CATECHETICAL CORRESPONDENCE COURSES
Programs available for children from Kindergarten through to High School not currently receiving religious instruction. Preparation
for First Communion and Confirmation for children not in Catholic Schools also available. Families work through the programs at home. The length of all courses is seven to eight months. For programs to be completed
by the end of April, an early start is important. Contact the Parish Office for more information and for registration forms.
THE RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION FOR ADULTS
Commonly known as R.C.I.A. This program will be offered for those who have never been baptized in the Catholic faith. For those who
have been baptized in other Christian churches who may be interested in learning about the Catholic faith are welcomed. If you are interested, or know someone who would like further information please call the
Diocese of Hamilton Policy Regarding the Disposition of Cremated Remains
From the earliest days of the Church, Christians have provided reverent burial for the bodies of deceased members of the
Christian community. The Catholic Cemetery became the tangible link between the community of the faithful on earth and the community of Saints in heaven. In the latter part of the nineteenth century, the practice of
cremation was introduced in Europe. Realizing that the motives of many choosing cremation were anti-Christian, the Church prohibited cremation for Catholics in 1886.
Cremation as such was never seen as incompatible with Catholic doctrine. However, it was the preference of the Church for
bodies to be buried to await the Resurrection on the last day, as Christ himself was laid in a tomb (see Mark 15:46). Once it was established that the choice of cremation was not motivated by a denial of the
resurrection of the body, the Catholic Church, in 1963, lifted the prohibition.
Given the growing acceptance of cremation among Catholics, it is important to reiterate the teaching about Catholic Funeral
Rites and the subsequent disposition of the cremated remains.
It remains the preference of the Church to celebrate the Funeral Rites in the presence of the body of the deceased, which the
Church considers to be sacred, having been baptized, having been a temple of the Holy Spirit and having shared in the Eucharistic banquet. Traditionally, the rites include the Vigil for the Deceased, the Funeral
Mass or Liturgy, concluding with the Rite of Commendation, and finally the Rite of Committal, when the body of the deceased is reverently buried in a grave or entombed in a mausoleum. Furthermore, the Church prefers
that if cremation is chosen as a means of disposition, this takes place following the Funeral Mass or Liturgy.
Notwithstanding the canonical preference for burial, in the Diocese of Hamilton it is permitted to celebrate Funeral Rites in
the presence of cremated remains, which have been placed in a dignified container (see indult from the Congregation for Divine Worship prot. no. 99/18, December 3, 1984). At the conclusion of the Funeral Rites, the
cremated remains should be reverently buried in a grave or place in a mausoleum or columbarium as soon as conveniently possible and not retained for any length of time in the family home. The interment of the bodies
of deceased Catholic or their cremated remains should be in a place especially designated for this purpose and reserved as such.
The practice of scattering cremated remains or keeping them at home does not display appropriated reverence for what was the
temple of the Holy Spirit. Neither does dividing remains among family members or placing portions of the remains in items of jewellery to be kept by family members show the reverence due to cremated remains. Such
practices are not in keeping with our Catholic faith.
The Church is aware that pastors face many challenging pastoral situations relating to the death of an individual. However,
Church teaching makes clear the necessity of treating the cremated remains in the same manner as the deceased human body. It is for this reason that the Church does not celebrate the committal rites when the method
of disposition chosen is not in accord with Church teaching.
April 26, 2014
The Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, OMI, Bishop of Hamilton