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Unit 2 - Practices and Ways of Life
The Pastoral Functions of the Church
The church is ore than just a building, the church is a community of believers helping those in need
The church has a pastoral role and it cares for it parishioners. This is called pastoral care or care of the
The Society of St. Vincent De Paul (SVP)
This was set up in 1830 by some French students to help those who are our neighbours. SVP himself was
known for helping the needy and it was set up in London in 1844. it is now in over 116 countries and
serves the homeless, lonely, sick, prisoners and others in need by doing soup runs/kitchens, support
centres, home visits and children's camps.
It is the parishioners of that church helping one another and also those form the SVP main group who
can provide more specialist care and advice to those struggling in a specific way.
The Social Role of the Church
The church cares for people all around the world via its social network which is mainly charities. The
biggest is the CARITAS network which includes the charity CAFOD.
CAFOD provides both short term aid and long term development to countries all around the world
whilst spreading the message of Catholicism.
Short term aid is provided after natural disasters such as earthquakes, droughts, floods and tsunamis.
This will keep the local population sheltered and with food and water for up to around 4-5 months so
that they can start to rebuild what was lost.
Long term development is trying to eradicate poverty within our world by providing water supplies,
seeds and farming tools and knowledge as well as family planning and first aid/medical training.
The main two concentrations for CAFOD are education for children so that they have the chance in
the future to become doctors and more advanced professions so that they can earn more money and
sustain a family much more easily. The other thing is medical care which will reduce the deaths from
illnesses which occur when medicines and doctors/nurses aren't available to cure the children or
- The water is blessed and washes away original sin
- The child is anointed with the oil of chrism. This is a sign that the child is dedicated to God
- A white garment is put on the body after baptism to symbolise that they are pure and their sin has
been washed away
- A candle is lit from the paschal candle and given to the child's god parents. The candle is a symbol
of the death and resurrection of Christ.
Catholics are baptised a few weeks after birth as a type of insurance policy so that if something were to
happen the baby would be guaranteed a place in heaven and eternal life with god. It is also a sacrament
which is part of the child's life and the first step towards a life free from sin.
Believers (Adult) Baptism
Adult baptisms are normality for Baptist and Pentecostal churches as this allows the person being
baptised to make the decision for themselves like at Confirmation in Catholicism. The candidate will
understand the commitment being made and will generally be fully submerged in a pool (baptistery).
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The minister will give a sermon to explain the importance of the baptism and the people being
baptised are brought forward, generally wearing white clothes.
- The candidate is asked if they have repented sin and if the believe in Lord Jesus Christ
- A short bible passage is read by each person and a testimony is given to explain why they want to
be baptised and become catholic.…read more