St. Joseph Church at 61 N. 23rd St, Battle Creek, MI 49015-1726 US - Sacramental Participation
Working towards eternal life requires regular participation in the Seven Sacraments of the Church. Our sacraments are essential gifts from God, and we must be willing to receive these gifts. As part of our plan, we have identified five areas that will help us keep focus on the importance we place on sacramental participation.
Increase awareness of the importance and meaning of the Sacraments.
- We will continue to educate those who fulfill their obligation to attend Mass every Sunday on the sacraments through the homilies. We never want to lose focus on the meaning of the sacraments while we are celebrating them.
- The sacraments, in particular the Eucharist and Reconciliation, are basic foundations of our faith. We will do more to promote the awareness and necessity of the sacraments in our lives.
- Sacramentals help us learn. Since we learn through the senses, we must utilize the sacramentals of our faith and why we do what we do during the celebration of the sacraments.
- Besides being an obligation, many blessings and much good flows from regular Mass attendance. We want to see all registered parishioners attending Mass regularly. We also want to seek out “fallen away” Catholics and new Catholics to our community.
- We will also develop, promote, and deliver adult-level lectures on all of the sacraments.
Increase opportunities to celebrate the Sacraments.
- In particular, we must remove any barriers that inhibit participation in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, including times offered and fears involved.
Increase participation in the Sacraments.
- We want to increase the number of people who are serving as Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, part of which involves a good explanation of the importance of lay ministry in the Church.
- We believe we can better serve the elderly of our parish by considering ways in which transportation could be provided to assist them in coming to the Sacraments.
- Simple reminders such as postcards are marketing tools that have proven successful in the past, so we must increase those reminders.
- We believe that building up our Altar Server and Senior Server programs help build future ministry.
- We also need to do some unique things to bring people back to Church every week. We will proactively reach out to those who may not regularly hear our message.
Help increase Diocesan Vocations to the Priesthood
- Our priests will continue to involve themselves in our Catholic Schools, especially to help promote religious vocations.
- We will commit ourselves to praying for religious vocations at every Mass, and will conduct Eucharistic Holy Hours for such vocations. We will also pray for our priests and the priesthood in general.
Increase the Quality of experiencing the Sacraments
Some of these ideas are specific, some are intentionally general. All are meant to guide us as we move forward as a parish community.
- We will provide more opportunities for parish members to socialize with one another after Mass. This may include taking a hard look at our facilities to see what our needs might be.
- We want to involve our youth more and more in choir ministry. This promotes involvement in the Church for the future as well.
- Music adds an important element to the experience of celebrating Mass. We will be intentional about how the music we use compliments what we are trying to create in the Mass.