The Latin word sacramentum means "a sign of the sacred." The seven sacraments are ceremonies that point to what is sacred, significant and important for Christians. They are special occasions for experiencing God's saving presence. That's what theologians mean when they say that sacraments are at the same time signs and instruments of God's grace.

If you learn more about the sacraments, you can celebrate them more fully. The Sacraments of Eucharist, Reconciliation and Confirmation can be received as part of the Religious Education program at Holy Family Parish. To learn more about the individual sacraments, please follow the links below. 

  • Baptism
  • Reconciliation
  • Eucharist
  • Confirmation
  • Anointing of the Sick
  • Marriage
  • Holy Orders

Baptism, which is the first sacrament that we receive, opens the door to all the other sacraments. Through the waters of Baptism, a person becomes a Christian and a member of the Church. Baptism is the beginning of our discipleship in Jesus Christ.

The Church baptizes infants, children, teenagers and adults.
Infants and children are baptized when their parents are ready to accept the responsibility of sharing God’s love revealed in Jesus Christ and his teachings within the Roman Catholic faith.
Families who are having their baby or child baptized at Holy Family Parish first participate in catechesis to better enable them to understand and undertake the commitment of Christian parenthood.

Older Children and teenagers prepare for the Sacrament of Baptism by participating in a process of learning and formation called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). Participants receive guidance and support on their journey to a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.
Godparents are individuals, chosen by parents, who promise to assist the parents in raising their child in the Catholic faith. For this reason, godparents are expected to be Catholics who are good examples and role models of Catholic living. Godparents are asked to present a letter from their respective parishes, attesting to their suitability in assuming this role.
Baptisms are normally celebrated at the 9:30AM Mass on Sundays.

We welcome all inquiries regarding the Sacrament of Baptism. For more information, please contact Dr. Janine Gould, our Baptismal Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling the rectory at 508.754.6722.

“The Lord Jesus Christ, physician of souls and bodies, who forgave the sins of the paralytic and restored him to bodily health, has willed that the Church continue, in the power of the Holy Spirit, his work or healing and salvation, even among her own members.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church) Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, (sometimes called “confession” or the “Sacrament of Penance”), we acknowledge our failure to love (sin) and through the ministry of the priest, receive Christ’s forgiving grace.

Sometimes people worry about what to say or how to “confess.” The priest is there to help each person to unburden his or her conscience and experience the infinite mercy and love of Christ. There is no sin so great that it cannot be forgiven. The priest is happy to assist in guiding you through the prayers and in celebrating this Sacrament of God’s love.

In Saint Joseph’s Church, the Chapel of Reconciliation is located to the right, just upon entering the main body of the church. Provision is made so that the person celebrating the sacrament may do so face to face with the priest or maintain complete anonymity.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered at 4:00PM every Saturday with the exception of Holy Saturday, the day prior to Easter Sunday. The Sacrament of Reconciliation may also be celebrated at other times upon request.

 

The Holy Eucharist—which is also called “the Mass,” “the Lord’s Supper” and “the Divine Liturgy” –is the source and summit of our life as a parish community. In it, the Risen Christ makes himself present to us in an extraordinary way. In the Eucharist, the bread and wine are transformed into his body and blood. Through our sharing in this sacrificial banquet, we receive Christ himself and grow more perfectly into his image and likeness. Through our sharing in the Holy Eucharist, we become the “Body of Christ” for the world.

The Holy Eucharist is celebrated every Sunday—the “Lord’s Day.” Because it is the day on which we commemorate Christ’s resurrection, it is our most important weekly liturgy. Mass is also celebrated during the week and on holydays. Mass times may vary on special feast days (e.g. Christmas & Easter) and during the season of Lent.

Children who were baptized as infants usually receive the Eucharist for the first time (First Communion) around the age of seven or eight after a period of learning and preparation which includes the participation of their parents.

Baptized adults who have not yet received First Communion do so in a way best suited to their needs with the support parish community usually through our parish RCIA program.

For more information concerning preparation for First Communion, please contact Mary Sanning, our Director of Religious Education at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 508.754.6722.

Holy Communion is also brought to parishioners who are sick, homebound or otherwise unable to come to Mass, by the priest and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. Please be sure to notify the parish staff. Parishioners who are hospitalized should first notify the Pastoral Care Office of the hospital as Holy Communion is often brought to Catholic patients through the hospital’s Catholic chaplaincy.

The Sacrament of Confirmation, a sealing and strengthening, “confirms” the indwelling of the Holy Spirit begun in Baptism. When a baptized person is confirmed he/she receives in a special way the gifts of the Holy Spirit to guide and assist in living the gospel and in giving witness to Christ in the world.

Young adults who were baptized as infants are invited to the Sacrament of Confirmation during their High School years. If the young person discerns that he or she is ready to re-affirm the faith into which he/she was baptized and continue to participate in the life of the church community, the young person participates in a series of faith-sharing gatherings that explore our Catholic faith and its implications for living in today’s world. The gatherings usually take place on Sunday evenings during the school year.

The Sacrament of Confirmation is usually celebrated for our young people at a special liturgy presided over by the Bishop at Saint Paul’s Cathedral in Worcester.

Adults who have not been confirmed are invited to participate in a series of small group faith-sharing gatherings specifically geared to adults. Those participating are usually confirmed at the Easter Vigil (the night preceding Easter Sunday) or at a special celebration held at the Cathedral Church of Saint Paul in Worcester.

For more information concerning the Sacrament of Confirmation for High School age students, please contact Mr. Ralph Berthiaume, our High School Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information pertaining to the Confirmation of adults, please contact Father Steven Labaire at the rectory at 508.754.6722 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Holy Anointing is the Sacrament through which Christ draws near to those who are sick to comfort them, give them confidence, forgiveness and to strengthen them in the face of illness and pain.

The Sacrament of the Sick is offered to those who are seriously ill, those facing major surgery or those who daily face decline in health and strength.

Contrary to popular belief, the Sacrament of Anointing is not meant to be a kind of “last rites” delayed until an individual is near death. Rather, the Sacrament is intended to be an occasion for spiritual healing, strengthening and forgiveness whenever one is seriously ill or debilitated by pain.

The Sacrament of Holy Anointing is celebrated yearly for the sick of our parish community during the month of September. The priest is ready to bring the Sacrament of the Sick to the homebound who wish to receive it. Simply contact the Rectory at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 508.754.6722.

Catholic chaplains at area hospitals are ready to bring the Sacrament of the Sick to those in area hospitals. Please contact the Catholic chaplain at your specific hospital, otherwise feel free to contact the Rectory.

Catholics recognize in the Sacrament of Marriage a covenant, a gift of unconditional love mirroring God’s covenant with all humanity to whom he gives complete love. This covenant is created when a man and a woman freely choose to form, in God’s image, a marriage. In committing themselves in Christian Marriage the couple accepts the adventure to grow in love and to make this love concrete in their daily lives. The couple’s openness to the gift of children is a sign of their willingness to allow their faith and love to become fruitful by enriching the wider human family.

Couples seeking to celebrate a wedding at Saint Joseph’s Church (Holy Family Parish) are strongly encouraged to contact the parish priest at least six months prior to the proposed wedding date.

Couples preparing for marriage participate in a process of preparation which includes honest reflection on issues pertinent to marriage. This might take place through a day long retreat or an Engaged Encounter Retreat Weekend.

Weddings are usually celebrated on Saturdays at Saint Joseph’s Church anytime between 10:00AM until 2:00PM. They may also be scheduled on other days of the week as the parish and liturgical schedules allow. A wedding rehearsal is usually scheduled for the day or evening before the wedding ceremony.

Couples are asked to carefully plan the Wedding Liturgy so as to reflect the sacredness of the event. Materials and resources are provided to assist in doing this.

Weddings may be scheduled for couples who are parishioners as well as those who are non-parishioners, upon consultation with the parish priest. Because the planning and celebration of weddings entails a wider use of staff and resources, there is a fee schedule attached to weddings. The fee for weddings at Saint Joseph’s Church is $250 for parishioners and $400 for non-parishioners. These fees do not include fees for musicians and singers.

For more information concerning the Sacrament of Marriage and scheduling a wedding at Saint Joseph Church (Holy Family Parish), please contact the parish office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 508.754.6722.

 

All Catholics, both men and women, are called by virtue of their Baptism to give witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ in the wider world and use their specific gifts, talents and charisms to build up the Church, the Body of Christ.

Holy Orders is the Sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to the Apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is a Sacrament of apostolic ministry. It is a ministry of service to the wider community of the baptized. It includes three levels or ranks: episcopate (bishops), presbyterate (priests) and diaconate (deacons).

Priests are usually unmarried (celibate) men who exercise their ministry with a parish community. Their ministry is one of building up the community of faith through the proclamation of the Word of God, celebrating the Sacraments (especially the Mass) and facilitating various ministries within a parish community.

Bishops are chosen from among priests to lead a specific geographical area comprised of many parishes. It is the bishop’s responsibility, as chief shepherd, to offer pastoral care to his diocese and maintain unity with the wider, universal church, especially with the successor to Saint Peter, the Pope.

Deacons are men, both married and unmarried, who serve as ministers of the Sacraments of Baptism and Marriage. They assist in the celebration of Mass, especially through the proclamation of the gospel, ministering at the altar and distributing Holy Communion. Deacons are called especially to service to the poor and the needy of the community.

Non-ordained men and women also serve the church through ministries of service and leadership as religious sisters and brothers. Those serving in this capacity join a specific community or religious congregation. Many of these communities focus on a specific kind of ministry to the wider Church (e.g. teaching, care of aged, outreach to the poor, etc.).

For more information regarding Holy Orders, feel free to speak to any member of the parish staff or contact The Office of Vocations. Diocese of Worcester at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 508.340.5788.