General Policies at St. Jerome Parish

1. Smoking is not permitted in any building on parish property.

2. Alcohol is not permitted on parish property, with the exception of Sacramental wine used for the celebration of Eucharist at Mass.

3. Parish property (hall, parking lot, narthex) is off limits for non-parish fundraising activities. This includes sales of candy, pizza, raffle tickets, etc. to support non-parish groups (Girl Scouts, pom poms, band, etc.). Soliciting for Youth Ministry, St. Ann Council of Catholic Women, the Annual Chicken Dinner Raffle, the Knights of Columbus and St. John Neumann School fundraisers will be permitted but only through use of a table offering passersby the opportunity to participate. No face to face or direct soliciting is allowed.

4. No parish property is available for rent. Contact the Knights of Columbus for rental of tables and chairs OR a hall.

5. The use of skateboards, roller blades, roller skates, bicycles, scooters, etc. on parish property is not permitted (except for parish-sponsored events) due to insurance regulations.

6. The placing of flyers on cars in the parking lot is prohibited. If flyers are found on automobiles after Church events, they were placed there without the permission of the pastor, a permission that usually will not be given.

Rules for St Jerome and St John the Baptist Cemeteries

Items not allowed on cemetery property

  • Animals (except service animals acting in that role), bicycles not on roadway, sleds
  • Glass Containers; Live, in-Ground Plants; Benches, Toys or similar objects
  • Electronic or mechanical devices including solar-powered lights, audio or video displays ‘Shepherds Crooks/Hooks’ or other structures for hanging plants and other objects
  • Placards, signs, or posters of any kind, or any material containing offensive or provocative or inappropriate language or graphics as determined by the pastor, cemetery board, or cemetery manager
  • Faded, dirty or unsightly decorations (these will be removed at any time).

Flowers

  • Must be in non-glass and unbreakable urns/pots either as part of the headstone or securely placed on the headstone foundation
  • Flowers left on ground will be collected and disposed of at next mowing
  • Flowers placed during fall/winter, in allowed containers on grave, must be removed by April 1st
  • Flowers placed during spring/summer, in allowed containers on grave, must be removed by October 1st
  • Flowers not removed by April 1st or October 1st (as above) will be disposed of by cemetery manager, grounds maintenance personnel, or cemetery board members

Small U.S. or U.S. Military Service Flags (less than 12 inches at widest)

– allowed during the week before and/or after Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and All Saints day (must be removed by family outside allowed weeks or cemetery manager may remove and dispose)

Other:

  • Christmas wreaths or ground blankets may be placed on the ground near the headstone during the Christmas season but must be removed by January 15.
  • Consumptions of alcoholic beverages on cemetery property is not allowed.
  • No Loitering, picnicking, or food services are allowed;
  • No organized assembles of persons without prior coordination with the cemetery manager or their representative
  • Liability – Cemetery Board, Cemetery Manager, or St Jerome Parish is not liable for thefts or damage to grave markers/headstones or memorial items placed on cemetery grounds. Leave items only at your own risk.

Hours:

Dawn to Dusk

Baptism at St. Jerome Church

The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that “Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children 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.’” (1213)

The sacrament is called baptism from the Greek language meaning “plunge” or “immerse.” Through the plunge or immersion into water, the burial into Christ’s death and promised resurrection are celebrated.

For the baptism of infants and children, it is necessary to have the consent of the parents or guardians. Further, the Church reminds us of the importance of parents in the formation of the children in the ways of faith. It states, “For the licit [lawful] baptism of an infant, it is necessary that there be a founded hope that the infant will be brought up in the Catholic religion.” (Canon 868.2)

Because parents are the primary teachers of their children in the ways of faith, when infants and children are presented to the Church for baptism, it is the parents who must be actively living their faith. Evidence of this practice includes what the Church calls precepts. First among these is participation at the Sunday Mass on a weekly basis. This is the Lord’s Day for the Christian. It is kept holy by celebrating the Memorial Meal and Sacrifice given to us by Jesus: the Eucharist. Through this sacrament we are strengthened and nourished to live our baptismal faith. When this active practice of the faith is lacking, baptism may be postponed until there is the necessary assurance that the sacrament will not be celebrated in vain.

For those parishioners wishing to celebrate the baptism of an infant, a pre-baptismal preparation session is required. These sessions are scheduled every other month, and should be completed prior to the birth of a child. It is necessary to call the parish office at (618) 667-6571 in advance to register for a session. Pre-baptismal sessions are normally scheduled on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. in the basement of the church (St. Joseph Hall). It is very important that both parents (Catholic and non-Catholic) attend the session. Godparents are encouraged to attend as well.

Godparents must be Catholic, at least 16 years old, already confirmed and have received Eucharist. Testimony, from the pastor(s) of the Catholic godparent(s) to their active participation in the faith, is required two weeks prior to the date of baptism. While two may be chosen, only one Catholic godparent is required. A person of another Christian faith may be chosen as a Christian witness to the baptism. This is discussed in more detail during the pre-baptismal session.

Because baptism is the first sacrament of initiation, when one becomes a member of the Church through water and the Word, it is essential that the local Church be represented. Therefore baptisms at our parish normally takes place within the context of Sunday Eucharist when the community is more fully gathered in prayer. In this way the entire faith community embraces the newly baptized as one of the fold. Because of the emphasis placed on the involvement of the local parish community in baptism, it is the policy of our parish that those seeking baptism for their children be active and participating in the parish for at least four months. In this way the parish community and the new family can come to know each other.

FIRST PENANCE AT ST. JEROME PARISH

The Rite of Penance, first announced by the Congregation for Divine Worship in 1973, was broadly implemented in the United States during 1976. The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation brought with it a unifying emphasis on the ministry of reconciliation. “By the hidden and loving mystery of God’s design people are joined together in the bonds of supernatural solidarity, so much so that the sin of one harms the others just as the holiness of one benefits the others. Penance always entails reconciliation with brothers and sisters who are always harmed by our sins” (5, Rite of Penance). The familiar parts of the sacrament — confession, sorrow, absolution, and penance — remain the parts of the Sacrament of Penance. But these separate moments in the sacramental action all work toward reconciling person to person, person to God, and people as a whole to God.

The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation also emphasizes that in continuing the reconciling and healing ministry of Jesus, the Church is “at the same time holy and always in need of purification . . . (and) constantly pursues repentance and renewal” (3, Rite of Penance). The National Directory for Catechesis tells us that, “Since conversion is a lifelong process, catechesis for the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation is ongoing. Children have a right to a fuller catechesis each year.” (36.B.2.) The Rite summons us to celebrate the whole reconciling ministry of baptized Christians. This involves our everyday attempts at reconciliation and union. In this Sacrament we celebrate the continuous, forgiving love of God, and we continue our work of turning toward God.

First Penance introduces children to a more conscious, active participation in the sacramental life of the Church. A child's experience of first penance is a simple, but vital, beginning. The process of preparation for this segment is carried on in three places - the home, the parish, and in a religious education system.

Although parish celebrations of reconciliation are adult celebrations, the parish community nurtures its children and calls them to grow by including them. As they mature, children will deepen their understanding of reconciliation by participating in these celebrations. Family life is foundational to all these experiences. Children first learn attitudes of forgiveness at home, in the family circle. There they establish patterns on which they build for the rest of their lives.

The NDC states, "Since the family is intimately involved with the formation of a child's moral conscience and ordinarily integrates the child into the wider ecclesial communities, parents should be involved in the preparation of their children for this sacrament so that they can affirm and reinforce frequent participation in the sacraments. They orient the child toward God and encourage continual growth in the understanding of God's mercy and love." (36.B.2.)

Children preparing for First Penance must meet the following criteria:

1.   Be baptized and already practicing the Catholic faith at a level appropriate to their age.
2.   Are participating in the parish stewardship process according to age and ability.
3.   Have a desire to enter into the process.
4.   Have successfully completed one year of the parish faith formation programs, (PSR, Parochial School, or Home Study) and be currently enrolled and participating in one of these options.

Preparation will include:

  • Mandatory preparation sessions for parents.
  • Periodic liturgical ritual celebrations within the Sunday Mass.
  • Timely completion of the parish Reconciliation Preparation Materials.
  • Experience the parish communal celebration of the Sacrament of Penance with their family.
  • Retreat Day for children and parent/s.
  • Celebrate the Sacrament of Penance prior to beginning preparation for First Eucharist.

FIRST EUCHARIST AT ST. JEROME PARISH

"Since the Eucharist is the 'source and summit of the Christian life,' (Lumen Gentium, 11.) catechesis for the Eucharist recognizes it as the heart of Christian life for the whole Church, for the dioceses and parishes, and for each individual Christian." (National Directory for Catechesis 36.A.2.) All that belongs to Christian life leads to the Eucharistic celebration or flows from it.

Among the most important insights expressed in the NDC about the eucharistic initiation of children (preparation for First Eucharist) is that such initiation is a shared responsibility. "Children's preparation for first reception of Eucharist begins in the home. The family has the most important role in communicating the Christian and human values that form the foundation for a child's understanding of Eucharist. Children who participate with their family in the Mass experience the Eucharistic mystery in an initial way and gradually learn to join with the liturgical assembly in prayer." (36. A. 3a.)

Because of its communal nature parents alone cannot fulfill the responsibility of initiating their children into the Eucharist. We recognize this and incorporate not only parents but also the Parish staff, prayer partners, catechists, Liturgical Ministers, and the entire worshipping community. The preparation process at St. Jerome recognizes the diverse but complementary roles that must be fulfilled if children are to grow in faith.

We emphasize the need for parents to be actively involved in the preparation process. Faith Formation is not simply a matter of handing on religious facts but initiating deeper into the faith, attitudes and values of the Christian community. Young children learn attitudes and values through identification with those adults influential in their lives. For that reason we affirm that parents are the first teachers of their children. Parents teach informally but powerfully by example and instruction.

Because parents are the primary educators of their children in ways of faith, when children are presented to the church for First Eucharist, it is the parents who must be actively living the faith, including what the Church has traditionally called PRECEPTS. First among these is participation at the Sunday Mass on a weekly basis. This is the Lord's Day for the Christian. It is kept holy by celebrating the Memorial Meal and Sacrifice mandated by Jesus.

"Parents and the parish catechetical leader or catechist, together with the pastor, are responsible for determining when children have attained the age of reason and are ready to receive First Communion. Because reception of Eucharist, especially for the first time, is integral to the child's full incorporation into the ecclesial community, the pastor has a responsibility in determining every child's readiness to receive First Communion. Parents also have the right and the duty to be involved in preparing their children for First Communion. The catechesis offered should help parents grow in their own understanding and appreciation of the Eucharist and enable them to catechize their children more effectively." (NDC 36.A.3a.)

When this active practice of the Catholic faith is lacking, Eucharist preparation may be postponed until there is the necessary evidence that the reception of this sacrament will be the beginning of a weekly practice.

Children wishing to begin the preparation process for First Eucharist must meet the following criteria in order to participate:

1.   Be baptized and practicing the Catholic faith at a level appropriate to their age, including weekly participation in Sunday Liturgy.
2.   Are participating in the parish stewardship process according to age and ability.
3.   Have a desire to enter into the process.
4.   Have successfully completed one year of the parish faith formation programs, (PSR, Parochial School, or Home Study) and be currently enrolled and participating in one of these options.
5.   Have successfully completed the First Penance preparation and celebrated the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.

Preparation will include the following participation:

  • Mandatory preparation sessions for parents.
  • Periodic liturgical ritual celebrations within the Sunday Mass.
  • Timely completion of the parish Eucharist Preparation Materials.
  • Retreat Day for children and parent/s.

CONFIRMATION AT ST. JEROME PARISH

The preparation for and celebration of the Rite of Confirmation is an exciting time in the life of St. Jerome Parish community. At whatever age candidates celebrate this sacrament, many people gather to offer care and support. Everyone, including candidates, their families, their sponsors, their peers, and the entire parish community are affected and included because Confirmation is a CELEBRATION OF THE WHOLE PARISH.

The history of the sacrament of Confirmation reveals a variety of opinions and practices about both the theology and preparation for the sacrament of Confirmation.

One form of the sacrament is the post-baptismal anointing followed by Eucharist, which seals the entire process of initiation. This is the form that is found in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and is regarded as the “proper order” according to church law and ancient tradition.

Another form of the sacrament is rooted in our church history. It is the practice of having the bishop ratify baptisms over which he did not preside. Because infant baptism is the ordinary practice in the church today, the separate rite of Confirmation is celebrated. This separate Rite of Confirmation began in the 11th century.

Parish communities celebrate Confirmation at varied ages, from the age of discretion (“age of reason”) up to and including adolescence. The National Conference of U.S. Catholic Bishops decided that, "the sacrament of Confirmation in the Latin rite shall be conferred between the age of discretion, which is about the age of seven, and sixteen years of age..."

St. Jerome Parish celebrates Confirmation every other year. Youths, in 7th and 8th grades, who have received First Eucharist, may enter into the preparation process, along with any adults who for whatever reason were not confirmed earlier.

At the very center of the sacrament of Confirmation lies the theology: in this sacrament we receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Conferring the Holy Spirit is central to the sacrament. The candidates for Confirmation believe that God gives them the fullness of the Holy Spirit and it will make a difference in their lives. That is why we choose to celebrate this wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit.

The purpose of receiving the fullness of the Holy Spirit is to help us to be more like Christ in bearing witness to the world. As Jesus proclaimed, quoting the prophet Isaiah, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me and has anointed me to bring good tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." (Lk 4:18-19.)

Openness to the Spirit, being more like Christ, and witnessing the gospel in our daily lives is emphasized in our Confirmation preparation.

In order for parents, the primary educators of their children in matters of faith and morals, to assume responsibility for the formation of their children in the sacramental life of the church we at St. Jerome involve parents in the preparation for Confirmation. As stated in the National Directory for Catechesis, "Dioceses and parishes should present catechesis for the Sacrament of Confirmation that...Ensures that parents and sponsors are involved in the catechetical preparation of the children for Confirmation." (36.A.2.) When children and adults come together for catechesis, families develop the ability to share their experiences of God with one another. Children then experience Confirmation not as an isolated incident, but as a celebration of God's presence within the entire church community.

The Rite of Confirmation presumes the candidate was baptized as an infant and raised within a Christian Catholic household of faith. In the years between the celebration of Baptism and Confirmation, the rite presumes ample opportunities for catechesis (instruction about Catholic Christian beliefs), so that one may be centered on Jesus Christ and the hope of bringing about the kingdom of God according to the age and ability of the child. Preparation for Confirmation is not a time to learn or review all the Christian Catholic teaching. That learning is a life-long process.

The candidate must already be immersed in catechesis and worship on a regular basis before beginning preparation for the sacrament of Confirmation.

Youths wishing to become candidates for Confirmation must meet the following criteria:

  1. Are participating weekly in the Sunday Eucharist.
  2. Are participating in the parish stewardship process according to age and ability.
  3. Have successfully completed two consecutive years of parish faith formation programs, (PSR, Catholic Parochial School, Youth Group, or the Parish Home Study) and be currently enrolled and participating in one of these options.
  4. Have successfully completed the preparation programs for First Penance and First Eucharist.

Preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation will include:

Mandatory preparation sessions for youths, parents, and sponsors. Periodic liturgical ritual celebrations within the Sunday Mass. Timely completion of the parish Confirmation Preparation Materials. Retreat/Rehearsal Day for youths, parents, and sponsors.

Parish School of Religion (PSR) Policy:
Religious Formation for School-aged Children

St. Jerome’s religious formation efforts, at root, aim to communicate the fullness of life in Jesus, in light of the life-giving riches of our Catholic tradition.

We offer PSR for parishioners in Pre-School, Elementary and Middle School.

All Elementary (grades K through 5), and Middle School aged students (grades 6 through 8), who do not attend a parochial school, are expected to participate in PSR or Home Study. High School students as well have the Home Study opportunity.

Registration is held over the summer, with a fee charged to cover materials. Parents enter into a covenant with the catechists to partner for the flourishing in faith of our children.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

PSR for Elementary School children is held on Wednesday evenings, with a choice of 4:15-5:30 p.m. or 6:15-7:30 p.m.

MIDDLE SCHOOL

PSR for Middle School youth, designed as faith-sharing in a small Christian community, is offered on Wednesday evenings from 6:15-7:30 p.m. Youth Group participation is also highly encouraged (Sunday afternoons) plus special activities for prayer, community-building and service. Regular participation in Youth Group fulfills the Religious Formation aims.

HIGH SCHOOL

St. Jerome Youth Ministry includes a catechetical component on Sundays. Additionally, a Home Study format is available for those students whose schedules cannot accommodate the Sunday-scheduled Youth Ministry Program (see below).

HOME STUDY OPTION (Elementary, Middle & High School)

Parents may choose to catechize their children at home in lieu of PSR. The Home Study materials are the same as PSR, and the process follows the schedule of PSR. Parents gather initially and periodically with the Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation to share insights, struggles, affirmations, and best practices.

The Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation is responsible for all faith formation processes. He may be reached at the Parish Office, 667-6571 Ext. 13, or through email at rknapp@stjeromeparish.org.

FAMILIES OF ST. JEROME PARISH ATTENDING ST. JOHN NEUMANN SCHOOL

In humble service to God, we are committed to providing the highest standard of Catholic faith formation and academic excellence for the children God has entrusted to us.

- From the Mission Statement of St. John Neumann Catholic School

The Parish of St. Jerome provides the opportunity for a Catholic elementary education at St. John Neumann School, the tri-parish (Mother of Perpetual Help in Maryville; St. Cecilia in Glen Carbon; and St. Jerome in Troy) Catholic School located in Maryville, Illinois. The school offers two tuition rates: a parish rate and a non-parish rate.

To qualify for the parish rate the following criteria must apply at the time of registration (January or February):

  • You must have been registered and active* in St. Jerome parish for at least 6 months.
  • Your children must be baptized and attending Sunday Mass with you on a weekly basis. Catholic formation in the school reinforces and supports the formation through the Eucharist and faith community.
  • You must be using the Sunday envelopes to contribute to the support of the Church as your means allows. A minimum of $800.00 contributed during the last calendar year is expected. Donations of time and talent are also expected to be shared with the parish and the school. Exceptions granted by the Pastor are to be renewed each year.
  • You are expected to participate in the programs of both parish and school as time permits. Participation in the major fundraisers for school and parish is mandatory: the Dinner Auction, Market Day and/or Scrip, the St. Jerome Chicken Dinner, etc.

If circumstances arise during the year which makes any of these expectations impossible, please contact the Pastor at once, so that the school can be notified. Those who do not meet the above listed qualifications fully, and have not made other arrangements with the Pastor of St. Jerome Church, will be charged the non-parish tuition rate.

* Active, when referring to participation in the life of the parish, is defined as follows:

  • Attendance and Participation at Sunday Mass.
  • Stewardship of Time, Talent and Treasure.
  • Participation in any required (parent) meetings.
  • Observance of the Precepts of the Church.

SACRAMENTAL PREPARATION FOR FAMILIES ATTENDING ST. JOHN NEUMANN SCHOOL

The Rationale for the Policy:

The universal law of the Church, the Code of Canon Law, clearly states that "parents above others are obliged to form their children in the faith and practice of the Christian life by word and example." (#774.2) The law goes on to explain the role of the pastor who is "bound to provide for the catechetical formation of adults, young people and children. The pastor is to promote and foster the role of parents in the family catechesis." (#776) "The pastor is to make particular provision that children are properly prepared for the first reception of the sacraments of Penance, and the Most Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Confirmation by means of a catechetical formation given over an appropriate period of time" (#777.2)

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that "Preparation for Confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a more lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit - his actions, his gifts, and his biddings - in order to be more capable of assuming the apostolic responsibilities of Christian life. To this end catechesis for Confirmation should strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish community. The latter bears special responsibility for the preparation of confirmands." (1309) The National Directory for Catechesis says, "Dioceses and parishes should present catechesis for the Sacrament of Confirmation that " Ensures that parents and sponsors are involved in the catechetical preparation of the children for Confirmation." (36.A.2)

This national document again reaffirms the role of parents in the preparation of children for reception of Eucharist. "Parents also have the right and duty to be involved in preparing their children for First Communion. The catechesis offered should help parents grow in their own understanding and appreciation of Eucharist and enable them to catechize their children more effectively." (36.A.3a)

The same point is made when addressing the catechesis for the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. "Since the family is intimately involved with the formation of a child's moral conscience and ordinarily integrates the child into the wider ecclesial communities, parents should be involved in the preparation of their children for this sacrament so that they can affirm and reinforce frequent participation in the sacraments. They orient the child toward God and encourage continual growth in the understanding of God's mercy and love." (36.B.2)

The Church has never wavered in its insistence on the primary role of parents in the education and religious formation of their children. Catholic schools and religious education programs do assist in this responsibility but can never substitute for the word and example of parents.

The Policy:

Preparation for sacraments for children attending St. John Neumann School is to take place by the parents. The parish of one’s membership will provide opportunities for parents to enhance their own experience of faith, as well as provide tools for the education and formation of their children. The religious curriculum of St. John Neumann will supplement this family catechesis, but will not substitute for it.

St. Jerome Parish will provide parents with necessary information regarding parent meetings, as well as celebrations prior to the reception of the sacraments.

Please contact the parish for details. The actual celebration of the sacraments of First Penance, Confirmation, and First Eucharist are to take place in the parish where one worships every Sunday. St. John Neumann may provide an additional worship service and/or reception to honor those who have celebrated the sacraments at their home parish.

Special Circumstances:

St. Jerome children who attend St. John Neumann who have never been baptized and wish to be will be expected to participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults at the parish.

St. Jerome children who enroll in St. John Neumann after the first grade who have been baptized, but have had no formal religious formation, and wish to celebrate the sacraments of Penance, Confirmation or First Eucharist will be expected to participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults at the parish.

Catholic children who attend St. John Neumann School but do not belong to one of the three sponsoring parishes should inquire at their respective parish as to the procedure to follow for sacramental preparation. These parents may be asked to participate in one of the preparation processes at St. Cecilia, Mother of Perpetual Help or St. Jerome. The pastor of one’s respective parish will offer guidance in this matter.

THE RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS (RCIA) AT ST. JEROME PARISH

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is the Church’s method of journeying in faith through a process of discerning and ritualizing stages of gradual conversion. Initiation of adults belongs to all the baptized. The process is about fostering a relationship over time with both God and the Catholic community through formation and information. It is the catechetical and liturgical means for individuals to become Catholic through the reception of the Sacraments of Initiation, namely Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. This initiation process is served by the Pastor, the Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation, the Director of Liturgy, the Catechetical Team, and Sponsors. The process also involves the parish community who, through their own renewal of faith, prepares and welcomes new members into the Church. The Rite speaks of conversion as a “spiritual journey” centered on nurturing a relationship with Jesus through the Church, the People of God, infused by the workings of the Holy Spirit.

This journey takes place through distinct stages over a period of time suitable to bring about transformation along with a basic understanding of Catholic Identity thorough catechesis, interaction with the parish community, and commitment to the liturgical and moral life of the Catholic faithful. The RCIA process is a restoration of the ancient Catechumenate called for by the Second Vatican Council.

The RCIA process is designed for those who are 7 years old through adulthood, who have never been baptized, or were baptized in another faith tradition, or were baptized Catholic but have not completed initiation through the usual catechetical process. The time varies, but is rarely shorter than 6 months or longer than 3 years. We respect the time each person needs for conversion and decision. The RCIA text gives guides for discerning this on a case by case basis.

“The process for Christian Initiation, including the periods of Precatechumenate, Catechumenate, Purification and Enlightenment, and Mystagogy, should be situated within the life of the parish community. The period of the Catechumenate should extend for at least one year of formation and instruction (for the unbaptized) and should include a thoroughly comprehensive catechesis on the truths of Catholic doctrine and moral life and a profound sense of the mystery of salvation.” (RCIA, 75, National Statues for the Catechumenate, 6 – 7)

Expectations of Catechumens (the unbaptized):   1. Participation in the Rites and Rituals of the process.   2. Commitment to weekly dismissal and catechetical sessions.   3. Participation in a retreat experience.   4. Development of a prayer discipline.   5. Interaction within the parish community.   6. Discernment of gifts of stewardship of time, talent, and treasure.   7. Participation of spouses and/or fiancés in weekly catechetical sessions.   8. At least one liturgical year of participation.

Expectations of Candidates (those already baptized):   1. Participation in the Rites and Rituals of the process.   2. Commitment to weekly dismissal and catechetical sessions.   3. Participation in a retreat experience (if applicable).   4. Development of a prayer discipline.   5. Interaction within the parish community.   6. Discernment of gifts of stewardship of time, talent, and treasure.   7. Participation of spouses and/or fiancés in weekly catechetical sessions.   8. Time in the process is determined by the history of the participant.

Expectations of Sponsors:   1. Active parishioners who are appointed to serve throughout the process.   2. Participation in the Rites and Rituals of the process.   3. Commitment to participate in weekly catechetical sessions.   4. Walk with their Catechumen or Candidate as a Mentor/Companion.

The process begins with an initial interview with the Pastor and the Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation. Discernment of readiness to progress throughout the process is determined by the Pastor in consultation with the Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation in conjunction with the RCIA Catechists and Sponsors. Those catechumens and candidates who are working through the annulment process may begin the RCIA process with the understanding that the annulment process must be completed before reception of the Sacraments of Initiation can be received.

The more the Church becomes reacquainted with the RCIA the more we will understand faith formation as ongoing, as belonging to cradle Catholics and those who are initiated during later seasons of their lives. The process of initiation is never ending. The more the Church participates, the more we deepen our grasp of our participation in the paschal mysteries of Christ. Initiation is only the beginning of a lifetime of formation for new initiates and the all the baptized to derive new perceptions of faith, of the Church, and the world. Initiation is about life after baptism. It is vital to all the baptized people of God.

The Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation is responsible for all faith formation processes. She may be reached at the Parish Office, 667-6571 Ext. 13, or through email at rknapp@stjeromeparish.org.

The desires expressed by many (newly initiated) for more formation should demonstrate the need for parishes to have ongoing faith formation opportunities for all adults. The U.S. bishops' publication in 1999 of Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us: A Pastoral Plan for Adult Faith Formation in the United States should be a means of developing and strengthening this effort as it is implemented in dioceses and parishes across the country.

From "Journey to the Fullness of Life" United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

MARRIAGE AT ST. JEROME PARISH (revised 12-06-14)

On May 19, 1991, the Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois put into effect a Diocesan Marriage Preparation Policy which is to be observed by all couples desiring to celebrate Marriage in a Catholic Church. St. Jerome Church follows this policy for all marriages.

Marriage is a sacrament of the Catholic Church and therefore presupposes an active practice of the Roman Catholic faith given through the waters of baptism. Active practice of the faith is determined primarily by one’s adherence to the PRECEPTS OF THE CHURCH listed here:
  • To attend Mass on all Sundays and holy days of obligation.
  • To fast and abstain on the days appointed by the church.
  • To confess our sins at least once a year in the case of serious sin.
  • To receive Holy Communion during the Easter season.
  • To contribute to the financial support of the Church.
  • To observe the laws of the Church concerning marriage.
  • To love God and share God’s love with all with compassion and charity.

When a couple presents themselves for the Sacrament of Marriage, the above is presumed. If not, further discussion will take place determining the level of faith commitment present in those seeking marriage. It is inappropriate to celebrate a Catholic ceremony when the practice of the Catholic faith is lacking.

While it is wise to contact the parish nine months to a year prior to the proposed date of marriage, preparation programs will begin at least six months prior to the proposed date of the wedding. No dates are to be set until AFTER the initial conference with the pastor or deacon. No exceptions to this six-month policy are given.

Required elements of preparation for Marriage at St. Jerome
  • Initial conference with the Priest or Deacon
  • Participation in an Engaged Encounter Weekend (for couples entering their first marriage)
  • Participation in a Remarriage Seminar (for couples entering a second marriage)
  • Completion and subsequent discussion of Pre-Marital Inventory (FOCCUS)
  • Conference with the Parish Director of Music to plan the marriage ceremony
  • Rehearsal and Marriage Ceremony.
Fees:
FOCCUS on-line:$15.00
Fee for use of Church:$150.00
Fee for Director of Liturgy and Music:$150.00
Fee for Engaged Encounter:determined by the Host
Fee for Re-Marriage Seminar:determined by the Diocese
Suggested gift for the Priest or Deacon:$150.00

The above fees for the Church and Director of Music should be paid one month prior to the wedding date.

Practical Matters pertaining to the celebration of Marriage at St. Jerome Church:
  • Alcohol and illegal (non-prescription) drugs are NOT permitted on parish property. Smoking is not allowed in parish buildings.
  • When a marriage involves a non-Catholic, the Marriage ceremony takes place outside of Mass.
  • The throwing of rice, birdseed or confetti, as well as the releasing of balloons is not allowed.
  • Aisle runners are not permitted because they present a safety hazard.
  • If a Unity Candle is used, it is never to be placed on the altar. The couple must provide the candles.
  • Candelabra, even with dripless candles, are not allowed.
  • The bride and groom may not “usher” their guests out of the church after the wedding. This is reserved for their appointed ushers. The church is not a reception hall, but a place of prayer and worship. The bride and groom may have a “receiving line” in the narthex or outside with parents only, not including the bridal party; however “receiving” their guests at the “reception” is the most appropriate.

Flowers and Other Decorations for the wedding and/or photography must be coordinated with the Director of Liturgy, who oversees the decoration of the liturgical environment. Never are the liturgical furnishings or decorations to be moved, nor may extra backdrops, lighting, umbrellas or decorations (outside of what is in place for the wedding) be brought into the church. Never is anything to be attached to the pews with tape, tacks, clamps, or sticky tack. (Pew bows attached with elastic or rubber bands are permitted)

Photographs and Videos may be taken during the ceremony, but photographers and videographers must be discreet. Flash photography and extra lights for video cameras are prohibited during the ceremony. Once the procession has begun, movement should be kept to a minimum. Photographers and videographers are asked to remain outside of the sanctuary during the liturgy. With the exception of the entrance procession, all pictures and videos are to be taken from the rear of the nave, in order to avoid being distracting. (This is the best place for photographers and videographers, as the wedding party faces the congregation for the rite of marriage.)

Posed photographs may be taken beginning two hours before the ceremony, and for no more than thirty minutes after the ceremony. Posed photos before the ceremony must stop 30 minutes before the scheduled time to begin the ceremony. Saturday weddings may require further restrictions, in order to accommodate funerals.

Proper Reverence and Respect for the worship space must be maintained by the wedding party and the photographers and videographers. No untoward poses, behavior, or language will be tolerated. Absolutely no food, drinks, or gum are allowed in Church. Anyone violating these rules will be reminded one time to cooperate; if there is no cooperation, the person or persons will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony.

Planning of the Ceremony, including music, Scripture readings, and ministers, will take place with the Director of Liturgy, who will determine separate fees for additional rehearsals, which may be needed.

The Proper Minister to witness the marriage is the pastor or deacon of St. Jerome Church. Delegation may be given by the pastor for a visiting presider.

The Date for the Celebration of Marriage are best described by when marriages are not allowed to be celebrated, namely during the seasons of Advent and Lent, on Church Solemnities, All Souls’ Day, or during Easter Week (from Sunday through the Saturday after Easter).

The Time Marriages can be celebrated at St. Jerome Church is on Fridays at 4:00 p.m. or later or on Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. or earlier.

Special Circumstances:
For those children of registered and active parishioners who are away from home for college or military service who wish to celebrate their Marriage at St. Jerome Church, the preparation process of the respective diocese where they dwell will be the norm. Only after the approval of the chaplain at the Newman Center or military base, or the pastor of the parish where they are currently registered and participating in worship, and after the necessary preparation process, may a marriage take place at St. Jerome Church. All policies regarding the use of St. Jerome Church apply in every situation.

MARRIAGE NULLITIES

Marriage is an intimate community of life and love between a man and a woman which is directed toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children. By the design of God who created human nature, marriage is both permanent and exclusive.

For a Catholic to be in a valid marriage recognized by the Church, he or she must be married in a Catholic Church Worship Building with a priest or deacon present (unless a dispensation is granted).

If an individual is presently divorced and not cohabitating or remarried, he or she is, in fact, free to participate in the Sacraments of the Catholic Church.

Whether Catholic or non-Catholic, if an individual has been previously married, he or she needs to have the previous union(s) nullified before they can enter into a recognized marriage in the Catholic Church. This process can be tedious but can lead to a great amount of healing. Our trained staff will assist you in any way possible to make this process easier for you.

Children born to a marriage which later is declared invalid are considered legitimate in every way. It is against the practice of the Church to judge children in the light of their parent’s marital status, whether that union be valid or invalid.

When an individual is in a marriage not recognized by the Church, he or she is prohibited by the law of the Church from receiving the Sacraments, including Communion.

The fees for seeking a nullity are anywhere from $10 - $450. The diocese will bill you when your case has been presented and accepted. Inability to pay the fee will not delay or interfere with the processing of your nullity. The entire process takes between one week to one year (depending on your individual situation).

Anyone who is uncertain about his or her marital status or desires greater clarity concerning such issues should contact the parish office. The complexity of these issues requires individual attention by a priest, advocate, or tribunal.

All persons seeking a nullity are to contact the Pastor at St. Jerome Parish Office. They will then be assigned an advocate to assist in the processing of their case.