Baptism

Holy Baptism marks the entry of the believer into the Christian community. Along with Confirmation and Eucharist, it is one of the Sacraments of Initiation, giving access to the full sacramental life of the Church. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and joined with Christ, sharing in His divinity and destined for eternal life. Baptism leaves us permanently changed, no longer the person we once were, but a new person, dying to death and sin, and rising to new life in Christ. In the words of St. Paul, “Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4).

Requirements: Registered members for as least six months and must fulfill pastoral requirements.

Please contact the Parish Office for more information or to make arrangements.

Holy Communion & Confirmation

If your family is a registered and active member of our parish, your child will have the opportunity to receive at that Mass.  Please REGISTER for both First Communion and Confirmation using your parish online registration account, and “add” a sacramental form to your listing for both First Communion and Confirmation.  Please register at this time by Clicking Here.  Your child must be in Second Grade or above to receive.

If your family is not registered here, then you will need to obtain a letter of permission from the pastor in the parish you do attend prior to the Sacramental reception of your child.  Please obtain that letter by contacting your parish pastoral office.  When you have that letter, please turn it into the parish office at the academy, Mrs. Benzaquen, or mail it to 15415 Red Robin, SA, TX 78255.  When you have obtained the letter of permission, please register online as a “non-Parishioner.”  The site allows you to register for First Communion and Confirmation even though you are listed as a non-parishioner.  Please register on this site at our Parish Log-in by creating a new account.  Your child must be in Second Grade or above to receive.

If you are inactive in the practice of your faith, this presents a real problem for your child.  It is unlikely that a pastor will grant his permission to receive the Sacraments outside the parish if he does not know you, or if there is no record of your attendance or financial contributions.

Reconciliation or Penance

The Sacrament of Reconciliation gives us the opportunity to express our sorrow for things we have done wrong, to heal broken relationships, to forgive ourselves and others, and to open up the channels of communication between ourselves and God.

Confession is above all a place of healing, not a place of judgment or punishment. When we make our confession to a priest in the confidentiality of the confessional or reconciliation room, we experience healing and liberation, discovering again and again how much we are loved by God, how precious we are to Him, and how great is our dignity as His children. Once he has heard our confession, the priest says the words of absolution for our sins:

What the penitent makes known to the priest remains “sealed” because the confidentiality of confession is absolute. Nothing said by the penitent in confession will ever be repeated. This is an experience of mercy and reconciliation, where we can lay down the burdens of guilt and shame that we carry with us. No matter what we think of ourselves or of God, we can still be certain that God forgives us, loves us and wants only to heal us.

A priest is available each Saturday from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm and by appointment.

Matrimony

To be married at Our Lady of the Atonement in the context of a Nuptial Mass, the bride and groom should be practicing Catholics, registered online at the parish for at least six months before beginning the six month Marriage Preparation, regularly attending holy Mass, contributing their talent and treasure to the work of the parish, and participating actively in the life of the parish.  The only exception to this rule is made for Catholic children of registered parishioners who live outside the San Antonio area but have belonged to our parish with their family as they were growing up and celebrated other sacraments at the parish, (Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation), and wish to be married in their family’s parish.  In these cases, canonical delegation from their respective pastor, as well as fulfilling the Marriage Preparation courses in their home parish, is required.  We regret that we cannot accommodate the numerous requests we have from visitors that would like to be married in our church.

The couple should make an appointment with a member of the parish clergy to arrange for Marriage Preparation Classes.  The couple is also required to take a four-session class on Natural Family Planning (NFP).  The couple must provide a copy of their Baptismal and Confirmation certificates.  Persons also may be required to attend a Catholic Inquiry Class, which are held twice a year, if either party lacks Confirmation or has been inactive in their Catholic faith.  Persons living together under the same roof must separate for six months before Marriage Preparation begins, as per Archdiocesan guidelines.

For those with cases before the Marriage Tribunal, please note that we are not able to set any date for a wedding until a final Declaration of Nullity is received from the chancery, and the conditions set forth in the declaration are satisfied.  Even if these conditions are met and the nullity is granted, large and elaborate weddings are discouraged.

Persons in civil unions desiring to be married in the Catholic Church should make an appointment with one of the parish clergy.  A convalidation of a civil union will be handled privately in a simple ceremony without fanfare, with the above stipulations for Catholic marriage preparation.

Weddings take place on Saturdays outside of Advent, Lent, and Thanksgiving weekend.  We understand that the future bride and groom are concerned to have every detail of their wedding carefully planned and well executed, and we will work with the couple to ensure that the sacred liturgy is a beautiful and memorable event.  Weddings, although an intensely personal moment for the bride and groom, are not private events; rather, they are a public celebration of one of the seven Sacraments given to the Church by the Lord Jesus.  For this reason, we must take care to ensure that the sacred liturgy is celebrated according to the mind of the Church and in conformity with liturgical law and local customs of our Anglican-Use traditions.  Our Lady of the Atonement is a Personal Parish with a separate liturgical use for the Mass, and therefore, customs and traditions outside this norm are generally prohibited.

Music and Floral Arrangements

After fulfilling the guidelines above and meeting with the clergy, the music for your wedding must be arranged with our parish organist, Brett Patterson, at BPatterson@atonementonline.com.  Only music which is truly sacred is permitted at weddings.  Under the supervision of the pastor, Brett Patterson makes all decisions about the music allowed at Our Lady of the Atonement, including permission to invite visiting vocalists or musicians.  Fees for the organist and any visiting musicians are the responsibility of the bride and groom.

Flowers for the high altar or Lady Chapel altar are arranged through the parish florist and must conform to the allowable space and character of the sanctuary.  Outside florists are permitted within these parameters.  To discuss floral arrangements, please contact the parish office by phone at 210.695.2944 or email the parish clergy.

Visiting Clergy

The Pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement ordinarily presides at weddings in our parish, and the parish Deacons often assist at the Mass as well.  If you desire to invite a visiting Catholic Priest to preside at your wedding, the priest must submit a written request to the pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement, giving the name, title, and address.  Visiting Deacons are requested to contact one of the parish Deacons prior to the rehearsal date so that accommodations for their arrival may be made.  Only the pastor may grant permission (canonical delegation) for a visiting cleric to preside at a wedding in this parish.

Anointing of the Sick

Please contact the Parish Office for more information or to make arrangements.