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"Go therefore and baptize, in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit." Matthew 28:19  

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. The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which we become adoptive children of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ.  

Our parish community at Good Shepherd is always overjoyed to welcome new members through the Sacrament of Baptism. Please contact the parish office to arrange for baptismal preparation and dates.


“… forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us …” Matthew 9:12  

God loves us! God knows what the challenges of human life are all about, since Jesus experienced
 these same challenges and struggles. No matter how serious the sin, God’s grace and mercy are infinitely greater. He knows our weaknesses but loves us without limit. When we celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, God strengthens us in our weakness and our hearts are open to receive the grace and mercy God desires for us. Regular confession is an effective means in growing closer to God and experiencing God in new ways in our lives that we never knew possible.  

Reconciliation is celebrated on the 1st weekend of each month or by appointment by contacting the parish office.

The Eucharist

For I received from the Lord what I handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes"
(1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

We, as Catholics, believe the Eucharist, or the Mass, is both a sacrifice and a meal. We believe in the real presence of Jesus when the bread and wine become consecrated by the power of the Holy Spirit. As the Eucharistic bread and cup which become the real Body and Blood of Christ are then shared in our worshipping assembly, the Holy Spirit draws us all into ever deeper unity, making us one body in Christ. We are made into "living sacrifice," participants in Christ's sacrificial death and rising, a new creation. Eucharist is at the center of God's loving embrace of our world and is at the core of who we are as Catholics. “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John 6:54-57, 51)

We welcome and encourage all Catholics, especially those who have not attended the Eucharist in a long while, to join your Catholic community and experience the profound love and presence of God in the Eucharist at Good Shepherd parish.  


"They are no longer two, therefore, but one body." Matthew 19:6  

Married Christians nourish and develop their marriage by undivided affection, which wells up from the fountain of divine love within them, while, in a merging of human and divine love, they remain faithful in body and in mind, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad times.  

Engaged couples should contact the parish office at least six months prior to the proposed date of marriage.

Anointing of the Sick & the Dying

The Lord said to us through the apostle James, “Are there any who are sick among you? Let them send for the priests of the church and let the priests pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick persons and the Lord will raise them up.” James 5:14-15.  

The Church offers the sacrament of anointing to those who are seriously sick and dying - patients
 before serious surgery; elderly people who are very weak; sick children old enough to understand and be comforted by the sacrament, and those who are suffer from mental illness. Patients who are unconscious will also receive the sacrament since it would be their desire to receive it if they could voice their desire.  

When to request the Anointing of the Sick and Dying? When a family member or friend is ill, if you are preparing to have surgery, or if a loved one is dying – contact the office immediately to arrange for a time to celebrate this sacrament.  The Anointing of the Sick and the Dying have replaced what was formerly known as LAST RITES. If circumstances permit, do not wait until the person is unconscious or barely able to talk or respond.  The more conscious and alert the person is, the more fully they can take part in the celebration and be comforted. The Anointing of the Sick and the Dying have replaced what was formerly known as LAST RITES.

The Right of Christian Bural

”For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died.  With these thoughts, comfort one another” (1 Thessalonians 4:14&18).

The death of a relative or friend is a time of great grief. Every death is mourned in a unique way depending on the relationship one has had with the deceased . In many ways every person’s grief is personal. At the same time, as members of a faith community we join with others in remembering, grieving and seeking consolation. It is in this community that we find comfort and support. It is in this community that we are reminded of the risen Lord who is our strength . The rites of the funeral assist us greatly in our grief and loss. The rites offer meaning during our time of despair.

Walking through the Order of Christian Funerals

The three funeral rites are principally concerned with the final journey that a community makes with its deceased loved one. Christian liturgy places a person’s death, and the sorrow of the mourners, in the context of Christ’s death and resurrection. We pray for the deceased and allow our faith in the resurrection of Jesus to sustain us. All three rites are to be celebrated in the presence of the body of the deceased whenever possible. The principal ritual unfolds in three moments:

i) The Vigil

The vigil, customarily in the form of the Liturgy of the Word, consists of the introductory rites, a proclamation from scripture, a homily, the prayer of intercessions and a concluding rite. The vigil takes place in the church or the funeral home. The body of the deceased is present. The vigil provides the opportunity of personalizing the liturgy and offering words of remembrance.

ii) The Funeral Mass

The funeral mass includes the reception of the body or cremated remains, the celebration of the Liturgy of the Word, the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and the final commendation and farewell. The Mass may be followed by the procession to the place of committal.

iii) The Rite of Committal

The rite of committal begins with an invitation and prayer over the place of burial . The rite continues with the words of committal and the Lord’s prayer. A responsory and blessing conclude the three moments of the Order of Christian funerals.    

Commonly Asked Questions:

When is it the appropriate time for Words of Remembrance?

The central focus of the funeral liturgy is the death and resurrection of Jesus, whose gift of redemption gives us victory over death. It is important to maintain the primacy of this message of hope. Words of remembrance ideally occur as part of the vigil celebration, or at a time prior to the Funeral Mass.

Is Cremation permitted?

Cremation is permitted. However, the Church prefers the option of having the cremation take place after the funeral liturgy in order to celebrate its three principal funeral rites in the presence of the body. The Church can then show reverence to the body through the signs that have long been part of the Church’s tradition.

Why have a Vigil?

The role of the vigil for the deceased in the process of Christian burial is very important. In a society that prizes expediency, there is a growing trend to omit the vigil and proceed immediately to the funeral liturgy. The vigil is the opportunity for family, friends and the Christian community to gather to remember the life of the deceased, express grief and offer comfort and consolation. It is also a time for family and friends to face the reality of death, to begin the process of grieving and to continue the process of healing and consolation. The vigil is an integral moment in the pastoral care of the living and is not to be omitted.

Can a Funeral Mass be celebrated in the funeral home?

The Church is where the community gathers to celebrate our Christian journey . The parish church is the place of prayer and sacrament for the local community . A funeral, though personal, is not private and therefore is worthy of the dignity of the church’s worship space. The celebration of the funeral mass is not permitted outside of the parish church, however a funeral service with no celebration of the Eucharist may take place at the Funeral Home.

What type of Music is acceptable?

Music is an integral part of the funeral rites. The text of the songs should express the paschal mystery of the Lord’s suffering, death and resurrection. The music selected should relate to the readings from Scripture and the proclamation of the Christian faith. The limited use of secular music may be incorporated into the vigil.

Can non-scriptural material be used?

In every liturgy, the Church attaches great importance to the reading of the Word of God. The readings proclaim to the assembly the paschal mystery, teach remembrance of the dead and convey the hope of being gathered together again in God’s heavenly kingdom. Above all, the readings tell of God’s designs for the world in which suffering and death will relinquish their hold on all whom God has called his own. In the celebration of the Liturgy of the Word biblical readings may not be replaced by non-biblical material. However, nonscriptural material such as a favorite poem may be incorporated into the vigil.

What about prayer services, memorials and tributes from nonchurch organizations?

The funeral Mass is the central celebration of the funeral rites. Additional prayer services or memorials should be held apart from the funeral Mass and at another time. Such additions are best included in the vigil celebration.

Why a funeral pall to cover the casket?

To emphasize the importance of the person’s baptism, the ritual uses a funeral pall at the funeral mass. This pall is a reminder of the white baptismal garment and a sign of the Christian dignity of the deceased. Just as the new Christian was clothed in the white garment when he or she became a member of the Church, the casket is covered with a white cloth as the person enters into new life in the resurrection of Jesus. The pall is placed on the coffin during the rite of reception of the body at the beginning of the funeral mass.

Where is the appropriate place of burial?

The Church asks that, in keeping with a spirit of reverence, the earthly remains of the deceased be buried in a grave or entombed in a mausoleum that has been blessed. A specific place for a person’s remains helps focus the remembering of and prayer for the deceased person by family and friends, and by the Church in general.
The scattering of cremated remains, their placement in a favorite place or keeping them in the homes of relatives does not display appropriate reverence. The Church does not offer a prayer service when this kind of disposal is chosen.

Who should be contacted upon the death of a loved one?

Contact the Funeral Home or the parish priest upon the death of a loved one. Funeral arrangements are made concurrently by the Funeral Home and the parish priest with the direct involvement of the family.

© The Archdiocese of Winnipeg
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Portage la Prairie, Manitoba
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