Baptism is the first of the sacraments of initiation into Christ and the Church. We baptize infants during Sunday Mass, which highlights the Eucharistic orientation of baptism and the baptismal source of the Christian community.
For further information or to register an infant for baptism, parents should contact one of our pastoral associates as soon as possible, even prior to the birth of their child. That is also a good time to ask about the responsibilities of parents, a person's eligibility to be a sponsor (godparent), parish policies, and available dates. Please let the pastoral associate know if there are any special circumstances or concerns.
If a person inquiring about or seeking baptism has the use of reason (i.e. is about 7 years of age or older), the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults guides our response and the pastoral care that we offer. Please speak to the pastor or one of the pastoral associates for more information.
The Sunday Eucharistic celebration is the source and summit of Christian life and is the primary way to keep holy the Lord’s Day. We call upon the gifts and generosity of many parishioners in order to prepare and celebrate the Eucharist as well as we can. St. Elizabeth of Hungary Mass Schedule
Some of our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMs) participate in our Homebound Ministry Teams. Members of each team bring holy communion in rotation each Sunday after Mass to parishioners who are confined to their homes due to sickness or infirmity on a short or long term basis.
Communion is brought to the Life Care Center of Acton every Wednesday and to the residents of Robbins Brook on the third Tuesday of the month. Members of our parish also bring communion to patients at Emerson Hospital.
The Sacrament of Penance is primarily meant for the reconciliation of those members of the Christian community who have gravely and culpably sinned, thereby breaking their baptismal vows and losing their share in sanctifying or baptismal grace. It also serves those faithful members who wish to confess their venial sinfulness, benefit from the grace of the sacrament, and renew their commitment to strive for Christian perfection. Our reconciliation room is located just to the left of the tabernacle in the sanctuary. Confessions are heard on Saturday from 4:00 to 4:30 p.m. and at other times by appointment with the pastor.
From ancient times, confirmation was celebrated immediately after baptism, which emphasizes the close connection between baptism and gift of the Holy Spirit to the newly-baptized. This has been the practice in the Christian East and is reflected in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). However in recent centuries the Latin Church has celebrated confirmation some years after a person’s baptism. In the Archdiocese of Boston, young people are normally confirmed during their sophomore year of high school.
Registration is expected at the beginning of that school year. That is also the time to signal any special circumstances, especially if a young person was not baptized or was baptized in a non-Catholic Christian community.
Adult Catholics who missed an opportunity to be confirmed may complete their sacraments of initiation after a brief period of catechesis in the parish and then participation in the Rite of Confirmation by a bishop. A program for adults who have been baptized in the Catholic Church and who seek Confirmation is provided on an as needed basis to accommodate participants' schedules as much as possible. Please contact a pastoral associate or the pastor for more information or to make arrangements for participation.
Couples planning to marry should make an appointment with the pastor or a pastoral associate as soon as possible, before a hall is engaged or other binding arrangements made. A year or more in advance is not too early to set up this meeting, which is required before the parish can book a wedding. (The Archdiocese of Boston considers six months notice to be the minimum normally acceptable, and does not permit weddings to be scheduled over the telephone.) This meeting also affords an opportunity for the priest and couple to get acquainted, review the process of preparation, and discuss any special circumstances or requests.
At least one of the fiancés ought to be a member of St. Elizabeth Parish or have some other substantial connection with it. Couples asking to marry at St. Elizabeth’s are expected to abide by parish policies and Church requirements, which reflect the sacredness of marriage and the reverence that belongs to an act of worship.
Besides working with a priest or pastoral associate, engaged couples need to participate in a marriage preparation program. Programs are available in the archdiocese and elsewhere on a wide range of dates.
Anyone seeking information about preparing for the diaconate or the priesthood should contact the pastor or another member of the pastoral staff. We will be glad to provide further information and assist a man who might be thinking about the diaconate or priesthood in a religious order or a diocesan church.
Following the example of our Lord, the Church has always had a special concern for its sick or dying members, and cares for them in many ways.
Our parishioners regularly visit Emerson Hospital and other facilities to talk or pray with patients or residents. Our extraordinary ministers of holy communion bring holy communion to parishioners who are hospitalized, in skilled nursing facilities, or confined to their homes due to sickness or infirmity.
The pastor will be happy to celebrate the anointing of the sick (or sacrament of the sick) with parishioners who are seriously ill or notably weakened due to advanced age. Please take the foregoing at face value, and resist any temptation to think of the anointing of the sick exclusively as “last rites” that are reserved for people who are expected to die very soon. This sacrament is primarily meant to strengthen the faith, hope, and charity of a member of the faithful who is seriously ill. It is most fruitful when that person is still alert enough to participate in the prayers being offered for him or her. In such cases we also tend to have more options for the time, place, setting and other circumstances for this sacrament.
Please contact the office to let us know if a family member or friend is ill or infirm and needs any kind of pastoral care. If in doubt whether you or another person ought to be anointed, please ask without delay. As a rule, sooner is better than later.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process that the Church restored in 1975 after Vatican II. It did so out of a desire to provide a more thorough and personal preparation to adults seeking to enter the Catholic Church through the sacraments of initiation. The bishops modeled this rite after the baptismal Catechumenate which the Church relied upon during its first four centuries. RCIA was originally provided to assist unbaptized persons to prepare for baptism, confirmation and Eucharist. Those preparing for baptism are known as Catechumens. In recent years RCIA has been adapted to include candidates seeking full communion in the Catholic church including:
These candidates participate in this process to prepare for confirmation and Eucharist, but usually for a shorter time especially if they have already had some catechetical formation in another Christian community.
The RCIA is for adults as well as those children who have reached the use of reason. Respecting the fact that every person has different life experience and needs, we recommend seeking out a staff member to have your questions answered, or participate in inquiry sessions when they are offered. Usually adult Catechumens (those previously unbaptized) require a year or more of preparation. Older children usually participate at least six months in RCIA and also participate in the parish faith formation program, Generations of Faith.
The RCIA usually entails a four-step process.
Please contact a pastoral associate or the pastor for more information or if you think you would like to participate.