Baptisms, Confirmations, and Weddings

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults: Holy Cross students have increasingly diverse religious backgrounds. Among the majority who continue to identify themselves as Roman Catholic are some who were baptized as infants but received no formal religious education and have not received the Eucharist and/or celebrated Confirmation.  Some students from other Christian denominations or another religious tradition are drawn to Catholicism during their time at Holy Cross. To begin or complete your religious training in Catholicism, the Rite of Christian Initiation program requires participation in the dismissal rite at the 7:00 p.m. mass to break open the word together.  Students participating in the Rite of Christian Initiation, or catechumens, also join the Christian Initiation program during the spring semester for weekly sessions on Sundays at 4:00pm in Campion House.  Anyone interested in participating in the RCIA should contact Fr. Jim Hayes, S.J.

Infant Baptism: The local Christian community has a role in the celebration of infant baptism as well as in assisting parents in the child's Christian formation. For that reason, it is the practice of the Roman Catholic Church that infants and young children are baptized in their parents' parish church.  Since Holy Cross is not a parish, infant baptisms are not celebrated in the College chapel as a matter of course, although Jesuit priests at Holy Cross are allowed by local diocesan policy to celebrate the baptism of a family member or close friend in the College chapel. The College chaplains are available to assist parents without a parish affiliation to locate a parish that will meet their spiritual needs and in which they may celebrate the baptism of their child.

For more information, please contact Normand Gouin (


Some Catholic students come to Holy Cross without receiving the sacrement of Confirmation.  These students may contact Fr. Jim Hayes, S.J., for more information.  The program begins on the first Sunday of Advent at 4:00 p.m. in Campion.  The meetings continue on Sundays throughout the second semester.  An afternoon of recollection is held on the Saturday before Palm Sunday.  Confirmation ordinarily takes place on the last Sunday of April.  Bishop Robert McManus presides at Confirmation for college students in Worcester.




Who may be married at St. Joseph Chapel?

St. Joseph Chapel at Holy Cross is available for your wedding if the bride or groom:
is an alumna/alumnus of Holy Cross; or
is presently employed at the College; or
has a parent employed at Holy Cross.

When should I make a reservation for the chapel?

Because of the popularity of the College chapels, we recommend that a reservation be made as soon as you are engaged and at least one year in advance. Even then, we recommend that you have more than one date in mind when you contact us. After speaking with the Wedding Coordinator, Sr. Lucille Cormier, to determine available dates, a reservation is accepted only with a completed reservation form and payment of the Chapel fee ($500).

What chapels are available for weddings at Holy Cross?

All three College chapels at Holy Cross are available for weddings. The stately St. Joseph Chapel (upper chapel) seats up to 900 people and houses the Taylor and Boody pipe organ and a grand piano. The Mary Chapel (lower level) is a beautiful worship space with a grand piano and seating for up to 270 people. The McCooey Chapel (lower level) is an intimate space with an upright piano and seating for 30 people. The Mary and McCooey chapels are especially appropriate for smaller weddings. A large, comfortable gathering space highlighted by a baptismal font with gently flowing water connects the Mary and McCooey Chapels and serves as a space for people to gather before and after the wedding.

Whom should I contact about reserving the College chapels for a wedding?

Sr. Lucille Cormier, Wedding Coordinator
College of the Holy Cross
PO Box 16A
Worcester, MA 01610
(508) 793-2754

What is the Marriage Preparation Program?

The marriage preparation program is a popular weekend program designed to help you reflect on your relationship and to help you prepare for a lifetime of marriage. The program includes: presentations from married couples on a variety of topics, time for questions and answers, and time for you as a couple to discuss the issues raised in these talks. Topics include: family of origin, marriage as a sacrament, and issues of communication and intimacy.

Additionally, a session is devoted to helping you prepare your wedding liturgy with the College liturgists and musicians. Contact Sr. Lucille Cormier for further information and reservations.

We wish you all the best in your wedding plans and much happiness in your marriage!