"SPEAK LORD YOUR SERVANT IS LISTENING "
If you wish to have a baby baptised, we ask that you attend a short preparation course so that you can better understand the promises which the Church asks you to make on behalf of your child. Please contact the parish office for details.
A child who is in danger of death should be baptised immediately, in which case please contact a priest or deacon immediately as detailed in Ministry to the Sick.
While we do try to accommodate availability of godparents, please note that not all desired dates are available, and we do not normally conduct baptisms during Lent, so please do not presume your desired date and time will be available until confirming it with the parish.
This sacrament is normally offered to baptised children when they reach the school year in which they turn 8 ("Year 3"). Application forms are available through the parish office. Before making their First Holy Communion, candidates are required to attend a parish preparation course over a number of weeks. Exact timings of the course will be made available through the catechist.
If your child has not already been baptised, we will arrange baptism with you at a suitable time while the child undertakes the course. Older children seeking first communion are dealt with according to individual circumstances.
Young people who have been baptised and made their First Holy Communion may ask for the Sacrament of Confirmation when they reach the school year during which they will turn 13 ("Year 8"), or at any time thereafter. Application forms are available through the parish office after consultation with the parish priest. If the number of applicants is too low to run a course, applicants may be invited to wait for a year or participate in a neighbouring parish's programme.
Older children who wish to participate in the confirmation course may do so, but those over 18 should instead take part in our adult course (read on).
Adults who wish to explore becoming a Catholic, or who simply wish to find out more about the Catholic faith, are welcome at our RCIA group. This course is also suitable for Catholic adults who now wish to be confirmed. Please contact the parish office for further information.
Want to know more about being Catholic? Check out Life4Seekers!
A Catholic is not married in the eyes of the Church unless the Church has authorised the wedding. This can take several months, especially if a wedding is to be celebrated in a foreign country.
* If you are a Catholic living within the Rhondda parish boundaries (even if you worship elsewhere), please contact Fr David O'Donnell via the parish office to begin the Catholic application for your wedding.
* If you are a Catholic living elsewhere who wishes to get married in St Gabriel and St Raphael's, please contact the priest of the parish where you actually live to begin the process; once he has indicated that the marriage can go ahead in accordance with Church Law, please contact our parish office.
* If you are a non-Catholic engaged to marry a Catholic, please approach the priest of your partner's parish as indicated in one of the two situations above. If you are active in another Christian community, you may find it useful to browse the UK Association of Interchurch Families.
PLEASE NOTE: It is in your own interests not to spend any money on wedding preparations until the priest you approach has indicated that the marriage can go ahead in accordance with church law, and your chosen venue has confirmed its availability.
The Sacrament of the Sick (Anointing, sometimes known as Extreme Unction or the "Last Rites") is the Church's blessing for Catholics who are seriously impaired (physically or mentally) by old age or illness, and for those who are in danger of death through any bodily condition (including the risk posed by a major operation).
A Catholic aware of being seriously impaired, or in danger of death, should request this sacrament; or if incapacitated, anyone who is caring for them should summon a priest on their behalf. The Catholic does not need to be conscious in order to receive this sacrament; but it is only given to those who are still alive. A priest should be called to a Catholic who is dying as a matter of ugency.
If a Catholic has already died, the Sacrament of the Sick is not given, and there is no need to contact a priest unless the family members express a desire to speak with the priest or have prayers said around the body of their relative. Otherwise, the family should make contact with a Funeral Director.
A Catholic in hospital requiring the Sacrament of the Sick should make arrangements through the Hospital Chaplaincy.
A Catholic at home or in a nursing home in the Ferndale, Tonypandy or Treorchy areas requiring the Sacrament of the Sick should contact our parish office on 01443 421 929; if there is no reply and the need is urgent, contact the Treforest Presbytery on 01443 402 439, Ynyshir Presbytery 01443 682 689, Caerphilly Parish on 029 2088 3192 (and press 2), or Abercynon Presbytery on 01443 740 353. If all these options fail, contact any Cardiff parish.
Catholics who are sick or housbound and who reside in the Ferndale, Tonypandy or Treorchy areas should contact the parish office, so arrangements can be made for you to receive Holy Communion regularly at home.
To arrange a funeral please contact your chosen Funeral Director and ask them to make the arrangements through the parish office. Please do not finalise any arrangements until the minister taking funerals has confirmed the availability of himself and the church. You may find this National Liturgy Office leaflet useful. Note also that only Christian music is appropriate at Catholic funerals, and all readings are taken from the Bible. The most appropriate place to read poems or play your loved one's favourite music is at the end of the service at the graveside or crematorium, or at the reception afterwards.
Cremation is no longer forbidden by the Catholic Church; you are threfore free to arrange either burial or cremation. Out of respect for the human body, the Catholic Church buries ashes after cremation. Your Funeral Director will be pleased to arrange a rite of burial with your chosen minister. There is no Catholic rite of scattering ashes.
If you feel you need more support after your bereavement than your minister and parish can offer, you may find the help you seek through these support groups.
May God support you and comfort you in your time of loss.