Sacraments

There are seven Catholic sacraments: Baptism, Reconciliation, Eucharist, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick. 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.

Baptism

For Catholics, the Sacrament of Baptism is the first step in a lifelong journey of commitment and discipleship. Whether we are baptized as infants or adults, baptism is the Church’s way of celebrating and enacting the embrace of God. Christ Himself ordered His disciples to preach the Gospel to all nations and to baptize those who accept the message of the Gospel. In His encounter with Nicodemus (John 3:1-21), Christ made it clear that baptism was necessary for salvation: “Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” The sacrament is not a mere formality; it is the very mark of a Christian, because it brings us into new life in Christ.

The Rite of Baptism is celebrated each month at the Basilica. We require that at least one parent be a registered parishioner and attend Mass here on a regular basis. Raising your child in the parish community is an important aspect of living and teaching the faith. Parishioner registration forms are available at the Rectory Office. As of January 1, 2017, we have adopted a new process for Baptisms.

Baptism Application

Once registered as a parishioner, a parent or legal guardian should pick up a Baptism application form at the parish office. The form should be fully completed (front and back) with a copy of an official birth certificate attached and returned to the Rectory Office at least two weeks before the date of the Baptism.

Baptisms occur every month:

  • Spanish – First Sunday of the month at 1:30pm
  • English – Second Sunday of the month at 1:30pm

An interview with a priest will be arranged prior to the baptism to provide pastoral guidance to parents of the child. Children over the age of 7 years old must attend Religious Education Classes before being baptized. If an adult wishes to be baptized, please learn more about the process on the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) page.

Mandatory Preparation Classes

Two mandatory preparation classes are held for parents and godparents during the week of the baptism:

Tuesday AND Friday evening at 7:00 pm in the Rectory.

During these sessions a priest will prepare those involved for the ceremony as well as educate on church teaching about the sacrament. Due to the monthly frequency, we are unable to make any alternate arrangements to administer classes/baptisms.

Godparents

Godparents should be faithful people who are baptized and confirmed in the Catholic Church and have at least attained the age of sixteen. Church law requires that at least one godparent be a full member of the Catholic Church, practicing and attending Mass regularly. It is possible for the second godparent to be a member of another Christian Church. Our tradition is one godmother and one godfather. When choosing godparents, it is important to consider the responsibility of the role, namely, people who will support the parents in bringing this child up in the Catholic Faith and who will be a good role model for the child. The two preparation classes are a requirement for godparents to attend. If a godparent resides out of state and is unable to attend the preparation classes but will be present for the day of the baptism, the godparent may attend classes in their home parish and provide supporting documentation to fulfill the requirement.

The Day of the Baptism

Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before the ceremony, which will begin after the 12:30 pm Mass, promptly at 1:30pm. Details and symbolism of the ceremony are discussed during the preparation sessions. Cameras and videos are allowed. However, the people taking photographs are asked to be courteous and not obscure the view of others. Flash photography should be avoided during the ceremony. The priest will be available after the ceremony for additional pictures.

It is customary for families (usually godparents) to offer a gift to the parish in thanksgiving for their child’s baptism. The suggested offering is $50.00.

Contact:

For any additional questions or concerns, please visit the Rectory Office or call 617-445-2600.

Reconciliation (Confession)

“Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.” Throughout his life, Jesus was sought out by men and women who, distressed and humbled, said, “Yes, I have sinned, have mercy on me.” Their faith drew them to believe in Jesus’ power of forgiveness – the living presence of the compassionate God. When we confess our sins, we are exercising the gift of our own free will – the choice to tell God that we have wronged Him and others and seek to have our relationship with them restored. Through confession, God reaches back to us in a most real way, love and mercy in hand. The priest, serving as God’s representative, continues Jesus’ ministry of forgiveness and reconciliation by forgiving penitents their sins in this sacrament. Your priest, in carrying out the commitment to be Christ’s presence among us, provides the avenue to the healing that Confession and Reconciliation bring.

Confession is offered daily in the church, Monday through Saturday at 11:50am. The sacrament is also available on Saturday at 3:30pm. There is no scheduled time for confession on Sundays.

Contact:

Please contact the Rectory Office if you wish to set up an appointment with a priest, 617-445-2600.

Eucharist (Communion)

Jesus was born into our world as the word made flesh to live among us as God’s loving presence. God’s love sent us his only-begotten Son into this world of sinners to redeem us by his ultimate gift of love — the sacrifice of his own life for our redemption. On the night before he died for the redemption of man’s sins, he shared bread and wine with his disciples, changing the bread and wine into his own body and blood. Each time we participate in the Eucharistic sacrifice, we ourselves become transformed and living members of the One True Christ, who is present in the Eucharistic, the Bread and Wine. All who are properly disposed are invited to experience Jesus’ true presence, body, soul and divinity in the Sacrament of the Eucharist

Preparation for First Holy Communion

For baptized children in grades 2 through 9, enrollment in Religious Education classes prepares them to receive the Holy Eucharist for the first time. Classes begin in the Fall and are held weekly on Sunday mornings through the Spring. For more information, please visit the Religious Education page.

Contact:

Please contact the Rectory Office if you wish to set up an appointment with a priest, 617-445-2600.

Marriage

A Basilica wedding will provide you with exquisite and everlasting memories. Due to the numerous requests we receive for weddings, only couples that are registered parishioners and attend Mass at the Basilica on a regular basis will be considered.

You are the Sacrament – a sign of God’s love for you and God’s righteous presence in our world. We welcome you to share this grace with us and amid the company of your loved ones. As a parishioner, it is advised to approach a priest directly and inform him of your intentions of marriage at least six months in advance. During this time, he is able to meet with you and learn more about your relationship as well as prepare for the ceremony.

Availability

The Basilica is available for weddings on the following days/times:
Fridays – 6:00pm
Saturdays – 2:00pm and 5:30 pm

For weddings with fewer than 45 guests, the Rectory Chapel is also available for a more intimate space.

No weddings may be scheduled for Sundays. Availability and dates must be confirmed with the priest in charge of your arrangements.

Church Offering

Offering for use of the Basilica: $675
Organist: $225
Soloist: $100

Checks should be made payable to the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and be delivered during the wedding rehearsal. The check will be deposited the next full business day by the church treasurer.

Preparation

After the initial meeting with a priest, the couple is required to attend an Archdiocesan sponsored program of Pre-Cana or Engaged Encounter. Early registration is recommended, a full schedule and directory is offered here.

There are various options to sign up for a time and place that is most convenient for you. Once the session has been completed, a copy of the certificate will need to be presented to the priest arranging your wedding. Sacramental records will also be needed to verify baptism, first communion, and confirmation. If these sacraments were not received at the Basilica, copies of records from other church(s) will need to be provided and dated within 6 months of the planned marriage date.

Music Arrangements

For specific music requests or accommodations, please contact the Music Director, Glenn Goda (617-442-7079) at least one months before the wedding. Only liturgically appropriate music for the Basilica and music that reflects the dignity of the Sacrament will be permitted. This celebration is a public action of the church as much as it is the couple’s special day. We ask you not to contract an outside musician or soloist without first consulting the Music Director.

Rehearsal

Arrangements will be made with the priest officiating to schedule a rehearsal prior to the ceremony. Time is limited, the wedding party should be punctual and conduct themselves accordingly. Due to the fact that more than one rehearsal can occur on a given evening, it is the couple’s responsibility to organize all members of the wedding party.

The civil wedding license should also be presented to the priest before the rehearsal along with payment for the church.

Important Considerations

Flowers are optional for the wedding ceremony. No ribbons, flowers, etc are allowed to be fastened to the pews by means of tape, wire or metal fasteners. Due to the natural beauty of the marble and risk of guests tripping, a runner down the center aisle is discouraged. The use of real flower petals by the flower girl(s) is also discouraged due to the risk of slipping as well as streaking of the floor.

The photographer/videographer can take pictures at the front of the church as the entrance procession begins. At all other times during the ceremony, the photographer/videographer should be conscious of the religious worship that is taking place and should never serve as a distraction. No person or camera equipment will be allowed in the Sanctuary area. The Basilica will only be available for 15 minutes following the ceremony to take any pictures.

We ask that the couple assign an usher to help assist in cleaning up any items that may be left behind after the ceremony. Please inform family and friends that the throwing of rice, confetti, birdseed, etc either inside or outside the Basilica is prohibited.

Cancellation

Should the need arise to cancel any arrangements, please notify the Rectory Office and priest immediately, 617-445-2600.

Contact:

Please contact the Rectory Office if you wish to set up an appointment with a priest, 617-445-2600.

Holy Orders

The Sacrament of Holy Orders is the continuation of Christ’s priesthood, which He bestowed upon His Apostles. The apostles were commissioned by Christ to preach the Gospel and baptize all in the name of Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. The apostolic ministry consists in governing, sanctifying and teaching the people of God. The Lord calls men from among the baptized faithful to be ordained to work for the salvation of the souls of others.

Discerning A Call

If a man thinks he is being called to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders and be ordained a priest or permanent deacon, he should speak to his parish priest and be in touch with the Redemptorist Vocation Director or Archdiocesan Vocation Director. He should begin to attend daily Mass as often as possible and confess his sins regularly. A life of prayer is the foundation of discerning a call to the priesthood or permanent diaconate.

Contact:

Redemptorist Vocation Office
Fr. Matthew Allman, C.Ss.R.
7509 Shore Road
Brooklyn, NY 11209
718-833-1900
www.redemptoristvocations.com

Archdiocese of Boston Vocation Office
66 Brooks Drive
Braintree, MA 02184
617-746-5929
www.vocationsboston.org

Anointing of the Sick

“Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” James 5: 14-15

The anointing of the sick can be administered to a member of the faithful who is sick or on the verge of death. Through this sacrament, the entire Church asks God to lighten sufferings, forgive sins, and bring eternal salvation. This sacrament can be repeated whenever the sick person again falls into a serious sickness after convalescence or whenever a more serious crisis develops during the same sickness.

Contact:

Please contact the Rectory Office if you wish to set up an appointment with a priest, 617-445-2600.