Who We Are
Holy Name of Jesus Parish has provided a "Catholic alternative" since 1929. Ours is an expression of the Christian faith that combines the teachings of Jesus, the practices of Catholic tradition and the sentiments of the 21st century within a personal community where members are known by name. We are a part of a union of independent Catholic churches known as the National Catholic Church. There are five other sister churches in Western Massachusetts. They are located in the communities of: Chicopee, Northampton, Ware, Webster and Westfield.
Along with our emphasis on Catholic practices, we emphasize also that we are an independent Catholic Church, which means that we are not under the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church. We have been such an autonomous Catholic denomination since 1897, well over a hundred years ago.
We are organized as a democratically based church with accountability built into the entire structure from top to bottom. The clergy and laity work together and as equals in defining the teaching and practices of this church of ours.
All parish property and investments are owned and supervised by the local congregation.
The clergy of the National Catholic Church are free to marry if they so choose, reflecting a profound respect for the sacrament of marriage and the blessings of the Christian family.
Out of respect for the conscience of our parishioners, the sacrament of Penance is administered to adults as General Confession, which means that the absolution is granted by the priest to the gathered congregation, but that the examination of conscience is performed silently by the penitent.
Our principal form of worship is the celebration of the holy Mass. Since 1909, we have professed a belief in the sacrament of the Word of God. This sacrament elevates the biblical readings and the sermon to the dignity of sacrament. The Word is accordingly respected as an equal vehicle of God's grace. We believe in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Holy Communion is administered by intinction, which means that the consecrated host is dipped in the consecrated wine and placed directly by the celebrant on the tongue of the recipient.