The Sacraments are tangible expressions of God’s life and grace in our lives.
SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION
Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation are the way the Christian Community welcomes new members. People can become a member of the Church either as an adult through the Inquiry or as a child. We welcome children into the Church in stages. The first step is usually Baptism, followed by the Sacrament of Reconciliation, First Eucharist and then Confirmation.
Initiation of Children
Children of catechetical age 7 years and older engage in a process where the parents prepare them for the Sacraments with the assistance of the parish.
Friar David Suckling
To arrange a baptism complete a Request for Baptism and forward it to the Ministry Centre along with an Affirmation of Faith for each sponsor.
Infants are baptised into the Church on the basis of the parents' faith. Parents need to be registered members of St. Bonaventure Parish and practice their faith on a regular basis. Sponsors or godparents are representatives of the extended spiritual family of the Church. Along with the parents, they present a child for baptism and act as official representatives of the community of faith. Although only one sponsor (godparent) is required for a baptism, two are permitted as godfather and godmother. Sponsors must be at least 16 years old, Confirmed and practicing Catholics. Each sponsor must conplete an affirmation of faith before the baptism. Where there is only one sponsor, a member of another Christian religion may act as a Christian witness.
Baptisms are held on Sunday afternoons after the noon mass, by appointment, except during Lent. We encourage families who are having a child baptised to participate in the noon liturgy as the baptism does not include mass.
Photos are not generally allowed during most of the liturgy except as directed by the Presider.
The Eucharist is the central act of worship of the community. Part of being Catholic is sharing in our "communion". Usually children are initiated into this sacrament at about 8 years old.
First Communion is a parish event. Our Catholic schools assist in the remote preparation by helping parents to teach the faith. The more immediate preparation takes places through a series of meetings at the church. Young parishioners who do not attend St. Bonaventure School may need to attend some additional evening sessions with their parents and participate in a home program of catechesis using a book which the parish recommends.
Contact: Friar David Suckling
In the early Church the Sacraments of Initiation Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation, were celebrated at the same time and involved the Bishop. As the Christian community grew and the Bishop was unable to be present, a local priest or deacon would baptise. At a later date, when the Bishop was present he would "confirm" the Sacrament.
Confirmation is celebrated with young people at age of 13 or 14. We encourage adults who have not completed their Initiation and have not been Confirmed to contact
Jeanette Williams at the Ministry Centre.
The Catholic School is involved in the remote preparation of the young candidates for Confirmation while the more immediate preparation takes place through the parish. Parents and candidates attend a series of meetings at the Church. Young parishioners who do not attend St. Bonaventure School may need to attend some additional evening sessions with their parents and participate in a home program of catechesis using a book which the parish recommends.
Confirmation is celebrated on or around Pentecost. The local Bishop celebrates the Sacrament at St. Bonaventure every two years. At other times the Pastor presides.
Contact: Friar David Suckling
First Reconciliation is celebrated with our young parishioners before celebrating First Communion. The Catholic School is involved in the remote preparation of the young candidates for Reconciliation while the more immediate preparation takes place through the parish. Parents and candidates attend a series of meetings at the Church. Young parishioners who do not attend St. Bonaventure School may need to attend some additional evening sessions with their parents and participate in a home program of catechesis using a book which the parish recommends.
We celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Saturday afternoons from 4:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. and by appointment. During Advent and Lent we hold special communal celebrations of the sacrament.
Reconciliation Rooms are at the back of the church under the choir loft. A red light that is visible from the body of the church indicates which one of the rooms is in use. The door is left open when the room is available.
The Sacrament is also available by appointment with one of the friar-priests. This arrangement might be more suitable for longer sessions that require more time. The Sacrament is a liturgical act of worship and not really suited for prolonged consultation or counselling. Those who would like to talk with a friar about problems they are having may arrange for an appointment for pastoral or spiritual care.
There is no need to feel uncomfortable if you have not been to confession for some time. Tell the friar-priest that it's been a while and that you need some help with the sacrament. He will guide you to make a good confession without being judged. The friars’ goal is to help you honestly and sincerely discover how God is call you, calling us, to grow closer to the kind of life God has destined for us.
Congratulations on your decision to marry!
The Archdiocese of Toronto requires that couples who intend to marry contact their parish at least one year prior to the expected wedding date. Contact the Ministry Centre as soon as possible, before setting any dates.
The celebration of marriage at St. Bonaventure is a little different than those you may have seen in other Catholic parishes. We try to follow the vision of the Wedding Liturgy as it was reformed some 40 years ago. We do not allow for extra rituals such as the wedding candles and unity candles. The wedding procession takes place in a way that focuses on both the bride and groom not just the bride. The groom and bride's parents are all welcome to participate in the procession. The seating of the bride and groom and the exchange of vows reflect the fact that the couple are the ministers of the Sacrament. The presiding priest or deacon is the Church’s official witness.
Weddings can be expensive. We invite you to moderation in making your plans. The wedding day is one day in hopefully a life-long journey. It is important for Christians to reflect a degree of simplicity in the arrangements. There is no fee for celebrating weddings at St. Bonaventure although it is one of the most labour intensive ministries. A donation to the friars is always appreciated. As a guide, consider the cost of flowers, music or rings to determine an appropriate donation.
We require that you have music at your wedding - a musician (organist or guitar) and a cantor. The friars will discuss options with you. Our musicians and cantors have a fee of $150 each.
Some of the requirements for marriage
- The bride or groom must be registered members of St. Bonaventure and practice their faith on a regular basis.
- The couple must participate in a marriage preparation course.Participants learn about communication, foundations for a successful marriage and the meaning of the Sacrament of Matrimony. Complete a registration form and forward it to the Ministry Centre.
- Catholics need to provide a recent baptism certificate by contacting the church where they were baptised.
- You will also need a marriage license which you can appy for at the City of Toronto, Registry Services, City Clerk's Office.
We will work with you to make your wedding day and the beginning of the Sacrament of Matrimony a truly holy, beautiful and memorable experience.
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
This is a sacrament of healing for those who are seriously ill. It is different from the "Last Rites" or Viaticum, which is the prayer and communion given to those who are dying. The Sacrament of the Sick is an anointing that calls upon the Lord to restore health in mind, body and spirit. It is preferable to celebrate this sacrament before entering hospital and in the company of friends and family.
Contact: Ministry Centre, 416.447.5571
In case of a life and death emergency, after office hours, which requires the presence of a friar-priest, please call: 416.441.0932.
For life & death emergencies only!