FAMILY LIFE

Our Family Life ministry, under the leadership of Linda Kalkhorst, is there to assist you and your family from Womb to Tomb. To learn more about the different services and sacraments they assist with, check out the descriptions below.

Baptism

Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: "Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word."

This sacrament is called Baptism, after the central rite by which it is carried out: to baptize (Greek baptizein) means to "plunge" or "immerse"; the "plunge" into the water symbolizes the catechumen's burial into Christ's death, from which he rises up by resurrection with him, as "a new creature."

This sacrament is also called "the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit," for it signifies and actually brings about the birth of water and the Spirit without which no one "can enter the kingdom of God."

"This bath is called enlightenment, because those who receive this [catechetical] instruction are enlightened in their understanding . . . ." Having received in Baptism the Word, "the true light that enlightens every man," the person baptized has been "enlightened," he becomes a "son of light," indeed, he becomes "light" himself.

The origin and foundation of Christian Baptism is Jesus.  Before starting his public ministry, Jesus submitted himself to the baptism given by John the Baptist.  The waters did not purify him; he cleansed the waters.  . . .  Jesus did not need to be baptized because he was totally faithful to the will of his Father and free from sin.  However, he wanted to show his solidarity with human beings in order to reconcile them to the Father. By commanding his disciples to baptize all nations, he established the means by which people would die to sin – Original and actual – and begin to live a new life with God.

In Baptism, the Holy Spirit moves us to answer Christ's call to holiness. In Baptism, we are asked to walk by the light of Christ and to trust in his wisdom. We are invited to submit our hearts to Christ with ever deeper love.

Immaculate Heart of Mary has two options for those who need to be baptized. If you have a child or infant, you can have them baptized through our Family Life Ministry Infant Baptism Program. If you or a family member are not Catholic and are interested in being baptized in a sacrament of initiation into the Church, you can receive your sacraments through our Rite of Christian Initiation Program.

To learn about our baptism program for both children and adults, please contact the welcome desk at information@ihmco.org

Holy Matrimony

Sacred Scripture begins with the creation and union of man and woman and ends with "the wedding feast of the Lamb" (Rev 19:7, 9). Scripture often refers to marriage, its origin and purpose, the meaning God gave to it, and its renewal in the covenant made by Jesus with his Church. Man and woman were created for each other.

By their marriage, the couple witnesses Christ's spousal love for the Church. One of the Nuptial Blessings in the liturgical celebration of marriage refers to this in saying, "Father, you have made the union of man and wife so holy a mystery that it symbolizes the marriage of Christ and his Church."

The Sacrament of Marriage is a covenant, which is more than a contract. Covenant always expresses a relationship between persons. The marriage covenant refers to the relationship between the husband and wife, a permanent union of persons capable of knowing and loving each other and God. The celebration of marriage is also a liturgical act, appropriately held in a public liturgy at church. Catholics are urged to celebrate their marriage within the Eucharistic Liturgy.

Immaculate Heart of Mary hosts dozens of weddings each year, and we would love to help you strengthen the bonds of your marriage by bringing it into the Church through the sacrament of Matrimony.

Couples wanting to get married at Immaculate Heart of Mary need to contact the Family Life office at least 8 months prior to their wedding date to discuss marriage preparation. An initial meeting will be scheduled to discuss the marriage prep process at Immaculate of Heart of Mary in detail.

Married couples who are in a sacramental marriage and have been married for at least 5 years can volunteer to mentor engaged couples. If you are interested in becoming a mentor couple, please call the Family Life Director

Funerals

Because of our belief not only in the immortality of the soul, but also in the resurrection of the body, the Church professes hope in the face of death, and acts with charity in the funeral rites. The Church provides a number of prayers for the faithful to offer both to accompany the dying of a loved one and to strengthen our faith upon their death. Through private prayer and public funeral rites, we strengthen our faith and hope, comfort those who mourn, and bury the bodily remains of the deceased with care befitting what was the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

When a loved one passes away, it can be a very stressful time in your life.

Your first step is to choose a mortuary who can receive the body of the deceased and start making arrangements with the family.  Once a mortuary has been chosen and has received the body, the family can contact the Family Life Director to start to make the funeral Mass arrangements with Immaculate Heart of Mary.  The Family Life Director will help you arrange a date for service, secure a priest for Mass, schedule an appointment to plan the ceremony, arrange musicians and anything else needed for the funeral.