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Our Sacramental Life


During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have revised our procedure for baptismal registration at Saint Patrick Parish.

Parents seeking baptism for their child begin by contacting Pastoral Associate Kathy Wadowick at or 216-631-6872. The preparation program for first-time parents includes viewing three informative videos from the Reborn series on, completing reflection materials, and scheduling a follow-up conversation with Kathy.

After completing this instruction, the parents and Kathy will schedule a date for the child’s baptism. Baptisms shall be celebrated outside of Mass and are generally scheduled after the 4:30pm Vigil Mass or after the 11:00am Sunday Mass. If the church is excessively warm, the baptism ceremony may be held outside.

All safety requirements (social distancing and masks) will be observed. Only one baptism per celebration is permitted in order to ensure a clean environment for the child, the family, the friends, and the priest/deacon. The celebrant shall make every effort to ensure compliance with social distancing, and will only make minimal contact with the child, always while wearing his mask.

Important information about sponsors, godparents & witnesses
  • A sponsor must be a confirmed Catholic in good standing and practicing the faith on a regular basis.  Only one sponsor is actually needed to fulfil this role. 
  • If the sponsor is not a parishioner of St. Patrick Parish, a Sponsor Certificate is required.  Kathy can explain how to get the certificate and where to have it sent.
  • If there are two sponsors, one must be male and one female. 
  • If there are two godparents, one must be a qualifying Catholic and the other, if not Catholic, must be a practicing Christian. This godparent serves in the role of witness rather than sponsor. 
  • The non-Catholic witness may not be a former Catholic who is now practicing in another denomination. 


When a parishioner becomes engaged, he or she should contact Mary Gagen, Parish Secretary, as soon as possible for an initial conversation and to arrange a meeting with Father Gurnick.  The initial meeting with the pastor introduces the couple to the preparation process and confirms their ability to marry in the Catholic Church.  If the priest and couple determine that they are ready to proceed with preparation, a date may be set at this time.    

Due to the limited staff at Saint Patrick, we are unable to accept requests from outside of our parish community.  Therefore, at least one of the engaged couple needs to reside within the parish territory or, if residing out of the territory, has been registered for at least six months.  While Catholics who are not parishioners may have their ceremony at Saint Patrick, the couple needs to bring in their own priest who, in writing, verifies that he is able to prepare the couple and officiate at their ceremony.  No date may be set until this requirement is met.

Contact Mary Gagen or 216-631-6872.


Commonly referred to as “confession” or “penance,” the sacrament of reconciliation is primarily a sacrament of healing when a baptized person experiences the wounds of personal sin.

As always, a person desiring this sacrament may approach a priest at any time.  If you anticipate the need for extended conversation to accompany the sacrament, you’re encouraged to make an appointment with the priest. You can contact Father Gurnick at 216-631-6872 or


“God would have given us something greater
if He had had something greater than Himself.”

— St. John Vianney (1786-1858)

All children baptized into the Catholic Church may be prepared for reception of holy Communion after age 7—usually in grade 2. Children not attending Catholic school must be enrolled in PSR. Preparation involves parent gatherings, home lessons with sacramental materials, and preparations at St. Patrick as indicated by need and pandemic safety. All children from St. Patrick and St. Malachi Parishes and those residing in the parish neighborhood (including students enrolled at Urban Community School) are invited to participate.

For unbaptized children see RCIA Adapted for Children.

To inquire, contact Stephanie Pritts at or 216-861-5343.

What is Eucharist?

Holy Eucharist is the sacrament through which Jesus Christ wholly gives us himself—Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity—so we may be united to him in love and joined with the one Body of Christ, the Church (YouCat 208). Thus, we believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

“The Eucharist is the mysterious center of all these sacraments because the historic sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross is made present during the words of consecration in a hidden, unbloody manner. Thus the celebration of the Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life’ (Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 11). Everything aims at this; besides this, there is nothing greater that one could attain” (YouCat 208; CCC 1322, 1324, 1409, 1413).

“The actual effect of the Eucharist is the transformation of man into God.”

— St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

Learn more:


For children, confirmation preparation begins in Grade 7 and is completed in Grade 8 with the sacramental celebration. This is in addition to students’ ordinary faith formation in school or PSR.

Adults preparing for confirmation do so through our Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) program.

To discuss confirmation preparation for either children or adults, contact Stephanie Pritts at

What does it mean to be “confirmed”?

“Confirmation is the sacrament that completes baptism; in it the gift of the Holy Spirit is bestowed upon us. Anyone who freely decides to live a life as God’s child and asks for God’s Spirit under the signs of the imposition of hands and anointing with chrism receives the strength to witness to God’s love and might in word and deed” [YouCat 203]. 

“Confirmation is normally administered by the bishop. For weighty reasons when necessary, the bishop can also delegate a priest to do it” [YouCat 207].

“In confirmation, the soul of a baptized Christian is imprinted with a permanent seal that can be received only once and marks this individual forever as a Christian” [YouCat 205]. Through this gift of the Holy Spirit, an individual puts the grace of baptism into practice in daily life, and acts as a witness to and for Christ [see CCC 1285-1314].

Learn more:

“Confirmation,” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Holy Orders

Catholic men who are interested in the call to priesthood or the permanent diaconate are encouraged to contact the pastor or another member of the pastoral staff.  Because the call to Orders is at the service of the local Church, the pastor or staff member will introduce the interested party to the Diocesan Director of Vocations. 

The pastor, staff, and entire parish community should always encourage those discerning this path of service and pray for vocations.

Although consecrated life is not one of the seven sacraments, it is a noble vocation which needs to be promoted among young people as they seek opportunities to commit their lives to the Gospel.  Expressed in many ways, this vocation gathers women and men into a communal expression of witness and service, ordinarily through the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.  Men and women interested in this vocation should be encouraged and supported by the pastor, staff, and parishioners.   The Diocesan Director of Vocations welcomes these inquiries and will direct the individual to specific religious communities.  The pastor and staff may be helpful in the first steps of exploring this call.

Anointing of the Sick

Available to any Catholic who is anticipating surgery, suffering due to serious illness, or substantially compromised because of advanced age, this sacrament is to help heal and strengthen the recipient.

Whenever circumstances permit, contact the priest while the individual is still conscious so that the sacraments of reconciliation and Eucharist may accompany the anointing. Leave a message at the rectory at 216-631-6872 any time, and a priest will get back to you as soon as possible.

For those who are near death, the sacrament is accompanied by a special absolution called the Apostolic Pardon