Which came first…
It’s like the chicken or the egg question – which comes first, faith or belonging? Like the chicken or the egg, there is no absolutely correct answer. At Holy Name we welcome you whether you have faith or are just searching for an answer. The Holy Spirit acts to prompt everyone toward God. So if one feels drawn to seek, to search, or even to belong, Holy Name is a church where you will be welcome.
What is it like to belong to Holy Name?
Belonging to Holy Name means belonging to a Catholic Church with a difference.
When people think Catholic they may picture an old church, a city across the sea, rules and regulations, and formal worship… The Catholic Church is over 2,000 years old and is far more than that. It is faith that is universal and everlasting. It is faith expressed in many ways. Holy Name is a local community of Christ-following adults, teens and children who worship as one in Schenectady. Aided by the Holy Spirit we demonstrate and share the truths, principles and promises that Jesus taught and modeled in a diverse community. Belonging means being part of that.
Many Churches refer to themselves as Catholic including the Orthodox, Oriental, Roman, and our National Catholic Church. Like all of these, the National Catholic Church is a Catholic Church. Belonging means growing together in our relationship with God, our community, and the wider world.
Belonging means participation in regular worship. We place special emphasis on proclaiming and teaching God’s Word as found in the Holy Bible. Belonging means joining in worship that touches every aspect of your soul and life. We are democratic in our organization. Belonging means having a voice and a vote in how the parish and the wider Church is run. It means belonging to a church that is fully accountable to its members.
Will I be welcome?
Yes! We are determined to say “Welcome!” to any and all who Jesus welcomes and receives – and that means you, it’s why you’re reading this. Jesus did welcome everyone. He confronted what was broken in their lives and brought them healing, peace, and joy. His welcome and love was powerful enough to change people. We have been changed and definitely welcome you to experience and share in all the wonderful things Jesus has done for us.
In an often impersonal and lonely world we seek to be family to one another, loving each other as Christ loved us. We believe in the value and dignity of all people, created in God’s image. We are not an exclusive church. We don’t put up toll booths and require ‘donations.’ Our doors are open and everyone is welcome regardless of background, former or current religious affiliation, age, economic or marital status. Whether you are young or old, rich, poor or in-between, married or single or divorced or widowed, Republican or Democrat or something else politically, from any racial or ethnic group, Jesus welcomes you and so do we!
Ok, what will it be like if I come to check out Holy Name
You may ask yourself what it will be like if you decide to join us for worship. We’ve designed the questions and answers below to answer some of the more common questions about what you can expect.
Do I Have To Stand Up In Front of People?
Some churches ask visitors to stand up and introduce themselves in front of everyone. While we find no fault in that, we believe that you will be more comfortable with taking it slow. You will find those around you to be helpful, but not imposing. We respect your need to take things at your own pace, maybe just meeting a few people who are seated around you and who are genuinely interested in getting to know you better. We have a wonderful ‘coffee hour’ after Holy Mass to provide some time to meet and chat with one another.
Do You Want My Money?
In a word, No. We believe that you should give first and foremost to charities of your choice. We do not have a toll booth and we NEVER PREACH MONEY. The people who are a regular part of our community have made our church one of their charities of choice and voluntarily give to help support the parish. They have found a home here and want to support it.
Do I Have To Turn My Kids Over To A Stranger?
We offer a fun, exciting program for children, and we’re confident that your kids would have a great time if they were to participate. That program is after church and parents are always welcome to attend and participate. We do not believe in separating parents from children or having separate ‘churches’ for adults and kids. Children belong with their parents who are their first teachers and examples. We offer tons of regional and national programs for youth as well including scholarships and other forms of support. We DO NOT ask parents for money – it is the church’s responsibility to provide for its youth because we are one family in the Lord.
Do I Have To Wake Up Early?
Today’s society is fast-paced. People are working longer and longer hours. Some find it more and more difficult to participate in regular worship on Sunday morning. With that in mind, we offer Holy Mass at 9:30am and later at 11:30am every Sunday. No matter the schedule we are required to make time for the Lord, to honor our obligation to worship Him. You will find that this little bit of sacrifice and discipline will bring huge reward.
Are You Going To Tell Me What’s Wrong With Me?
At its core, Jesus’ message is the Good News. He did not come to earth to condemn us. Instead, he came to give us life. He crushed hell beneath His feet to destroy the power of all that might pull us away from Him. At the same time we recognize that all of us have fallen short of God’s ideals. So, we don’t call people out or point fingers. Our clergy practice an abundance of charity and act without judgement because they know that they fail and fall too. We offer general confession and absolution at every Holy Mass so we can all approach the table of the Lord free and clear of sin. We believe that when we fall, Jesus reaches out. He comes to rummage through our disasters with us and He lifts us up again. We emphasize the joy of forgiveness, repentance, and reconciliation – true freedom to live as Jesus asks. We pray that you would come away from worship contemplating that reality: that while we have fallen short of the ideal in our lives, Jesus has forgiven us and has set us free.
Do I Have To Dress Up?
Absolutely not! The rule of thumb is all are welcome. When you join us for worship you will see people dressed formally and informally. Please feel free to join us, and be sure to wear clothes which make you feel comfortable.
What are our aims and principals?
We express the convictions of those who believe that salvation and our personal relationship to God cannot be the object of bargaining and cannot be forced upon us but must flow from a free conscience.
We are a voluntary union of those who recognize the religious principles of this Church as the norms and rules of their lives.
We teach and profess all the religious truths that God revealed, Jesus Christ proclaimed, and the Apostles and their successors established as the foundation of the Christian Faith, namely: that God created the world; that we need for our perfection, happiness and salvation God’s gift of divine grace; that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world; that the human soul is immortal; and that through the Holy Spirit God governs the Church and enables it to regenerate and convert human society and to unite it under one Shepherd, Christ Jesus our Lord. In this manner the kingdom of God on earth is realized.
The religious principle of of our Church is that the Church cannot save a person without their sincere, personal cooperation with God. The Church teaches that the wisdom of God sanctifies and helps us in the fulfillment of our mission and the attainment of our goal on earth. A living faith in God and good works flowing from that faith will save us. The Church of Christ is the true way leading us to know the Truth and to salvation.
Our clergy are called to reveal the will of God and expound it by word and deed — that is, live an exemplary Christian life. Churches which claim that only through them can one be saved misrepresent the teaching of Christ and openly mislead people. Jesus Christ taught differently. He said that “he who believes and is baptized is saved.” (Mark 16:16, John 3:5) Those who believe in His mission are regenerated through repentance and grace to lead a life of good works and are saved through Christ’s redemptive action. No blind faith in a specific church but righteous living brings salvation.
The most important objective of our Church, as the Catholic Church of Christ, is to maintain, enrich and develop the life of God in the soul of every person who comes to us. To help them know God and His holy Being so that from this knowledge and understanding may flow blessing, light, love, strength and inner satisfaction which no person or thing can give, save God.