The Sacrament of Baptism is where all faith begins. It is the first Sacrament of Initiation and the foundation upon which all the other sacraments depend. Through water and the Holy Spirit, a person is cleansed from all sin, most especially Original Sin, and is reborn as a child of God into the new life of Christ in the Church.
Infant baptisms at Holy Apostles Parish are generally celebrated after Sunday Mass in our churches. An instructional class is required for parents before the Baptism of their first child. Parents should wait before selecting godparents until they learn of the requirements of the role as it is explained at the pre-baptism class. Please contact the parish office to make arrangements for your child’s baptism at least three months in advance of your intended date.
Adult Entrance into the Catholic Church
Adults who are seeking baptism into the Catholic Church should enroll in our RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program, which begins each year in the fall. The RCIA program establishes a foundational understanding of the faith and prepares candidates for the reception of the sacraments at Easter. Interested adults should contact the parish office for more details.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is the second Sacrament of Initiation. Through Confirmation, the Grace received in Baptism is strengthened and made more perfect. The candidate is sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and prepared to bear witness to Christ as his disciple in the world.
Students who attend our religious education program here at Holy Apostles are generally confirmed in the spring of their eighth-grade year. For more information on Confirmation for young people, please contact our office for Religious Education.
Adults who have been baptized in the Catholic Church but have never been confirmed are invited to complete their Christian Initiation by taking part in our RCIA program. Please contact the parish office for more information.
The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is the third Sacrament of Initiation. The Eucharist is the source and summit of all Christian life and it is therefore the most important and most precious gift that we will ever receive. We believe that the Eucharist is truly the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ given to us under the appearance of bread and wine. When we receive the Eucharist in Holy Communion, we are brought ever more fully into the Body of Christ that is the Church and made sharers of the divine life of God himself.
The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is available every day at every Mass celebrated at Holy Apostles Parish!
Students in our religious education program generally receive their First Holy Communion during the spring of their second-grade year. For more information about First Holy Communion for your child, please contact our office for Religious Education.
Adults who have been baptized but have never received their First Holy Communion are invited to contact the parish office for more information about our RCIA program.
Those who are homebound and unable to attend Mass but who would like to receive Holy Communion are invited to contact the parish office to arrange home visits by our Eucharistic Ministers.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (also called the Sacrament of Confession or the Sacrament of Penance) is the first Sacrament of Healing. In Reconciliation, we confess the sins we have committed after Baptism and receive the mercy and forgiveness of Christ through the ministry of the Church’s priests. The grace received in this sacrament heals our wounded souls and helps us to continue along the road to holiness. Everyone is encouraged to make frequent use of this precious Sacrament!
Students in our religious education program generally make their first Confession during their second-grade year as they prepare for their First Holy Communion.
Confessions are available at Holy Apostles Parish every Saturday from 11:00 am until 12:00 noon at St. Basil Church. If that time does not work for you, please contact one of our parish priests to schedule a time for your confession.
The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony (also called the Sacrament of Marriage) is one of two Sacraments of Service. Through Holy Matrimony, a man and a woman are united by the grace of God into one flesh and are called to provide a living image in the world of the mystical, loving marriage of Christ with his bride the Church. Marriage is an unbreakable covenant meant to help the spouses grow in holiness by encouraging and helping one another as well as through their openness to sharing in the Creator’s work by bringing children into the world.
Catholics are bound by Canon Law to be married within the Catholic Church. Couples wishing to be married at Holy Apostles Parish should contact a parish priest at least six months (preferably more) prior to their anticipated wedding date. All couples are required to attend a pre-marriage program before their wedding.
Anointing of the Sick
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is the second Sacrament of Healing. All those who are experiencing a serious illness, whether physical or mental, acute or chronic, those who are preparing to undergo surgery, and those who have become weakened by advanced age are encouraged to receive this sacrament. In the Anointing of the Sick, we encounter Christ the Divine Physician who brings forgiveness of sins and imparts the spiritual strength needed to endure the heavy burden that comes with illness. Anyone who wishes to be anointed should contact a parish priest at the onset of their illness so that they might have the grace of this sacrament during the extent of their treatment. If a person’s condition worsens or becomes more serious, they may be anointed again.
Anointing of the Sick is not Last Rites! Receiving this sacrament does not mean you’re going to die! It is for the seriously sick, not just the dying. Please don’t pass up the chance to receive God’s grace through this sacrament for fear of death or by waiting for the very last minute. Call us at the beginning of your illness. If you wish to receive the Anointing of the Sick, please contact one of the parish priests.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders is the second of the two Sacraments of Service. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the bishop confers on baptized, Catholic men the grace of Holy Orders so that they might serve the faithful of the Church through the proclamation of the Gospel and the administration of the sacraments as deacons, priests, and bishops.
Men, young and old, who think God might be calling them to be ordained to the priesthood should speak to a priest or contact the Diocese of Pittsburgh Vocation Office at 412-921-5800, extension 23, or by visiting www.pghpriest.com. Men that believe they might have a vocation to the Permanent Diaconate as a deacon should contact one of the parish priests.
Reception of Non-Catholics into Full Communion in the Catholic Church
Non-Catholics are welcome to join us in becoming members of the Body of Christ in the Catholic Church! The Church is the universal sacrament of salvation and the instrument of our Lord’s continued presence here on earth. The Church is not a clubhouse for those who see themselves are perfect, rather it is a hospital for sinners who seek the mercy of our loving God and desire to grow in holiness. All are welcome to join the Body of Christ by becoming members of the Church!
Adults who have never been baptized as well as those who have already been baptized in another Christian community are welcome to enter the Church through our RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program, which begins each year in the fall. The RCIA program establishes a foundational understanding of the faith and prepares the candidates for their sacramental initiation into the Church, which generally takes place at Easter. Interested adults should contact the parish office for more details.
Non-Catholic children who wish to enter the Church, with the support of their parents, should enter the religious education program of our parish. Arrangements will then be made for their reception of the sacraments. Please contact the religious education office for more details.
While not a sacrament, God calls many men and women to serve him and the church through a vocation to religious life. Men and Women in religious life serve the Church in countless ways as nuns and monks, sisters and brothers and various religious orders and congregations. Some aspects of religious life are more contemplative and prayerful, while others focus more on serving out brothers and sisters in the world. Each religious community has its own identity and charisms, which lead to very different ways of life. However, most religious share a common commitment to the Evangelical Counsels – the sacred vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience.
Men and women who think God might be calling them to religious life should contact one of the parish priests, the diocese, or the vocation office of the religious order in which they are interested.
Funerals are not considered sacraments but they are an important aspect of the life of the Church. The central mystery of the Catholic faith concerns the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through our common Baptism and the reception of the other sacraments, Christ brings us into his own death and promises us a share in the resurrection to Eternal Life. The Catholic Funeral Rites, and most importantly the Funeral Mass, are our final preparations on this earth for the new life that is yet to come. While funerals do give comfort and consolation to those left behind, they are first and foremost meant to help the deceased with our prayers. In the Funeral Rites, especially in the Funeral Mass, we intercede on the behalf our deceased loved ones before our merciful and loving God, that he would gather them to himself and grant them the Eternal Life that he has promised.
In the case of the death of a loved one, funeral arrangements should be made with Holy Apostles Parish through the assistance of a Funeral Home. The funeral director is always the first point of contact. Any specific questions or concerns can be made to the priest who is to celebrate the Funeral Rites. Funeral Masses are generally held on any day except Sunday.