In this section, you will find information about the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, First Holy Communion and Confirmation – which lay the foundation of every Christian Life (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n 1212). We also refer to that Sacrament of Healing, the Sacrament of Reconciliation which “restores the image of God within us that has been distorted by sin” (Liam Kelly, Sacraments Revisited, 1998: 31), as our young people prepare for their first participation in this sacrament alongside their preparation for their First Holy Communion, and to that Sacrament of Vocation, Marriage, for “the Church looks to married couples as the heart of the entire family” (Pope Francis, Amoris Lætita / The Joy of Love, n 73).

We are all God’s children, united as family through the love God has for each of us. The family is sometimes referred to as ‘the domestic church’ or ‘a church in the home’: that space where parents, grandparents, godparents and other family members are, by their words and example, the first preachers of the faith to the next generation.

Family life, indeed the very fabric of the family unit, has much changed over recent decades. God’s love for us has remained constant: God’s welcome for each of us is the ever-present joy holding our lives together. Each of us has been called and named by God, each of us has our own path, our own life and faith journey: ‘Do not be afraid for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name, you are mine’ (Isaiah 43:1).

As we journey through life, as we try to fulfil our calling to be disciples of Jesus, and make our own way to perfection, there will be many challenges along the way. We are not alone: God-is-with-us, Immanuel (Matthew 1:23); Jesus is with us so that we “may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). As we journey through life, there are many moments when God gifts us his grace, none more poignantly than in the sacraments.

"All Christ’s faithful have a vocation from the Lord, to each make his or her own way to perfection."

Lumen Gentium / Light of the Nations, n 11

Sacraments of Initiation

The Diocesan Guidelines for Infant Baptism can be accessed below”

Recommended courses:

First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion

Please read the welcome Letter from Bishop here.

Resources are available to support catechists, parents and schools to deliver online sacramental preparation for Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. They Include:

  • Resources for Parents
  • Resources for Catechists

These are freely available now accessbile by clicking on the link opposite.

Additional resources for schools and parishes are available here.

Marriage & Family

Marriage is a vocation, in as much as it is a response to a specific call to experience conjugal love as an imperfect sign of the love between Christ and the Church. Consequently, the decision to marry and to have a family ought to be the fruit of a process of vocational discernment.

Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, 72 

Marriage and family life has a special focus in the Church and there are many ways that the Church seeks to recognise, celebrate and support the varied family dynamics of the world today from the nuclear to the wider, extended family unit.

If you are looking to find out more about the sacrament of marriage in the Catholic Church, marriage preparation, marriage support and other ways in which the diocese supports and celebrates marriage please visit page here.

Growing Together in Faith and Prayer as a Family

Families are at the heart of what it is to live a life of faith. For most people faith is experienced firstly in the home. We have put together some links and resources to help you, as family, to bring the faith alive to one another.

Click on the button opposite to visit our webpage.

Feast of the Holy Family

The feast of The Holy Family is a day in which we focus on Jesus, Mary and Joseph and always falls after the feast of Christmas on the last Sunday in December. The feast calls us to contemplate the family through prayer and reflection of the Scriptures. We keep in our prayer the vocation to marriage and family life, couples who are discerning marriage, those who have recently married, those celebrating special anniversaries and all the joys of family life.

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Contact Us

How to contact the Vicariate for Faith & Mission:

Email: adminfaith.mission@diocesehn.org.uk

Tel: 0191 243 3316 (office*) or 07375 934713 (mobile)

*Your call may be automatically diverted to the mobile number.

Admin office hours:
Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm, excluding Bank Holidays.

To see a full list of Vicariate contacts and leads, please visit our Faith & Mission page.