Pastoral

The community of St Anthony’s comprises those who belong to the Catholic Church, which traces its origins to St Peter, and the first followers of Jesus of Nazareth. But it reaches out in unity and affection to all Christians and churches, and to those who are seeking a spirituality or deeper understanding of Jesus.

We welcome everyone, children, young people, families, single people, less active (‘lapsed’) Christians, people from other countries, and those who are elderly and sick, and try to show the love of Jesus Christ to people who are disabled, separated, divorced or bereaved, as well as supporting and contributing to those in need.

The community gathers each Saturday evening and Sunday morning at Mass, to celebrate Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, which is the centre and heart of the Christian Faith, and to strengthen our Christian lives with God’s grace.

Baptism

Both babies and adults are baptised into the Church, and the first approach should be made to the Parish Priest. The Sacrament of Baptism normally takes place during the Sunday Mass or at other times, according to choice.

It has always been the practice of the Church, from the beginning, to baptise children whose parents are Christian and who wish the fullness of the Faith to be passed on to them. Ideally, in the Catholic Church, children should belong to a faithful family, be part of the parish community and be educated in Catholic schools. There is no better upbringing for a child than this.

First Communion

Children aged 7 and upwards are prepared for First Communion by our Parish Catechists. Classes normally begin in the autumn and First Communion is received the following May or June.

Confirmation

The Sacrament of Confirmation is administered to Catholics aged 14 and above, by the Bishop after appropriate preparation. Courses are arranged on a deanery basis in North Norfolk.

Reception into the Church

Children and adults who have been baptised in other denominations are received into the Catholic Church after appropriate instruction and discussions, generally with the Parish Priest.

From time to time a course called Journey in Faith is arranged, and this is suitable both for those who are thinking about becoming Catholic and for Catholics who wish to deepen or refresh their understanding of the Catholic Faith.

Confession

It was on Easter Day evening that Jesus told his apostles to bring God’s forgiveness to people when he said to them, ‘Those whose sins you forgive they are forgiven’. (St John’s Gospel chapter 20, verse 23).

Confessions are normally heard in Sacristy before the Saturday evening Mass starting at 1730. They are also available at any time upon request.

It is usually called the Sacrament of Reconciliation, because it provides the gift of God’s peace.

Marriage

Couples wishing to get married should inform the Parish Priest at least 6 months before, a year if possible, when arrangements for the wedding are first being made.

We are able to make arrangements for a course of preparation aimed at increasing the ability of couples to communicate with each other, and understanding the different dimensions of marriage from spiritual to financial.

The preparation is done at St Anthony’s by a couple who are trained for this.

As with all the Sacraments please make your first approach to the Parish Priest.

PASTORAL CARE

Care of Sick and Housebound

Sick people are visited at home by parishioners. Holy Communion is taken to housebound people both by the Parish Priest, and by laymen and women (Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion). If you know of any person who would like a visit, please contact the Parish Priest


From time to time arrangements will be made for the Communal Celebration of the Sacrament of the Sick or of Anointing)

Sadly, many still remember it, when it was commonly known as “Extreme Unction”. And so fail to avail themselves of this sacrament because of the bad press it has received.

Fortunately in recent years many have come to appreciate the help and support given through this sacrament of God’s love.

No longer do we have to be awaiting the imminent arrival of the “Grim Reaper”. The Parish Priest has been the recipient of this sacrament often administered to him by the local bishop, These days the emphasis is very much on the spiritual help that is given by Jesus Christ, to help all who are in need of grace.

Whether this is through suffering, or the possibility of an imminent operation involving general anaesthetic, or quite simply health problems resulting from advancing years.

Bereavement

Families are the best source of comfort and help, but sometimes people like to talk to someone else. At St Anthony’s we will put you into contact with people who have been through what you are going through.

We also celebrate a Requiem Mass for those who have died, because Christians have always prayed for the dead, and we believe in the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, who will give life to our mortal bodies as well. We do not believe it is right to try and contact them or ‘bring them back’, but rather pray they will rest in peace. Our Singles Group provides friendship and support.

Marriage Help

We have trained counsellors available who help with Marriage Preparation, and also offer help for those whose marriages are running into difficulties.

The Church has a very special role in its care for Marriage and Family Life, and wishes to do everything possible, to help people, when problems arise.

It is amazing how marriages can become loving again, when difficulties are looked at together with someone who understands.
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