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Testimonials from parishes and community organizations
Q1. Can the Parish Hall be rented for groups of 10 or less?

The answer depends on your readiness to safely receive such groups while ensuring the safety of your team and parishioners who may have access to the hall. For instance, you must:

  • ensure, before and after the meeting, the cleaning and disinfection of the hall, access to the hall, and access to the washrooms, i.e. surfaces, furniture and all material that can be used during the meeting;

  • clearly indicate, using signage, floor decals or tape, the required two-meter distancing from the hall entrance to the main entrance and to the parking (if it is to be used);

  • be able to guarantee that the space and dimensions of the hall can safely accommodate the desired number of participants (based on nine square feet per person).

Q2. Can we celebrate Mass outdoors? If yes, how many can attend?

You can offer an outdoor Mass if you can ensure the safety of the participants which includes disinfection and distancing, even if you are in an open area. Thus, you must at least:

 

  • clearly indicate, using signage, floor decals or tape, the required two-meter distancing between individuals, seated or standing;
  • clearly indicate any rearranged/restricted areas on-site to avoid proximity between parishioners;
  • make mask-wearing mandatory;
  • refrain from loud singing by the choir and the sharing of paper documents or songbooks;
  • ensure that the chalice, ciborium, paten and all sacred vessels, as well as sacramental linen, are washed thoroughly with soap and water;
  • ensure the availability of hand sanitizer to the public;
  • follow diocesan protocols for the celebration of Mass, especially for the distribution and receiving of Communion.

 

 

Q3. Protocols and guidelines for various parochial and pastoral activities:

You will find detailed answers for these questions in the various documents and protocols prepared for you by the diocese. They can be found on the diocesan website on the Pastoral Personnel page under the “Covid-19 Deconfinement” tab. Here, you will find a recording of a webinar recently offered to help guide you through the various phases and steps required to resume pastoral activities and parochial services. For some activities, the steps you will find outlined are mandatory for a safe reopening and restart, while others serve as suggestions for you and your team to consider; these recommendations are open to your discernment, based on the particular needs of your parish, and your familiarity with the needs of your parishioners, your team and your volunteers.

You will also receive a check-list to guide you in preparing your place of worship for the resumption and co-ordination of different pastoral and parochial activities, i.e. masses, funerals, marriages, baptisms, catechesis, etc.  As soon as you have prepared adequately in setting up the required safety measures, you will be able to progress through the four phases of the “deconfinement” process.

 

Q4. How do we invite parishioners back to our church after they have worshipped online with other parishes?

Together with your local “deconfinement” committee, try to determine the best way to contact your parishioners, taking into account their needs, communication capacity and the type of media at your disposal. Using the postal service may not be the most efficient way of reconnecting, for instance. It may be better practice to employ communication through a telephone network or by email, especially if you have a list of registered parishioners, and in turn, ask them to reach out to their friends and neighbours etc. We strongly recommend that you prepare to offer services online if you are not already doing so. It is an important, even vital, element for your parish life!

Q5. How will catechesis resume for children in our Faith Formation program?

The details of each “deconfinement” phase are presented in the diocesan protocols, including Faith Education. As of yet, no decision has been reached regarding the sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation. Given that public celebrations of these sacraments will not be permitted during the first two phases of “deconfinement”, you will be informed through diocesan channels as soon as a decision is made.

Q6. Will the faithful be required to wear masks when they attend Mass again?

Following the most recent Communiqué No. 15 issued by Auxiliary Bishop Alain Faubert, V.G., which addresses mask-wearing in our churches, and in compliance with the latest Quebec government legal requirement, we ask everyone to co-operate as befits good citizens by enforcing mask-wearing in all places of worship as of July 18, 2020. Parish teams may want to consider applying this new measure immediately to avoid possible confusion. We recommend having a reserve supply of masks available for distribution at the church entrance, if possible, for those who do not have one. In this case, strongly encourage those faithful to obtain their own mask before their next church visit.

 

Q7. What about our seniors?

It would be great if your committee could develop and circulate a survey to assess the needs and expectations of the seniors in your community; with this information, you can be better placed to identify and meet their needs.

Administering Communion to seniors: The diocese has provided different protocols and guidelines covering various liturgical and sacramental services. There will be no discrimination toward seniors who will have access to, and may be present, in the church; they will receive the Host according to the protocols adopted by your “deconfinement” committee: and in the hand. There are no restrictions concerning the age of priests, volunteers and the faithful. As long as they are not presenting any symptoms of COVID-19, have not been in contact with anyone affected by COVID-19, or recently returned from holidays and are able to participate or to celebrate, they are very welcome.

Q8. If Phase Three includes the resumption of public Masses, will there be a diocesan registration system through which to sign up in order to attend Mass?

No, registration to attend Mass will not be offered at the diocesan level. It will be up to your local “deconfinement” committee to determine at the local level what process to implement in order to facilitate the participation of the faithful at Mass(es). The "Guide" offers you a few suggestions that you may need to adapt to better suit your parish situation, environment and available resources (human, material and financial), as well as local practices and expectations of your community. Before reopening, we would recommend that you first survey your community on the different areas of parish and liturgical life to assess how best to co-ordinate, organize and provide adequate services.                        

Q9. Do we have to clean the church if we are not having daily masses?

It is mandatory to clean the church and every meeting room, both before and after each event and activity (pews, ramps, doors, etc.); thus, you will have to determine the time required between different activities that are scheduled to take place in the same space. We continue to recommend using live-streaming platforms or social media to offer Masses online and using cloud platforms to hold virtual meetings, courses, etc., to enable maximum participation.

Q10. When Eucharistic celebrations resume, at what point will Holy Communion be distributed?

The protocols and guidelines offer you different options. A poster designed by the diocese and safety measures to be taken during the Communion process is available online for your use. Nevertheless, you will have to choose the method that best suits your parish context, environment, etc. and that respects the principles for preventing transmission by observing the protocols of physical distancing, hand-washing, disinfection, mask-wearing, etc.

  • The choir and congregational singing: The same conditions required for administering Communion to the faithful will apply to the cantor and choir director. It is important to note that the protocols adopted by the diocese and the “deconfinement” committee recommend that the choir be kept to a minimum number of members, and to refrain from singing loudly during Mass for the duration of the pandemic. There can be one animator, one soloist and one musical instrument (e.g. an organ or a guitar). Their presence will require specific set-up preparations: a microphone for each individual and set at a two-meter distance from each other and the faithful. It is recommended that the animator and soloist use, while singing, a protective visor instead of a mask.
  • The priest brings Communion to the faithful: if this arrangement is feasible for the priest, the ministers and the faithful, then feel free to consider this option. It is up to your “deconfinement” committee to determine what will work best in your situation and with the resources you have at your disposal, while ensuring the safety of everybody in the church.
  • Communion after the Final Blessing: this is a good option if it is feasible in your parish situation and can be adopted by your committee. In this instance, the priest says the Final Blessing, the congregation replies "Amen", Communion proceeds immediately following, and in silence, with no verbal exchange while administering/receiving the Host.

 

Q11. What measures should be applied to our Adoration Chapel, open daily?

The main conditions for reopening the churches will apply here as well, which means that you must ensure disinfection of the premises (inside and out), adequate signage and information visible and available at the entrance, clearly placed decals/tape to mark physical distancing and guidelines governing indoor movement. Most importantly, you should have a volunteer present in the Chapel during opening hours to supervise those who come to visit and pray, to ensure observance of the required measures and minimize the need for additional disinfection of areas that have already been cordoned off or marked as restricted.

Q12. Can we celebrate Mass outdoors? If yes, how many could attend?

You will be able to celebrate Mass outdoors whenever you are ready to offer a safe and secure environment for all involved, with the only limit on the number of faithful being the seating capacity: this includes distancing, fixed seating, clear directions to be seated, as well as instructions governing attendance at and movement about the site. Please note that you will have to ensure that the volunteers are well-prepared to help ensure instructions are well observed and carried out smoothly during Mass, particularly during Communion. The number of faithful permitted will depend on your capacity to place chairs allowing the two-meter distance between attendees.

Q13. Is there any financial aid to help pay for supplies needed?

No. Each organisation is responsible for procuring all necessary supplies required for the “deconfinement”!

Q14. Do we need to keep track of who is attending, and when and how, in case a transmission case arises?

It would be ideal and best practice to do so. It is up to your committee to choose the strategies and methods that will help organize the reopening of the church. The resumption of pastoral services requires that the principles related to the safety of all members of the parish be applied while taking into consideration the particular context, environment and resources of your organization.

Q15. Is this preparation phase intended for all dioceses in Quebec, or only for Montreal?

The webinars, documents and the diocesan committee are designated to serve the Diocese of Montreal. Nevertheless, the main protocols are consistent with the guidelines of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Quebec (AECQ) and respect the government's recommendations.

Q16. Once the doors are open, can we hold Baptisms and Marriages? How soon can we open our parish offices to the public?

Although the government announced that the opening of places of worship would take effect June 22, it is required, within the Diocese of Montreal, that you take the time to make the necessary preparations based on the guidelines and protocols in order to ensure the safety of all those entering the premises for whatever reason e.g. work, volunteering, receiving pastoral and sacramental services, etc. The committee must complete the online checklist and send in a report to the Archdiocese for approval before your parish or mission may reopen your church, your offices, etc. The same guidelines apply to faith formation activities and their respective sacramental celebrations. Sanitary measures have to be in place, with volunteers, participants and parents aware and well-informed of these measures. Guidelines will be given to parishes for First Communion and Confirmation at a later date.

 

Q17. What is a parish correspondent?

A parish correspondent is a member of your committee who will serve as liaison between your local committee and the diocesan committee, i.e. this contact person will ask questions, send documents, complete the engagement documents and checklists, etc. The intention in having a parish correspondent is to establish seamless collaboration and clarity of communication between your committee and the diocesan committee. It is a good idea to nominate a parish correspondent.

Q18. My question concerns committee members and volunteers: when and where will they receive formation?

It is up to your committee to set up a profile of the needs and services that can be made available according to the reality of your local community. To do so, the diocesan committee recommends that you complete a quick assessment to help identify what and who are needed e.g. volunteers, materials, resources, etc. Then, you will have to offer adequate training to the volunteers; general themes to be addressed are mentioned in the guide and in the checklist. This information is intended to help you plan your services adequately. Of course, you will also need to inform and educate the parishioners before opening the church and planning your services; this information will include a list of pre-existing conditions that prohibit individuals from coming to the church. Finally, considering what has happened in other sectors and geographic locations when general conditions of confinement and risk control in public settings were not properly applied or adhered to, we strongly encourage you to take your time in planning, coordinating and communicating your reopening plan in order to create a safe environment for everyone in your community.

Q19. I would encourage the Diocese to take a serious look at reducing or eliminating the Diocesan contribution for the year of 2020.

We are doing much to help parishes by supporting them with their development and online giving tools, etc., in order to reduce the financial impact of revenue loss. I refer you to our webinar and survey that we have asked all parishes to complete. You can find them here: www.servicesfabriques.org

Q20: What should we do in the event that someone insists on attending Mass or another service when that person is obviously showing signs of illness?

First of all, you must try to check whether the cough is “once-off” or recurrent. If it is recurrent, you must ascertain whether the person is presenting with some other symptoms (fever, fatigue, etc.). If you have taken your time and taken precautions to inform and educate your parishioners about, among others, the reasons that might prevent them from being present at Mass, for example, and you have mentioned clearly the principles upon which such decisions are based, you respectfully remind them of their duty and obligations to the community.

It is also very important that all communities set in place a system for managing a crisis situation e.g. someone who persists, maybe aggressively, in remaining in the church when they are visibly ill and presenting with symptoms that resemble COVID-19. This should involve remaining calm and respectful while explaining why this person needs to be isolated or encouraged to have a test and / or self-isolate before returning to the community at a future date. In a spirit of charity, it is important to help this person understand that the safety and security of everyone is important and that they are welcome back at a later date.

Q21. Can a grieving family be allowed to say a few words at a funeral?

When you are allowed to have funerals in the church and you have the necessary protocols in place, it will be a matter of planning the movements of those people who would like to say a few words of farewell to their beloved. During the preparations for each particular funeral service, those who wish to speak will therefore be briefed accordingly.

Q22. What about ventilation and air conditioning?

Obviously, parishes that have air conditioning require disinfection i.e. basic cleaning. However, the Institut national de santé publique (INSPQ) mentions on its website that: "from a theoretical point of view, the risk of dispersion of SARS-CoV-2 in the form of droplets or aerosols through a ventilation system cannot be completely ruled out (NASEM, 2020a; Dietz, 2020), although, according to Ezratty and Squinazi (2008), this risk is unlikely"; and in response to the question: "What are the risks of contracting COVID-19 through ventilation systems?" reports that "airborne transmission therefore seems possible, but it does not seem to be associated with a significant proportion of cases, and its importance in the current pandemic remains difficult to assess "(CCNSE, 2020). Is it necessary to apply special measures for the maintenance of ventilation systems during a pandemic? "Several organizations recommend, however, verifying the proper functioning of the system and to adequately ventilate all occupied interior spaces (HCSP, 2020; CCNSE, 2020; ASHRAE, 2020d). In addition, it is generally recommended to: ensure that the ventilation registers are not obstructed by objects or by excessive accumulation of dust; check the proper functioning of the motors and flaps of the mechanical system; ensure the cleanliness of the filters in place ".

Finally, the INSPQ informs that "in the light of the information available, it seems plausible that pedestal fans, like other similar devices, could contribute to the dispersion of droplets containing SARS-CoV-2 in the presence of infected persons, whether or not they are symptomatic. The pedestal fan should therefore be used with care.
(https://www.inspq.qc.ca/en/publications/2992-indoor-environment-covid19)

 

Where to find the tools (documentation) on diocesan deconfinement?

You will find the documentation on the diocesan deconfinement on the page: Pastoral personnel under the tab - Deconfinement COVID-19

Testimonials of Catholic Families

How has turning to their Catholic faith helped families cope with the challenges  of the coronavirus pandemic? Close to fifteen families share their stories. These testimonies are the fruit of an initiative of a round table chaired by the Archbishop of Montreal, comprising principals from five private Catholic educational  institutions, and directors from the offices and services at the Archdiocese of Montreal.

Articles

 

Videos Testimonials

  • Testimonial of faith in times of pandemic - Irène Tchokokam Family - June 2020. View video (In french)

  • Testimony of faith in times of pandemic - Paloucci Family - The Sacred Heart School of Montreal  and Loyola High School - June 2020. View video

  • Testimonial of faith in times of pandemic - Lirazan Marnie, Paul et Hendrix Family - June 2020. View video

  • Testimonial of faith in times of pandemic - Marc Beauchamp - June 2020. View video (In french)

  • Testimonial of faith in times of pandemic - Patricia and Karim - June 2020. View video

  • Testimony of Faith in Times of Pandemic - Tran Family - École Augustin Roscelli - June 2020. View video (In french)

  • Testimony of Faith in Times of Pandemic - Corsi Family - June 2020. View video

  • Testimony of Faith in Times of Pandemic - Rodriguez Family - June 2020. View video

  • Testimonial of faith in times of pandemic - Chaaya Family – École Augustin Roscelli - June 2020. View vidie (In french)

  • Testimonial of faith in times of pandemic - Naccache Family - École Augustin Roscelli - June 2020. View video (In french)

Resources
Experience this time of reflection through television!
Stay connected!
  • The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal and Salt + Light Media are pleased to announce that as of Sunday, October 4, Mary Queen of the World Cathedral will host Sunday Mass in English, to be aired LIVE at 8 a.m., and Daily Mass in English from Monday to Saturday, also to be aired LIVE at 8:30 a.m. on Salt + Light TV. If you wish to watch the DAILY TV MASS, please visit :  https://saltandlighttv.org/mass/.
Read the liturgical texts and pray the word of God through technology!
  • Prayer to St. Joseph - St. Joseph, we trust in your protection: Download
  • Here is the "Family Prayer in Every Home" booklet  by Most Reverend Christian Lépine: Download
  • Novalis offers, for the next few weeks, a free access to all the contents of Prions en Église. Click on this link for more information: http://www.prionseneglise.ca/ (In French only)
  • Also, here is if you wish to download the "Pray as you GO" application: https://pray-as-you-go.org/
Stay informed by listening to the Radio!

In order to respond to a need, Radio VM will broadcast the Eucharistic celebration throughout this pandemic, from Monday to Friday at 8:30 a.m. and again at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday at 11:00 a.m. from Saint Joseph's Oratory.  The Rosary is broadcast daily on the entire Radio VM network, Monday to Friday: 6:35 p.m.
 
For more information, click on this link: https://www.radiovm.com/

Diocesan directives

Here is the Memorandum containing the latest updates to the “Diocesan Directives”

Memorandum - Diocesan directives - Update

20-03-2020
 

Memorandum - Diocesan directives - Update

18-03-2020
 
 

 

Press releases

22-06-2020
Mary Queen of the World Cathedral reopens its doors, holds feast day celebration for St. John the Baptist, patron saint of French Canadians
Here is the Mass schedule at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral, as well as details on the diocesan St. John The Baptist feast day mass.

17-06-2020
Gradual reopening of churches: The Catholic Church in Montreal looks confidently toward the future
Archbishop Christian Lépine of Montreal would like to thank both the pastoral team members and volunteers of the Catholic Church in Montreal for giving their best these past few months without counting the cost, as well as the government leaders and public-health officials for recognizing that care of the soul is as essential for every human person as is care of the body.

22-05-2020
Mass to celebrate the dignity of human life - May 14, 2020
Archbishop  Christian  Lépine  of  Montreal  will preside  overa special Mass on Thursday, May 14, 8 a.m.,to celebratethe dignityoflife, the family, the most vulnerable among us,their loved ones and their caregivers.

21-04-2020
A special Mass In time of pandemic - Wednesday, April 22
Following the recent decree from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Archbishop Christian Lépine will preside at a special Mass tomorrow, entitled “In Time of Pandemic”...

09-04-2020
Catholic Church of Montreal issues a Holy Week message of Hope
Keenly aware that during this time of physical distancing and self-isolation, many might be feeling disconnected and on edge, the Catholic Church of Montreal has decided to send a message of solidarity and Christian hope to an anxious and fatigued province...

01-04-2020
Special mass for youth: Palm Sunday April 4 via YouTube
Archbishop Christian Lépine of Montreal and Auxiliary Bishop Marc Pelchat of Québec wish to send a message of hope to as many people as possible during the fight against this pandemic and haveasked Catholic churches in their dioceses to ring their bells for 10 minutes, starting at 12 noon, beginning Sunday, March 29 through every Sunday until Easter.

27-03-2020
COVID-19: Crescendo of the Bells
Archbishop Christian Lépine of Montreal and Auxiliary Bishop Marc Pelchat of Québec wish to send a message of hope to as many people as possible during the fight against this pandemic and haveasked Catholic churches in their dioceses to ring their bells for 10 minutes, starting at 12 noon, beginning Sunday, March 29 through every Sunday until Easter...

12-03-2020
Press release from AECQ : measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19
The Premier of Quebec announced today several preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. Meeting in plenary assembly, the Catholic bishops of Quebec want to contribute to this common public-health effort and to act in solidarity with the civil authorities.

 

1. What is baptism?

For many centuries, Baptism has been administered to small children, often newborns, because this sacrament does not depend on individual merit but is a blessing and a free gift from God. When these little children are baptized in the faith of the Church, they are not expected to have a full and perfect faith; their budding faith is called to grow within the warmth of the Christian community.

As with all abilities a child develops, his/her faith is encouraged to flourish and to be strengthened after baptism through faith enrichment, catechism and the practice of the Christian life. As parents, you are called to play a very important role in this growth.

For the Jewish community of Jesus’ day, baptism by immersion (in water) was the sign of a desire for conversion (returning to God with an upright life). Jesus had no need to do so, nevertheless He accepted to be baptized by John the Baptist, his cousin. Also, at the very end of his life, Jesus told his Apostles to go and teach all nations and to baptize all those who desired it in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28) – this distinguishes Christian baptism from baptism as practised within the Jewish tradition. From its very beginning, the Catholic Church has respected Jesus’ command. Therefore on the day of his or her baptism, your child becomes an adopted child of God; that is, a brother or sister of Jesus Christ, because both have the same heavenly Father.

2. Why should I baptize my child as a newborn?

By baptizing newborn children, the Church clearly expresses the love of God, which is given freely to each member of humanity, especially the smallest ones, to whom He offers the gift of his divine life. During the years following a child’s baptism, the Church invites parents to help their child to grasp the sublime meaning and the infinite wealth of grace of this first sacrament, a gateway to all others.

3. Do parents need to be baptized in order to have their child baptized?

No, because it is the child that will receive Baptism, not the parents. However, non-baptized parents who ask for their children to be baptized commit themselves, along with the support of the godparents, to help the child to discover the Catholic Christian faith.

4. If we are not married in the Catholic Church, can we have our child baptized?

Yes, Baptism is a free gift that God gives to the child. Later, the parents might – or might not – decide to receive the sacrament of Holy Matrimony; to be married would be an infinite source of blessings for the couple and their family.

5. If one parent is a non-believer or is of a different religion, can we still have our child baptized?

Having a different religious belief does not prohibit a parent from requesting Baptism for their child; in fact, a prerequisite in permitting a Catholic to marry a non-Catholic is the condition that children born of their union be baptized and raised in the Catholic faith.

6. Can parents who are divorced and remarried have their child baptized?

Yes, as long as one of the spouses makes the request and supports the requirement of educating the child in the faith and the Christian life. The Church has always affirmed the right of every person, especially every child, to ask for and to receive Baptism.

7. Can we have our child baptized if we have no intention of giving our child a Christian education?

Parents who do not intend to educate their child in the Catholic faith after receiving Baptism should consider postponing it. Certainly, the Church accepts to baptize little children – who have not made this choice on their own – but it does so with the explicit agreement of the parents for whom this choice implies educating their child in the Catholic Christian faith.

8. Can we baptize our child if we have not baptized our older child?

Yes.  For one reason or another, parents may not have had their older child baptized. The Church recognizes, a priori, that there are reasonable explanations for these situations.  That being said, parents need to know that baptism is prepared for and lived out in the family. After looking at your particular situation, the parish team will recommend an appropriate path to follow in preparation for the sacrament.

9. Can we choose a godfather or godmother who is not baptized?

No.  Because the role of the godparents is to represent the Christian community and to bear witness to the faith of the Church in the eyes both of the person to be baptized and of his/her parents, it would be ill-advised to place them in a role for which they were not prepared to fulfill at the time.

10. The godmother we selected is not baptized. Is this problematic?

If the godfather who will be accompanying her is baptized, she could only serve as the child’s “godmother-at-heart”; she would, nevertheless, be invited to sign the official baptismal register as a witness. She could accompany and support the baptized child by carrying him/her in her heart, but not as delegated representative of the Church.

11. Is it necessary for both parents to be in agreement in order to have their child baptized?

No.  The decision of one parent to baptize their child does not require the consent of the other. However, in the interest of fostering unity and peace within the family household, it is common practice to delay a baptism in the hope of securing the approval of both parents. 

12. Are we obliged to celebrate our child’s baptismal ceremony along with other families having children baptized?

A Christian does not grow and develop in a void; he or she does not live alone on an island. The Church is an authentic family that invites all people to recognize that they are brothers and sisters of the same Father, in Jesus. That is why the Church invites families to gather and to celebrate together the baptism of their children, the sacrament that initiates their little ones into the greater Christian community. As soon as they are baptized, they become full members. This is a visible consequence of this sacrament, which is also an act of the community and of the entire Catholic Church. Moreover, to mark the link between Baptism and the Christian community, a special and official welcome is usually extended during a Sunday assembly (a Mass) to those who will be baptized.

13. How do we begin Christian education as a family?

A Christian education begins very simply, first and foremost, by the example that you give to your child as a prayerful, faithful committed Christian. A good way to go about this is to take a bit of time with your child in the evening, at bedtime. Tell him or her that Jesus loves them very much, even if they don’t see Him. Teach your child to say “thank you” to Jesus for all that was good and to ask forgiveness for any anger, arguments or other ways they were not loving during the course of the day. Ask Jesus to bless all the members of your family (or friends) by naming them one by one (or not).  

To create an ambiance and decorum that favours prayer and reflection, you might want to light a candle, place a crucifix or a pious image near your child in a little prayer corner. There are also a multitude of short books geared to various age groups that can help youngsters to discover the life of Jesus, the message of the Gospel, the lives of Christians, the saints of the Church, etc. (You will find some in specialized Catholic bookstores.)

 

14. Our child is still a baby: why should we decide on his behalf to baptize him in the Catholic Church?

This is a very pertinent question, often asked. Allow us to respond with another question:  Did you ask your young child for his/her opinion before teaching them their mother tongue or teaching them how to swim? Did you ask his/her opinion about the arrival or not of a little brother or sister, on what he/she wants in their bottle, etc.? The answer to all these questions is “no”. Was your intention to interfere with his or her freedom, to disrespect his or her right to choose in making these decisions? No. All these decisions were the result of the same intention: choosing what is best for him or her.

It is up to you to judge whether you think it is good (or not) that your child should grow up in the faith of the Catholic Church. And rest assured, when your child reaches the age of full reason and adolescent freedom, he or she will be fully free to believe or not believe, to practise or not practise his or her religion.

15. Is baptismal preparation obligatory for parents and godparents?

Church programs for baptismal preparation are directed mainly toward the parents who bear primary responsibility for the baptism of their child. That being said, as the godfather and godmother are also involved, it is an opportunity for all to rediscover the Christian faith and the life of the Church; in fact, many parents and godparents often pose their own questions of a religious and spiritual nature during these sessions. This preparation also allows them to be better prepared for the baptismal ceremony.

16. This is our second child. Is it necessary to undertake baptismal preparation again?

Preparing for a baptism is not like preparing for a school exam. Instead, it is first and foremost a faith experience designed to touch the heart, the will and the soul of each participant. This experience can be repeated many times without ever exhausting its meaning or its richness – like all things concerning love. This is why each baptismal preparation session offers parents a time and space to deepen their Catholic faith, while giving them the opportunity to meet new people.   

17. Whom should I contact to obtain proof of my Confirmation?
  • You should contact the parish in which you were baptized, which will also have a record of your Confirmation, whether you were confirmed in that parish or not.

  • For further assistance, please feel free to contact us at (514) 931-7311, ext. 245 or by email at chancellerie@diocesemontreal.org.

  • If you were baptized at a parish located outside the Archdiocese of Montreal, you must get in touch with the diocese in which that parish is located. If you need assistance to do so, feel free to contact us at (514) 931-7311, ext. 245 or by email at chancellerie@diocesemontreal.org.

 

18. Must a baptism always take place in a parish?

Yes, because the parish and the church in which the parish faithful gather represent the community of believers into which the newly baptized child is being received. Baptism naturally takes place in the parish to which the child’s parents belong, but it sometimes happens that it is celebrated in another parish.  In order to do this, it is necessary to obtain the agreement of the pastor of the home parish.

19. Why must we sign a register after the baptism?

The baptismal register is the official Catholic Church record of membership in the Christian community and, consequently, is used to verify that the believer can receive certain other sacraments, such as First Communion, Confirmation, Marriage or Holy Orders.

A signature in the baptismal register officially verifies that you have freely chosen to be baptized, and in the case of infant baptism, it attests that you have freely chosen baptism for your child, an attestation that can also serve as a helpful reminder to your child during their journey of faith and periods of soul-searching.

20. Can the sacrament of Baptism be annulled?

No, because the Church teaches that this sacrament marks the soul of the baptized person with a particular sign from God who, once committed to a covenant relationship with his creature, is faithful to this commitment for all of eternity. That being said, anyone who wishes to disassociate themselves from the Catholic Church can do so.

This person can until his/her last breath rekindle this loving relationship, for God never refuses anyone who, with a sincere heart, asks for his love.

21. What is the cost of a baptism?

All encounters with God are free; entry into the Church is the same. That being said, the parish incurs expenses in preparing for your child’s baptismal rite; the parents/godparents usually make a donation as a sign of appreciation.

22. In addition to their first name, can we give other names to our child who is to be baptized?

The name you give your child at birth is their baptismal name. Some parents wish to give other names to their child in addition to the first name. For instance, parents might want to add the name of a saint to whom they spiritually entrust their child, in the mystery of the communion of saints (the real union of all Christians in heaven and on earth). Parents should make these decisions before completing the federal and provincial birth registration forms and indicate these additional names in the appropriate places.

23. Is it necessary to be baptized in order to have a sacramental marriage in the Catholic Church?

Yes.  Baptism is the sacrament by which a person becomes an active member of the Catholic Church; Baptism is the gateway to all other Christian sacraments. Baptism is the foundation of a person’s Catholic identity. Like all sacraments, marriage rests on these foundations. On a spiritual level, marriage invites Christ into the heart of the relationship between the (future) spouses; this personal relationship with Christ must, therefore, pre-exist when celebrating the sacrament of Marriage or Holy Matrimony.

24. At what age can a person become a godfather or godmother?

The Catholic Church requires that the godfather or godmother be at least 16 years of age at the time of the baptismal celebration so as to assure that they have the human and spiritual maturity necessary to accompany the newly baptized person in this crucial step in his/her Christian life.

25. What are other conditions required to become a godfather or godmother?

To become a godparent is a lifelong responsibility and commitment. For this reason, the Catholic Church has established the following two conditions that godparents must meet:

  • A godparent must be a practising Catholic

  • A godparent must have already received the Sacraments of Christian Initiation: Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation.

 

26. Why is it that I cannot get two godmothers and godfathers at the Baptism of my child?

In the eyes of God, men and women, though equal, are different and their differences bring richness. They enrich each other through their approach and can bear together more fruits than if they were alone. The role of the Godfather and Godmother is to be a guide, a coach of Christian life in some way, and they both envision this role in different ways.

Does pastoral responsibility apply only to volunteers?

No. The diocesan pastoral responsibility policy applies to all personnel working for the Diocese of Montreal, without exception: employees, priests, members of the clergy, religious or lay people, paid or volunteer, parishes and missions, offices and diocesan services, corporations.

Does this policy serve to counter sexual abuses committed against minors?

No, it is a policy with a much broader aim. The application of the pastoral responsibility policy aims to prevent all forms of abuse in the interactions with all those who are minors or vulnerable: sexual abuse, emotional, financial or physical. Minors are not the only ones that the pastoral responsibility policy aims to protect; in fact, many adults are vulnerable because of their age, a handicap, temporary or permanent circumstances, and they are no longer able to properly protect themselves. The policy therefore protects minors and people who are of age.

Is a police check obligatory for all those who work in parishes?

No. The police check and the verification of references only apply to people who occupy positions considered to hold an elevated risk.

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