Sacraments in the Catholic Church are where individual steps in the life of the believer are celebrated publicly within the parish assembly. Traditionally seen as outward signs, instituted by Christ himself to give grace, the Church’s seven sacraments cover three distinct moments in the faith and human journey. “Participation in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, is not simply an option; rather, it is foundational to sustain the faithful in union with the very life of the Trinity and to strengthen them for the rigors of living their faith as committed disciples.”
To learn more about the sacraments, click here
Here is our parish overview of how to proceed if you are discerning a desire to participate in one or more sacraments
Sacraments of Initiation
Infant/Child Baptism: Baptism is our incorporation into the Body of Christ and the foundation of our sacramental life. Children’s baptisms are celebrated on Sundays after our 12noon Mass at St. Joseph, and we celebrate baptism communally. Our baptism registration form can be found here. Contact Ana Valencia at the parish center to begin the process of instruction and celebration.
Children’s First Penance/First Eucharist/Confirmation: Preparation for these sacraments of initiation are handled within our Family Faith Formation program.
Adult Initiation: The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the path for those seeking to learn more and perhaps ask for full initiation into the Catholic church. A related process is available for those adults who only need to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. For initial questions, contact information may be found here.
Sacraments of Healing
Sacrament of Reconciliation: This sacrament is celebrated on Saturdays from 4:00-4:30PM in the church. Priests are also available for reconciliation by appointment.
Anointing of the Sick: This sacrament is freely offered to those who are sick, facing surgery, of advanced age, or those with chronic mental or emotional illness. Each month on the 22nd we celebrate a St. Sharbel Healing Mass, where multiple priests assist in the administration of the sacrament. This is the ideal time to present yourself for Anointing. Before or after (or during) any Mass is also appropriate.
In the COVID-19 era, public health conditions prohibit clergy from home and hospital visits. However, should you find yourself in a hospital unexpectedly, clergy in the Diocese of Metuchen are specifically assigned to care for hospital patients. Here is a short list of phone numbers for area hospital pastoral care departments:
Saint Peter’s University Hospital:
Pastoral Care Office (732) 745-8565.
RWJ Barnabas at Somerset Medical Center:
Pastoral Care Office (908) 685-2200 ext. 2425.
Penn Health Princeton Medical Center (Plainsboro):
Religious Ministries Department: (609) 853-6020.
Hackensack Meridian JFK Medical Center (Edison):
Pastoral Care Office (732) 321-7000 ext. 7512.
Morristown Memorial Hospital:
Pastoral Care Office (973) 971-5000 ext. 5170.
RWJ Barnabas, New Brunswick
Pastoral Care Office (732) 828-3000 ext. 8504.
Sacraments of Service
Christian Marriage: Congratulations and blessings on your engagement. Every couple has unique gifts and needs, and our clergy will walk and work with you to meet our own time-tested standards to get you to the altar and beyond. Contact anyone on the pastoral team.
Holy Orders: If you are sensing God’s call to service as a priest or deacon in the church, contact our pastor and/or any parish team member you feel can best serve you.
Similarly, even though there are no sacraments associated with the religious life, monastic life, lay ministry or faith-based humanitarian service, please contact us if we can help you in your discernment.
Do you need a Sacramental Certificate for any reason? Request one here using this form.
The Journey Ends:
Funeral Rites at St. Joseph
Because of our belief not only in the immortality of the soul, but also in the resurrection of the body, the Church professes hope in the face of death, and acts with charity in the funeral rites. The Church provides a number of prayers for the faithful to offer both to accompany the dying of a loved one and to strengthen our faith upon their death. Through private prayer and public funeral rites, we strengthen our faith and hope, comfort those who mourn, and bury the bodily remains of the deceased with care befitting what was the Temple of the Holy Spirit.
Learn more: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Overview of Bereavement and Funerals
Our parish is responsive to the varied needs that are prompted when a loved one has passed from this earthly life. Usually, a funeral director works on behalf of the family to set up dates and details of a funeral liturgy at the parish, including the possibilities of a vigil service at a time before the funeral Mass and/or a burial service following the Mass.
Once the initial arrangements are set, there will be continued dialogue with all parties to craft the ritual or rituals that will best serve the family.
We also encourage families to request memorial Masses to mark a month, a year or more since a loved one’s passing, particularly if the grief is still intense and a gathering in church again would be beneficial.
St. Joseph Parish Cemetery
Our St. Joseph parish cemetery is tucked in an industrial section of Foothill Road two miles from the church. The small, rustic and gracefully-aging parcel, with an eclectic mix of graves and trees, has unfortunately been completely booked for decades now. This has serious consequences for the level of maintenance and improvements that some would prefer, but as The New Yorker magazine accurately noted recently (10/4/21), “Cemeteries work on something like a pyramid scheme: payments for new plots cover the cost of maintaining old ones. ‘Perpetual care’ is, everywhere, notional, but that notion relies on an accumulation of capital.”
However, despite the severe constraints, our St. Joseph cemetery remains active with regular Masses and prayer services, maintenance and, of course, visits from loved ones. Questions about the cemetery? Click here.
Do you have a loved one buried in our parish cemetery and need a record?