist is called “Viaticum” or the
“provisions for the journey.” The eucharist nourishes their soul for the final journey to their
heavenly homeland and prepares their body for its eventual resurrection and glorification in
Again, if you need to request this sacrament, please call the rectory at 304-723-2054.