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Life in the Catholic Church revolves around the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the sacraments of which there are seven: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance (Confession), Anointing of the Sick (Unction), Matrimony, and Holy Orders. Added to these vitally important things are sacramentals. Sacramentals do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that the sacraments do, but by the Church’s prayer, they prepare the faithful to receive grace and dispose them to co-operate with it. The chief sacramental is the sign of the cross! If you’re interested in celebrating the sacraments or sacramentals at St. John’s, click on the links below to discover more.

DONATIONS & OFFERINGS: Christ entrusted to the Church the sacraments of the New Testament for the sanctification of the Christian people. Since all of the faithful who are properly disposed and not prohibited by law have the right to receive the sacraments, there is no charge for the administration of the sacraments or sacramentals. That said, many support the parish with a free-will offering on the occasion of the administration of a sacrament and certain other services of the Church. St. John’s is a poor parish financially and depends on the sacrificial giving of all our families and so any offering is appreciated.

Mass Intentions: the suggested Mass offering is $10 which goes to the Priests who says the Mass (or if he says two Masses in the same day, goes to the Seminary Fund).

Weddings: $500 (Visit our Weddings page [here] for more information on fees for the organist etc.)

Funerals: $300 

Baptisms (outside of the Sunday Mass): $100

Except in the case of the Mass Intention, the offerings above, go to St. John’s directly and not to the Priest. If you are unable to help provide for our parish through the above suggestions, please speak to Fr. Bengry about what might be possible for you. Cheques should be made to St. John the Evangelist and should be sent to the parish office.

If you would like to make a gift to the Priest who is celebrating the sacrament or sacramental, you may do so directly to him at the time of the event. Thank-you for your kind generosity and for your support of the parish.




The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (Holy Communion/Eucharist) is the source and summit of the Christian life. God is all around and Jesus Christ promised to be with us always, but He promised to be with us in a very tangible way — body, blood, soul and divinity — in every tabernacle and upon every altar of the Catholic Church.
Mass is celebrated at St. John’s according to the posted schedule on our home page.
To request a Mass Intention, please approach the clergy personally and they will furnish you with a Mass Intention envelope. The suggested gift (for the upkeep of the Priest) is $10 — cash only. Please note that from time to time, an assigned Mass Intention may need to be moved, or celebrated with another intention, due to a pastoral emergency — for that, we apologise.



We have a number of opportunities to partake of this life-giving sacrament at St. John’s. If the violet stole is not hanging on the door, a priest is inside waiting to hear confessions and absolve sins. If it’s been a long time since you’ve been to confession, or if it’s your first time, Father will guide you through the process. The seal of the confessional is absolute: draw near to God, confess your sins, and experience the salvation that God’s peace brings. There is no sin too big to bring to the confessional. 

    God empowered His priests to be instruments of forgiveness in the Old Testament and Jesus Christ delegated this authority to His priests in the New Testament. He made this remarkably clear in John 20:21–23:

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

     This passage emphasises an essential aspect of the priestly ministry: To Forgive men’s sins in the person of Christ — moreover, auricular confession is strongly implied here. The only way the Apostles could either forgive or retain sins is by first hearing those sins confessed, and then making a judgment whether or not the penitent should be absolved. No sin is too big to bring to the confessional; God is merciful and kind and wants sinners to turn again to Him.

     The Sacrament of Reconciliation is an outward sign, instituted by Christ, that imparts grace to the soul. As an outward sign it comprises the actions of the penitent in presenting himself to the priest and accusing himself of his sins, and the actions of the priest in pronouncing absolution and imposing penance. This whole procedure is usually called, from one of its parts, “confession”. The grace conferred is deliverance from the guilt of sin and, in the case of mortal sin, from its eternal punishment; hence also reconciliation with God. Finally, the confession is made not in the secrecy of the penitent’s heart nor to a layman as friend and advocate, nor to a representative of human authority, but to a duly ordained priest with requisite jurisdiction and with the power of the keys which is the power to forgive sins granted by Christ to His Church. We have a number of opportunities (as scheduled or by appointment) to partake of this life-giving sacrament at St. John the Evangelist. If it’s been a long time since you’ve been to confession, or if it’s your first time, the priest will guide you through the process. The seal of the confessional is absolute: draw near to God, confess your sins, and experience the salvation that God’s peace brings.

      There is no sin too big or too shameful to bring to the confessional. If the purple stole hanging visibly in the front, it means the confessional is empty. When making your confession please whisper.



Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. (CCC 1213). Through water and the Holy Spirit, men and women are freed from the power of sin and death and are reborn as sons of God and members of Christ’s body, the Church.

Faithful to the command of Christ (St Matthew 28.19), the Church has celebrated Baptism from the very day of Pentecost as St Peter himself declares: “Repent and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2.38) Baptism is therefore the sacrament by which men and women, freed from original sin, respond to the Gospel call for conversion and adhere to Christ by an unbreakable bond forged by the Holy Spirit.

     In celebrating the sacrament of Baptism, Christians proclaim their Paschal faith in fidelity to the Gospel so that they may be purified of their sins and rise to newness of life in Christ Jesus.  

     Baptism seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark or character of belonging to Christ. No sin can erase this mark, even if sin prevents Baptism from bearing the fruits of salvation. (CCC 1272). Because of this indelible character, Baptism may never lawfully be repeated once it has been validly celebrated, even if by fellow Christians Churches or Ecclesial Communities.

The notes below are intended to help those exploring Baptism at St John’s. Please read the information posted here and fill out the form available from the parish secretary.

BAPTISM OF INFANTS: “Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God.” (CCC 1250)  The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church. Infants are baptised into the faith of the Church, a faith which is professed for them by their Parents and Godparents during the sacramental celebration. For the grace imparted in Holy Baptism to unfold, children must be formed in the faith in which they have been baptised. In this way, they gradually learn God's plan for salvation in Christ and ultimately accept for themselves the faith in which they have been immersed. 

BAPTISM OF THOSE OF RIPER YEARS: Since the beginning of the Church, the Christian initiation of adults responding to the preaching of the Gospel is accomplished in the reception of the sacraments of Holy Baptism, Holy Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist. Through these sacraments, the faithful are made members of the Body of Christ and sharers in the Priesthood of Christ, in Christ's prophetic and royal mission. Indeed, “the communion of the baptised in the teaching of the Apostles and in the breaking of the eucharistic bread is visibly manifested in the bonds of the profession of faith in its entirety, of the celebration of all the sacraments instituted by Christ, and of the governance of the College of Bishops united with its head, the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Benedict XVI, Anglicanorum coetibus)     The Personal Ordinariates share in the mission of the whole Church of handing on and nourishing the faith received from the Apostles. Through the continual proclamation of the Gospel by the Church, adults in every age are called by the Holy Spirit to conversion of life and to follow Christ the Lord as his disciples. Through Holy Baptism, adults who are baptised are conformed to Christ in the likeness of his death so as to rise with him to newness of life with all their sins forgiven. Given the unity of the Sacraments of Initiation, unless there is a grave reason to the contrary, an adult who is baptised is to be confirmed in the same celebration and is to participate in the eucharistic sacrifice also by receiving Holy Communion. (CIC 866). 

PRELIMINARIES: Adult Baptisms are normally scheduled as part of a person’s catechetical instruction in the Catholic faith. Contact the Priest through the parish secretary to begin the process.
     Infant & Child Baptisms (under the age of seven) are normally scheduled for Saturdays at 2.00 pm (outside of Mass). Members of the parish may also schedule the Baptism within the Sunday 10 am Solemn Mass. 
Again, contact the Priest through the parish secretary to begin the process.

     Child Baptisms (over the age of 7) will, in normal circumstances, be followed by the Sacrament of Confirmation. Please speak to Father Bengry about this if your child is seven years or over.
     Baptisms at St John’s are celebrated according to Divine Worship: Occasional Services, the Ordinariate’s official public liturgy. Please give as much notice as possible so that we, and you, can be fully prepared to celebrate this vital sacrament — but don’t delay: Baptism is necessary for salvation.. 

PREPARATION: For Infant and Child Baptisms, a period of preparation with the priest or deacon who will baptise your child is normally required for both the Parents and Godparents. This is so that the meaning of the sacrament, the obligations attached to it and an overview of the rite may allow the Baptism of your child may take place with full understanding. The sessions are held at a time agreeable to yourselves and to the priest preparing your child for Baptism. Once completed, these sessions need not be repeated in the case of further children. 

PAPERWORK:  A birth certificate is not required for Infant and Child Baptisms. However, it is recommended if the surname name of the child is in question or is not the one of the natural father. 


GODPARENTS: The role of Godparents in Infant Baptism is especially important since their role as guardians of a child’s faith after Baptism is different from the role of Sponsors in Adult Baptism, who serve as guarantors of a candidate’s faith. Consequently, the Church specifics minimum requirements of all Godparents. All Godparents are:

  1. Specifically designated by the Parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence, by the Parish Priest;

  2. a member of the Roman Catholic Church;

  3. usually a minimum of 16 years of age (though a younger age may be approved by the Parish Priest for legitimate reasons in individual cases);

  4. recipients of the three sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist;

  5. a Catholic in good standing, whose life is lived according to the Precepts of the Catholic Church: 1. attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, 2. goes to Confession if in the state of serious sin at least once a year, 3. receives Holy Communion at least during the Easter season, 4. observes the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church; and 5. provides for the material needs of the Church according to his or her ability;

  6. in a marriage recognised by the Church as valid, if married; and

  7. living a life consistent with a single person as defined by the Church, if unmarried.


Parents may not serve as Godparents for their children. There is to be only one male Godparent or one female Godparent or one of each. Unless the Godparents are known to the Parish Priest, a certificate of eligibility must be presented by the Godparents to verify their ability to qualify as Godparents. Godparents are not obliged to be present for the Baptism and may be represented by a proxy. 


THE CHRISTIAN WITNESS: It is permissible to have one baptised person from a non-Catholic Church or Ecclesial Community serve as a Christian Witness, together with a Catholic Godparent. A Christian Witness must be recognised by the Catholic Church as a member of a non-Catholic Church or Ecclesial Community possessing valid Baptism, and must also be a member in good standing in his or her denomination. 

     Some non-Catholic Churches and Ecclesial Communities that normally have valid Baptism include: Orthodox, African Methodist Episcopal, Amish, Anglican/Episcopalian, Assembly of God, Baptist, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Church of the Brethren, Church of Christ, Church of God, Church of the Nazarene, Congregational, Disciples of Christ, Evangelical, Evangelical United Brethren, Liberal Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Old Catholic, Old Roman Catholic, Polish National, Presbyterian, Reformed, United Reformed, United Church of Australia, Waldensian, and Zion. 

     For those Ecclesial Communities whose Baptism is doubtful, invalid, or non-existent, please contact the Parish Priest, Fr. Bengry.

PARENTS: The parents of a child being presented for Baptism are not required to be married. If they are married they are not required to produce a document verifying their marriage. In normal circumstances, at least one Catholic parent must consent to the Baptism of the infant. A parent who asks for a child’s Baptism and is not a Catholic must give permission for the child’s instruction in the faith.

COSTS: No charge is made for the Sacrament of Holy Baptism at St John’s. A donation is always welcome for the maintenance and upkeep of the church, but this is at your discretion. A donation of $100 is appropriate for Baptism celebrated outside of the Mass. The Choir and Music Director (if desired) need to be contracted separately. It is customary to give a gift of money personally to the Priest at the time of the baptism, but again, this is at your discretion.


PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO: Please make sure that this is discreet during the liturgy. Please ask the photographer or videographer to liaise with the Parish Priest prior to the service. 




Those who have been baptised continue on the path of Christian initiation through the Sacrament of Confirmation. In this sacrament they receive the Holy Spirit whom the Lord sent upon the apostles on Pentecost. We at St. John’s make a special welcome to Anglicans who feel called home to the Catholic Church.

This giving of the Holy Spirit conforms believers more fully to Christ and strengthens them so that they may bear witness to Christ for the building up of his Body in faith and love. They are so marked with the character or seal of the Lord that the Sacrament of Confirmation cannot be repeated. 

      The notes below are intended to help those exploring Confirmation at St John’s. Please read the information and contact the Parish Secretary to proceed.


THE CONFIRMATION OF ADULTS: Adult Confirmations, in the main, take place whenever an adult is baptised, or is received into the Roman Catholic Church. Due catechetical instruction and preparation takes place before the Sacrament of Confirmation can be given, and must always be preceded by the Sacrament of Confession. 


CONFIRMATION & FIRST COMMUNION: We normally practice, at St. John’s the Ancient and traditional order of the rites of initiation: the Sacrament of Confirmation followed by First Holy Communion. If your child has reached (or even surpassed) the age of reason and discretion (defined by the Catechism as age seven), then please contact our parish secretary to find out about Confirmation and First Communion at St. John’s.



Why does St John’s want to celebrate Confirmation and First Communion at the same event?
In the early Church, Christian initiation was celebrated together as a single event. The person was immersed into the waters of Baptism, anointed with chrism, and shared in the Eucharistic meal. Over time, and for many reasons, the celebration of these sacramental rituals became separated from one another. In the renewal of the sacraments which was mandated by the Second Vatican Council, the Church was invited to restore the celebrations of the sacraments of Christian initiation to their original order — Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist. This restored order helps us recognise that sharing in the Eucharist completes our initiation into the Church.
What does the Church say about linking these two sacraments?
In article 1275 The Catechism of the Catholic Church articulates the inseparable nature of the sacraments of initiation as follows: “Christian initiation is accomplished by three sacraments together: Baptism, which is the beginning of new life; Confirmation, which is its strengthening; and the Eucharist, which nourishes the disciple with Christ’s Body and Blood for his transformation in Christ.”
Doesn’t the Church require a certain age for Confirmation?
Both the Rite of Confirmation and Canon Law (Canon 891) set the age of discretion (age seven) as the age for Confirmation. The age for Confirmation varies from diocese to diocese, sometimes even from parish to parish. Regardless of age, Confirmation is always a sacrament of initiation. The important thing to remember is that sacraments are not about age alone, they are about growing in faith, and about sharing in God’s grace.

How will my child be prepared for Confirmation?
In this older order, Confirmation preparation is integrated into the preparation for First Holy Communion. This means that the close connection between Baptism and Confirmation is emphasised, while recognising the importance of the Eucharist as the culmination of Christian initiation.

Will my child be learning about the Holy Spirit?
Naturally, as your child continues to participate in religious education, he or she will continue to learn more and more about the Holy Spirit’s action in our lives. The preparation course in which your child will participate teaches about the power of the Spirit and the special gifts of the Spirit. Just as your child was first empowered by the Spirit in Baptism, your child will continue to grow in the Spirit through the grace of Confirmation.

How will I know if my child is ready for Confirmation?
Readiness for Confirmation cannot be separated from readiness for the Eucharist, and sacramental readiness is never about learning, but about faith. As your child prepares for Confirmation and First Holy Communion, here are three things to keep in mind: 
1. Sacraments are always a beginning. As your child matures in faith, he or she will grow in his or her understanding of Confirmation and experience of the Eucharist;
2. the Eucharist is the culmination of the Sacraments of Initiation. Your child is now welcomed as a fully participating member of the Church; and
3. at any age, completion of the Sacraments of Initiation — Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist — in no way signals graduation, rather it is the beginning of a lifetime of being nourished at the altar of the Lord.


COSTS: No charge is made for the Sacrament of Confirmation at St John’s.


PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO: Please make sure that this is discreet during the liturgy. Please ask the photographer or videographer to liaise with the Parish Priest prior to the service. 




The decision to get married is one of the most significant steps in a person’s life. Perhaps it is the most significant: two people make vows to each other to remain exclusively together for the rest of their lives, “for better, for worse: for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God’s holy law.”

     Married Christians, in virtue of the sacrament of Holy Matrimony, signify and share in the mystery of that unity and fruitful love which exists between Christ and his Church (Ephesians 5.32); they help each other to attain to holiness in their married life and in the rearing and education of their children; and they have their own special gift among the people of God. (1 Corinthians 7.7)

     “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptised persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.” (CIC 1055)

     In celebrating the sacrament of Holy Matrimony, Christians proclaim the communion of love between Christ and the Church and ask God’s blessing that their nuptial union might be the sacramental sign of this same love. The Catholic Church’s understanding of marriage is that it is a unique, indissoluble partnership between one man and one woman, in mutual and lasting fidelity and open to the possibility of bringing children into the world. Anyone getting married in a Catholic church must have the same understanding of marriage as the Church, even if they are not a Catholic themselves. It is because the Church attaches such importance to marriage, both for the couple themselves and for society as a whole, that she is concerned that couples intending to marry are adequately prepared, and understand what it is that they are committing themselves to. 
      The notes below are intended to help couples thinking about getting married at St John’s. The priest who is marrying you will want time to get to know you, to make sure you understand the meaning and obligations of marriage, and to help you plan the liturgy so as to make one of the most important days of your lives as wonderful as it can be. If you are considering marriage at St John the Evangelist, here in Calgary, please read these notes and then get in touch with the and contact the Parish Secretary to begin the necessary steps.


PRELIMINARIES: Marriages at St John’s are, as a rule, restricted to couples where at least one of you is a member of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter. Wedding services at St John’s are celebrated according to Divine Worship: Occasional Services, the Ordinariate’s official public liturgy, for members of the Ordinariate only. Marriages for Latin Rite Catholics at St John’s must be celebrated according to the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. You need to give six months’ notice prior to getting married at St John’s. This is to make sure there is enough time to complete all that is required before the day.

PREPARATION: A period of preparation with the priest who will marry you and attendance at a diocesan marriage prep course need to be undertaken before your marriage here takes place. The course takes a couple through the richness of Catholic teaching on marriage and the lived experience of other couples living out their married life in faith. No details of your wedding can be fixed until this course has been completed.

CIVIL PAPERWORK: One of the first things you will need to do is to purchase a Marriage Licence from Service Alberta, available at a local registry. The following link will give you all the information you need regarding what is required: A Marriage Licence demonstrates that you meet the requirements to get married in Alberta and gives you the legal right to get married any time within three months from the date the Licence was issued. When you receive your Marriage Licence you will also receive a Registration of Marriage form. This will need to be completed and signed at the time of your marriage in St John’s.

CHURCH PAPERWORK: The Parish Priest needs to find out whether you are free to marry and to make certain that you are aware of the duties of Christian Marriage. Enquiries may need to be made in the church where you were baptised and sometimes dispensations need to be sought — all of this can take some time. The Parish Priest will need to have your certificates of Baptism. In the case of Catholics this needs to be a recent copy taken from the register of the church where you were baptised within three months of the date of your wedding. In the case of non-Catholic Christians who have been baptised, you will need to have a copy of your original certificate of Baptism. If you are not able to obtain this, a notarised statement from a witness, if possible, indicating that you were baptised — with details — will be required.

PLANNING THE CEREMONY: There is always much to discuss in the planning of the wedding ceremony: a Nuptial Mass, or the non-Eucharistic Wedding Service; the readings, hymns and other music; who will be involved; flowers; photography; parking — to name only a few. This is the exciting part, but it also needs time to get right. There also needs to be a wedding rehearsal before the wedding day.


FREEDOM TO MARRY: You cannot be married in a Catholic church if either of you has been married before, unless that marriage has been formally annulled by an ecclesiastical tribunal. This rule includes civil marriages or marriages in non-Catholic churches (although in the case of Catholics who have been married in non-Catholic services a declaration of nullity may be possible). At least one of you must be a baptised Catholic. In cases where one of the parties has not been baptised in any Christian denomination a dispensation from the Ordinariate is required and in these cases a Nuptial Mass is not possible. 


THE CEREMONY: There are two forms of marriage, the Wedding Service and the Nuptial (Wedding) Mass. The Wedding Service is shorter and consists of up to three hymns, three readings, a sermon the vows, blessing and signing of the register. The choir, soloists and the organist can also play a part.

      When the wedding takes place in the context of Mass, this is called a Nuptial Mass. All the usual parts of the Mass are present, readings, hymns, and a musical Mass setting. The vows are taken after the Gospel and the homily by the priest. The registers are usually signed at the end. 

     Where both parties (and a good proportion of the guests) will be regular, practising Catholics, a Nuptial Mass is highly recommended. It is not possible when one of the parties has not been baptised. In all other cases the Wedding Service is recommended. This service does not involve Holy Communion, so those who would be unable to receive will not feel excluded. 
      The readings chosen for your wedding must be from the Catholic Lectionary. The Priest will inform you of the selections available. 
      The hymns should be from one of the two hymn books in use at St John’s — they contain a wide and excellent selection of traditional hymns. No secular music is permitted, save for an instrumental, which must be approved by the Parish Priest. 
      It is advised that you select two ushers to distribute orders of service and to direct guests to their places in church.


FLOWERS AND CONFETTI: Please provide your own flowers for your wedding, after discussion with the Parish Priest. You should provide at least two arrangements for the High altar. You may wish to have flowers at the Lady Altar as well, especially because it they will be visible in photographs taken whilst signing the registry. It is also possible to have flowers in front of the rood screen, in front of the pulpit, or on the ends of pews. Any pew end flowers should be removed soon after the wedding service, but we ask you to leave the flowers in the sanctuary so that the church will be decorated for the rest of the week. Please ask your guests not to scatter confetti or rice. These are difficult to clear up and quickly look messy.


COSTS: No charge is made for the Sacrament of Marriage at St John’s. A donation is always welcome for the maintenance and upkeep of the church, but this is at your discretion. In the case of non-parishioners seeking to be married at St John’s an offering of $500 is expected to pay for preparation, cleaning, lighting and heating. Make the donation directly to the Church some time before the wedding. Please understand that it is not a fee for the sacrament, and it may be reduced or waived in cases of hardship. For musical costs please contact the Director of Music and deal with him directly. In addition to the offering to the Church, it is also common to make a gift of money to the Priest and to invite him to the reception. This gift should be given him on the day of the wedding.


MUSIC: The music used in church should always be of a sacred nature. The reception is the place for secular or popular music.  If you are having hymns, you may choose up to three (for a Wedding Service) and up to six (for a Nuptial Mass). In addition you may like to have the choir or a soloist sing at particular points in the ceremony. At a Nuptial Mass there may also be music at the offertory, at communion and for the Mass setting itself. Instrumentalists may be used. You will need an organ prelude for the entry and an organ postlude for the exit. The Organist at St. John's is to be contracted separately.


PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO: Please make sure that this is discreet during the liturgy. Please ask the photographer or videographer to liaise with the Parish Priest prior to the service. 


PARKING: Parking is limited to 8th Avenue, but room will need to be made for the bridal car, and this should be thought out in your planning.


THE WEDDING REHEARSAL: It is our custom at St John’s to have a practice the evening before the wedding, or at some other time a few days before the ceremony. Obviously the bride and groom need to be there, but it also helps if the best man, the chief bridesmaid, the bride’s father (or whoever is leading her up the aisle) and any other people taking a prominent part can be there too. We practise the entry and the exit, the vows, the exchanging of rings, and the Nuptial Blessing. We can also talk about last minute details for photography, flowers, or music.

Please bring the following with you: the civil certificates and payment for the church, priest and the musicians. 




Are you a Catholic man who feels a call to the Priesthood? Have others told you that you’d make a good Priest or Deacon? Are you unsure how to even start exploring a sense of call? If so, contact Fr. Bengry and he will point you in the right direction. Contact him through our parish secretary.




“Extreme Unction”, a term common in past centuries, refers to the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, which is administered both to the dying and to those who are gravely ill or are about to undergo a serious operation, for the recovery of their health and for spiritual strength. Unction means an anointing with oil (which is part of the sacrament), and extreme refers to the fact that the sacrament was usually administered in extremity—in other words, when the person to whom it was being administered was in grave danger of dying. The “Last Rites” normally include unction but also prayers, confession and viaticum (the last partaking of the Eucharist). 

     If one is seriously ill, frail in old age, or in danger of dying, it is wise to call the priest to perform these sacred rites of the Church. Do not wait to call Fr. Bengry until the last minute lest it be too late for your loved one to receive them. In the case of an emergency call 403.265.5072.




Death is a consequence of original sin — if we had not sinned then our bodies would go straight to heaven, as Our Lord did in his Ascension, and Our Lady did at her Assumption. However, since Christ has conquered death on the Cross, our sorrow is tempered by the hope of the Resurrection. We trust that on the last day our mortal bodies will rise again to be with Our Lord.

      In the Funeral rites the Church celebrates the Paschal mystery of Christ. Those who in Baptism have become one with the dead and risen Christ, at the end of their sacramental life, will pass with him from death to life, to be purified in soul and welcomed into the fellowship of the saints in heaven. They look forward in blessed hope to his second coming and the bodily resurrection of the dead.

      After death the effects of sin still remain, and this is why most of us will still have to undergo purgation in Purgatory — that place and state where the love of God will work to cleanse us and so make us able to enter into God's presence. We can help the faithful depart to pass more swiftly through Purgatory by our prayers. The greatest prayer we can offer is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. A Mass for the dead is called a Requiem — meaning a Mass offered that they may rest in peace.

      When someone we love dies there are many things to arrange, and the most important is the person’s funeral. For Catholics a Requiem Mass is offered as the best way of showing our continued love for the deceased. The following notes will help you to prepare and plan for Funeral rites at St. John’s. 


PRELIMINARIES: Planning your funeral that will take place at St. John’s here in Calgary, well before your death, is to be highly commended. It eases your own peace of mind before your death, and eases the hearts and minds, too, of those friends and family members who, whilst mourning your loss, will feel more confident in carrying out your wishes if they are, truly, your wishes. Choosing hymns and discussing readings with the Parish Priest can be done at any time.

      Funeral liturgies at St John’s are celebrated according to Divine Worship: Occasional Services, the Ordinariate’s official public liturgy, for members of the Ordinariate only.


WHAT TO DO FOR A DECEASED PERSON AFTER DEATH: The first step is to speak to the Funeral Directors. Tell them that the deceased person is a Catholic and that you wish to arrange their funeral at St. John the Evangelist. You should then contact the Parish Priest. The Funeral Directors deal with some costs, but not with those connected to the use of St. John’s. Further details are found below.

WHO MAY RECEIVE A CATHOLIC FUNERAL? Catholic funeral services are a right, not a privilege, of all members of the Church, both the faithful and the catechumens (CIC 1176; 1183, 1). The Order of Christian Funerals also provides for the celebration of funeral rites for children whose parents intended them to be baptised (CIC 1182, 2). The Ordinary permits funeral rites for a baptised non-Catholic who was not opposed to these rites and whose proper minister is not available (OCF, 18; CIC 1183, 3). 

     The only persons who are denied ecclesiastical funeral rites and a funeral Mass — provided there was absolutely no sign of repentance before death — are notorious apostates, heretics, and schismatics; those who had chosen cremation for reasons opposed to the Catholic faith; and notorious sinners whose funeral rites would cause public scandal (CIC 1184, 1185). Funeral rites are also denied to those who have chosen to die through physician assisted suicide (MAID) or euthanasia. Funeral rites are not denied to those invalidly married, or inactive Catholics.

     The celebration of a Funeral Requiem Mass is permitted on any day except Solemnities that are Holy Days of Obligation, Thursday of Holy Week (Maundy Thursday), the Paschal Triduum, and the Sundays of Advent, Lent and Easter. 


BURIAL OR CREMATION? Burial has always been the preferred and normative tradition of the Catholic Church because it expresses more fully the belief in the Resurrection of the Body, and it was the manner in which the Lord was buried. However, cremation is permitted, provided that it is not a deliberate statement contrary to Christian belief. Even if cremation is chosen, it is our preferred practise at St John’s that the cremation take place after the funeral liturgy (whether it be a Funeral Service or a Requiem), so that the funeral can take place in the presence of the body. Cremated remains must be buried, or properly placed in a niche or mausoleum — they are never to be scattered or kept at home. 

     A Funeral Service or Requiem Mass is still permitted in the presence of cremated remains. In such cases the urn will be brought into church on the day of the funeral. It is placed on a table in front of the rood screen and covered with a veil. Flowers and a portrait may be placed next to it. 

     When a Requiem Mass is to take place in the presence of a body, it is a commendable Catholic practise that the body of the deceased be first brought into church the evening before the funeral, for a short Vigil service. This is usually intended for the closest family members of the deceased person. If you wish this to happen, you should tell the Priest and the Funeral Directors.


THE FUNERAL: There are two forms of Funeral rites available: either a Funeral Service (in the presence of the body, or cremated remains), or a Funeral (Requiem) Mass (in the presence of the body, or cremated remains). In addition, a Vigil for the Deceased (only available when the body is to be brought into church the evening beforehand) is also offered. 

     The Funeral Service is shorter and consists of the Reception of the Body (if this has not taken place at a Vigil), one or more psalms, a reading, homily, Apostles’ Creed, the Absolution, and prayers. Up to three hymns may be chosen. The choir, soloists and the organist can also play a part. The Committal may follow.

A Funeral Requiem Mass is highly recommended for those who were practising Catholics. All the usual parts of the Mass are present, readings, hymns, and a musical Mass setting. The Committal may follow.

The texts of the Funeral rites are laid down in the Missal. There are some choices which you may make: the readings and the hymns, though these should be discussed with the Parish Priest, who will inform you of the selection available, before any final decisions are made.

      Readings can be chosen, upon the advice of the Parish Priest. Only readings from Holy Scripture are permitted. If family members of friends wish to read during the Mass they should meet the Celebrant of the Mass beforehand so that he can ensure that they know what to do.

      Only sacred music may be used in church. Recorded music is never permitted. The hymns should be from one of the two hymn books in use at St. John’s — they contain an wide and excellent selection of traditional hymns. No secular music is permitted. The organ may also be used, and a suitable organ prelude and postlude can be chosen. 

      The parish will produce the order of service. This will include the texts of the liturgy, the hymns and the readings. Phrases such as “Celebration of the life of...” or “Thanksgiving for the life of...” do not reflect Christian belief, and will not be used. Our principal purpose at a Requiem Mass is to pray for the repose of the soul of the deceased person.

      It is advised that you select two ushers to distribute orders of service and to direct guests to their places in church.   

      No eulogies are permitted whatsoever. The Celebrant of the Requiem Mass will preach a homily and may make some brief remarks about the life of the deceased person. However, the main purpose of the homily is to preach the Gospel and to instil in us the hope of the Resurrection.


SYMBOLS USED IN A REQUIEM MASS: Black vestments are worn for adults who have died, as a symbol of grief. White (as a symbol of purity) for infants. Six unbleached candles stand around the coffin. The altar is dressed in violet. The coffin is sprinkled with holy water as a reminder of Baptism, and the paschal candle also stands nearby as a symbol of the Resurrection. The coffin will also be covered with a pall, which is decorated with the cross. One flower arrangement may also stand on the coffin, but other items should not go there, as they would distract from the Christian symbols and make too much of a distinction between different people.


COSTS: A donation is always welcome for the maintenance and upkeep of the church, but this is at your discretion. In the case of non-parishioners an offering of $500 is expected to pay for preparation, cleaning, lighting and heating. Please understand that it is not a fee, and it may be reduced or waived in cases of hardship. For musical costs please contact the Parish Director of Music. It is customary to give a gift of money to the Priest though this is up to your discretion.




All blessings are sacramentals. The blessings of deacons, priests, and bishops, such as the consecration of Churches, the absolution contained in the Confiteor at Mass, the Asperges, and the blessings bestowed on palms, candles, or ashes are all sacramental actions.
     Lay Catholics are free to bless objects, and we do so often in blessing our children, blessing meals, blessing Advent wreaths or Mary Gardens, etc. However lay blessings act as a plea to God whereas clergy alone have been given the power to bless with a guarantee, as it were, and it is they and they alone who can take a new crucifix or rosary and turn them into sacramentals with the power and prayers of the entire Church behind them.
    If you would like a blessing, or would like an object blessed, the easiest way is to come to the St. John’s and ask the clergy after Mass.

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