Join St. Joseph Parish
From Father's Desk
To all those considering joining St. Joseph Parish, Welcome!
As the pastor, I hope that you find in this Church not only a welcoming and joyful community but also a renewed passion and vigor for your Christian faith. I am here to help you in any way that I can so please do not hesitate to reach out or stop by the office if there is something that you need. Christ has called us into something sacred and beautiful and will undoubtedly give us the grace to answer that call with our full hearts!
It is to that end that I want to add this invitation to your welcome. The God who created us and created every complex part and thought that makes us who we are, loves us so much that He calls/invites you into Himself. I think you will find that He does this in two pretty amazing ways, first He was the one who gave you your desires and wants, so if those things are rightly directed towards Him you can be sure that is a grace-filled path. The second way though is a bit more difficult, He calls you to take up your cross. He calls you to know Him through His sacrifice and through our personal sacrifices and this path too, while difficult, is one we walk with Christ. When those two things are brought together we are bound to find our vocation in Christ. When what excites you and what challenges you are joined together it is then that God can create a saint. Finally the invitation, I’d like to invite all of you to pray about what this means for you at this parish. What does God put into your heart that you are passionate about? What does God put into your heart that would challenge you? Like I said, I am here to help you live out your vocation and find real joy in this community, so when God does reveal that in your prayer come to me and we as a parish will help you live it out to the Glory of God the Father!
Thank you for your faith and again, welcome to St. Joseph Parish!
In Christ, Rev. Eric L. Boelscher
Pastor of St. Joseph Parish
Interested In Becoming Catholic?
What does the process look like?
The Rite of Christian Initiation is based on the principle that the process of conversion proceeds gradually, in stages. Progress from one stage to the next is marked by a liturgical celebration in the midst of the parish community. The experience and needs differ based on age and religious background, and so the length of time may vary for each person. Nevertheless, there are certain similarities among all the groups and the process they will experience, and these can be listed as follows:
The first stage is called the period of inquiry (or the precatechumenate). This is when the individual first expresses an interest in becoming a Christian or a Catholic, and begins to explore, with the help of the parish community, what his or her relationship with Christ might be and how that might be enriched and deepened by joining this Christian community. There is no liturgical rite to mark the beginning of this stage. This period of inquiry may last several months or several years and ends either when the inquirer decides against continuing in this direction or when the inquirer feels ready to move on and the community is prepared to welcome him or her.
The second stage is called the catechumenate and, for the unbaptized listed above, who are now called catechumens, should last no less than one full year. For the baptized but uncatechized the period should be a similar length. For the candidates for full communion, this stage could well be much shorter. The Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens and the Rite of Welcoming mark the beginning of this stage. Catechesis for this period is rooted in the Lectionary and the Word as it is proclaimed in the midst of the community. This is also a time for the catechumen or candidate to learn how to live as a Catholic Christian. This period ends when the catechumens and candidates express their desire to receive the sacraments of initiation and the community acknowledges their readiness.
Purification and Enlightenment
The third stage is the period of purification and enlightenment and coincides with Lent. During this time the elect (formerly the catechumens) and the candidates enter into a period of intense preparation and prayer which includes the three public celebrations of the scrutinies and is marked by the presentations of the Creed and the Lord's Prayer. The Rite of Election and the Call to Continuing Conversion are celebrated at the beginning of this stage. This period ends with the celebration of baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil. (Note: only the elect are baptized. All the groups are confirmed and welcomed to the table.)