Baptism is the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation. In baptism, we are “born of water and the Spirit,” we are given the ability to “walk in the newness of life,” and we fulfill the command of Christ to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
We are delighted that you are interested in your child becoming a member of the Catholic Church. A child is baptized in the faith of the Church, a faith proclaimed for them by you, their parents, and their godparents. Together with the godparents you represent both the local Church and the whole society of saints and believers. St. Augustine tells us that: “The whole Church is the mother of all and the mother of each. “It is important for every child to belong to a faith community. The people of God, namely the Church, and more directly this faith community, have an important role to play as we welcome each new member with their family. We are eager to make your experience a very special one.
Baptism at St. Francis Xavier and St. Peter’s-on-the-Thames
Preparation for Baptism may begin before the baby is born. Pertinent information regarding parents and godparents is required. Parents must be registered in the parish before their child can be baptized. Children who are of a catechetical age before being baptized,, i.e have completed Grade 2, may be prepared for all three Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion.
If you are new to our faith community, consider walking with us for awhile. Come to mass regularly. Introduce yourself to the staff so you can get to know us and we can get to know you. See if this is the community where you and your child belong. When you are ready, review the process “Preparing for your Child’s Baptism” found below and then complete the Application Form also found below. If you are a long time member of the community or already know you belong here, begin the process right away. In either case, by considering Baptism for your child, you are exploring the privilege to make a profession of faith on your child’s behalf. It is wonderful that you wish to share your faith with your child in this way. If we can help you in any way, please ask. If you have any further questions about Baptism, please contact Father Chris at email@example.com, or Katherine Marsh at firstname.lastname@example.org
Baptism brochure – Be sure to read this important information and bring it with you to your preparation sessions.
Tuesday: 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at St. Peter’s-on-the-Thames
Saturday: 4:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. at St. Francis Xavier
By Appointment Anytime
First Confession Preparation Dates
- Regular participation in “Children’s Church”/Sunday School (8:30 am at St. Peter’s or 10:00 am at St. Francis Xavier
- First Confession Family Retreat
- CHOOSE ONE: Wed. Jan 9 at 6:30 pm -8:00 pm at St. Francis Xavier –OR- Friday Jan 11 6:30 pm -8:00 pm at Visitation, Comber
- Family Catechism Sundays (all 3 are required)
- February 17 directly after 10:00 am Mass
- March 3 directly after 10:00 am Mass
- March 17 directly after 10:00 am Mass
FIRST CONFESSION is March 28, 2019 at 7:00 pm at St. Francis Xavier
Pope Francis expressed the beauty of this Sacrament in this recollection by Andrea Tornielli:
“In this regard, the Pope spoke about a dialogue that happened in a confessional where a man, hearing this about mercy, had replied to Bergoglio: “Oh, father, if you knew my life, you would not speak like that! I have done very bad things!” And he replied, “Better! Go to Jesus: he likes it if you tell him these things! He forgets, He has a special ability to forget. He kisses you, He embraces you, and He says to you: ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on, sin no more.’ That is the only advice he gives you. After a month, we are in the same condition…Let us return to the Lord. The Lord never gets tired of forgiving – Never! It is we who get tired of asking him for forgiveness. And let us ask for the grace of never tiring of asking him for forgiveness. And let us ask for the grace of never tiring of asking pardon, for He never tires of pardoning.”
Children who are baptized and are in Grade 2 usually begin preparation to receive both the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist during that school year. It is strongly recommended that children celebrate their First Reconciliation before receiving their First Communion.
Parents of children in the Catholic schools connected to our parish (St. Joseph and St. Francis in Tilbury) are contacted through the schools and informed of the upcoming sacraments in our parishes. Parents of children at other schools are asked to contact our offices to register their children.
Preparation elements include: an information meeting for parents in October; a workbook to be completed by children with help from their parents at home; in-class instruction by Grade 2 teachers at our Catholic schools which will be supplemented by class visits by our pastoral team; and special catechism sessions for the children over three consecutive weekends during the 10:00 a.m. Mass at St. Francis during the season of Lent.
First Communion for children is celebrated at each of our parishes during the regular Masses of two weekends during the Easter season. Parents will be informed of the specific weekend options during the preparation time leading up to the First Communions. For those children who may not be able to be at any of those regularly scheduled celebrations, the First Communion may be celebrated at another regular parish Mass after arrangements are made with the parish.
First Communion Preparation Dates
- Weekly Sunday participation in Children’s Church / Sunday School is expected at the 10:00am Mass for your daughter in 2nd grade.
- Family Mini Retreat: St. Francis Xavier Parish’s Family Mini Retreat in Tilbury, in their parish hall (basement) on Thursday April 4th, 2019 @ 6:30pm-8:00pm. One parent (or grandparent/godparent) is required along with the child making their first communion. The whole family is invited. Please RSVP the number of family members who will be attending by contacting Katherine. An alternative is to join Visitation Parish in Comber’s Mini Retreat Saturday April 6, 2019 @ 10:00am-11:30am in the Visitation Parish Church Hall
- Family Preparation Sundays are on the following dates: (all are mandatory)
Sunday March 31st, 2019 @ 10:00am
Sunday April 14th, 2019 @ 10:00am
Sunday April 28th, 2019 @ 10:00am
(Family Preparation Sundays begin with the children attending Children’s Church as normal. After the Mass the entire family is welcomed into the Parish Hall for a 10-15min family activity that includes a “make and take” to bring home. This activity will have a daily home component to help your child prepare for their big day with the whole family. It takes a village.)
- First Communion Rehearsal:
Thursday May 9, 2019 @ 6:00-6:30pm in the main Church – For those making first communion on May 11th
Saturday May 11, 2019 @ 6:45-7:15pm in the main Church – For those making first communion on May 12th
FIRST COMMUNION Dates
May 11 at 5:00 pm at St. Francis Xavier or
May 12 at 8:30 am at St. Peter’s or
May 12 at 10:00 am at St. Francis Xavier
***Please Note: $20 fee for preparation materials.
In the past, Confirmation has been offered to students in Grade 8 only, but beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, we will be changing this to include Grade 7 students. So in 2018-2019, both Grade 7 and 8 students will be celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation and in 2019-2020, it will remain in Grade 7.
Schedule for the Rite of Confirmation 2018
The following is a listing of all scheduled sessions that the candidates are required to attend. Sponsors are strongly encouraged to be present with their candidate at all meetings to provide support. All meetings (with the exception of the Kick-Off) are held at St. Francis Xavier Church.
Information & Registration Meeting: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 7:00 pm.
Confirmation Kick-Off Event: Saturday, Sept 22 OR Saturday, Sept 29 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Confirmation “Youth Group”
**held at St. Peter’s Church Hall, in Tilbury East, 5425 Tecumseh Line. A Parent and/or sponsor must be present with each candidate. $5.00 suggested per person to offset the cost of lunch. Must pre-register.
Session 1: Saturday, Oct. 27 at 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm followed by Dedication Mass at 5:00 pm
Session 2: Saturday, Nov. 10 at 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm followed by Mass (Confirmation Class will host)
Session 3: Saturday, Nov. 24 at 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm followed by Mass (Confirmation Class will host)
Session 4: Saturday, Jan. 12 at 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm followed by Mass (Confirmation Class will host)
Session 5: Saturday, Jan. 26 at 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm followed by Mass (Confirmation Class will host) On this day, letters of intent are due. A classroom visit will be made to assist students with this activity.
Session 6: Saturday, Feb. 9 at 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm followed by Mass (Confirmation Class will host)
Service Project: TBA
Confirmation Retreat Day:
Wednesday, February 13 10:00 am – 2:30 pm held during school hours. All Grade 7/8 students at St. Joseph School will be in attendance. Students at St. Francis are encouraged to request permission to join St. Joseph students at St. Francis Xavier Church for this day. A REHEARSAL WILL TAKE PLACE AT THE END OF THE RETREAT. STUDENTS WHO CANNOT ATTEND SHOULD MAKE ALTERNATE ARRANGEMENTS WITH KATHERINE MARSH.
This year’s date of Confirmation is Sunday, February 17 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Francis Xavier officiated by Bishop Joseph Dambrowski CSMA. Please arrive NO LATER than 1:40 pm. A reception will follow.
Costs: There is a $20 fee that included gown rental and preparation materials.
These dates for Confirmation preparation can also be found on Upcoming Events page.
The Confirmation preparation program here at our parishes consists of: an information night for parents; working through the Decision Point video series (http://dynamiccatholic.com/confirmation/view-program/) either in-class at one of the Catholic schools connected to our parishes (St. Joseph or St. Francis in Tilbury) or at home; completing 10 service hours; participating in our parish-based retreat day; and completing an interview with our pastoral team; attendance at our Pentecost Sunday Masses for a special blessing and gifting ceremony. There may be other opportunities for preparation provided by the school, parish or diocese. Parents of Grade 7 and 8 students at our Catholic schools will be notified through the schools when registration is open for Confirmation; adult candidates and parents of children outside of our schools can register at any time through our parish offices.
Dennis Thibodeau & Laura Carroll who were married at St. Peter’s on October 6;
Scott Parent & Angela Quenneville who were married at St. Francis on October 13;
Scott Lewis & Jessica Wills who were married at St. Francis on October 20
Any Catholic who is presently a member of the parish cluster, and who is free to marry, can be married at St. Francis Xavier or St. Peter’s-on-the-Thames. Couples intending to be married are asked to please contact the pastor before making any other arrangements. One year notice is required so that the proper preparation can take place. Please contact the Parish Office at 519-682-1102 or contacting the pastor directly at email@example.com
You are planning to spend the rest of your lives together. Every step must be taken to ensure your happiness and a good knowledge of your duties and responsibilities and of the requirements of Christian marriage. All couples, before entering into marriage, must attend a preparation course which has been designed to assist you in your new life together and address various issues of married life. This is in addition to the meetings you will have with the parish priest/ deacon/ or pastoral minister. If you have been away from regularly practicing your faith – welcome home ! We will be offering a variety of programs to help you spiritually prepare for the reception of the sacrament of marriage. Programs like ALPHA or Catholic Update may be part of your preparation after mutual agreement between yourself and the celebrant. Your parish priest will provide you with the appropriate dates and times.
Attendance at our Family Gatherings (Sunday Mass) is not only encouraged but required. Perfection is not required – but a willing heart is!
There are several preparation options available to couples who are planning to be married in our parish cluster.
Chatham Family of Parishes – no Marriage Prep in 2019
Wallaceburg – Holy Redeemer Cluster – February 23 & 24, 2019
Blenheim – no Marriage Prep in 2019
May 24 & 25, 2019
Visitation Parish Preparation Course (call 519-687-3118)
Belle River – St. Simon and St. Jude – no Marriage Prep in 2019
Essex – Holy Name of Jesus – March 29 & 30 AND November 22 & 23, 2019
Leamington – no Marriage Prep in 2019
Living our Faith in Love online course
A Weekend course in London through the Diocese of London
The Catechism puts it this way: “Anointing of the Sick” is not a sacrament for those who are 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 arrived.”
This Sacrament is celebrated communally twice a year at Tilbury Manor and Hudson Manor. We celebrate it as a parish on the Sunday closest to the memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes – World Day of Prayer for the Sick (at all Masses). It is also celebrated individually by appointment or in emergencies by contacting Fr. Christopher Bourdeau at 519-682-2256 (the rectory).
This year, the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick will be celebrated at St. Francis Xavier on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at the 5:00 p.m. Vigil Mass and Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Mass and at St. Peter’s-on-the-Thames on Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 8:30 a.m.
We’re blessed to have St. Peter’s Seminary within our diocese in London. It works at forming priests, permanent deacons and lay ministers to serve the Church throughout Canada.
If you feel you may be called to a religious vocation or know someone who may be, please contact our diocesan vocations director, Fr. Patrick Beneteau at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our vocations website.
A list of the various Religious Communities of Consecrated Life for men and women can be found on the Diocese of London website
Not sure where to begin in the journey?
Explore the faith through the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)
RCIA is a journey of conversion on the living community of faith. It is an ongoing process in which adults and children prepare for initiation through prayer, rituals, reflection on the Word of God, teachings of the Church, community activities and support from and service to others.
RCIA culminates in the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist)
RCIA is for:
-Adults who have not received any of the Sacraments of Initiation
-Adults who have been baptized Catholic but have not been Confirmed and/or not received their First Communion
-Children who attend public or Catholic school or are being home schooled, who are 8 years old (in Grade 3) or older and who have not been baptized or received First Communion
For more information or to register, contact the parish office at 519-682-1102 or email@example.com
First Holy Communion
Matrimony: Why Make it Catholic
Anointing of the Sick