First Holy Communion


“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, even until the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19

The Sacraments are “efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us” (CCC 1131). In other words, a Sacrament is a sacred and visible sign that is instituted by Christ to give us grace, an undeserved gift from God. Christ was present at the inception of all of the Sacraments, which He instituted 2,000 years ago. Christ is also present every time each Sacrament is celebrated. The Catholic Church has all of the seven Sacraments instituted by Christ, which include Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that “the seven Sacraments touch all the stages and all important moments of the Christian life” (CCC 1210).

Our parishioners and students have opportunities for daily Confession, daily Mass, weekly Adoration, and to partake in various devotionals throughout the week. Come encounter Christ in His Sacraments at St. John’s with us!


Know Someone Interested in Becoming a Catholic?

OCIA (Order of Christian Initiation of Adults) is the process through which adults become full members of the Catholic Church. This process is specifically for adults who have not been baptized in a Christian denomination, as well as for those who have been baptized but want to complete their initiation with the Sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation. OCIA meets on Tuesday evenings from 7:00-9:00 pm in our parish hall during the academic year.

OCIA is for non-baptized adults, for baptized adult Christians of other faith traditions who are interested in becoming Catholic, or for anyone who wants to know more about the Catholic Church. We welcome one another as Christ welcomed us, for the glory of God (Rom 15:7). For baptized Catholics who have not yet received first Communion or Confirmation, please call the parish office at 304-296-8231 for more information on receiving these Sacraments.

For most people, the process lasts one academic year (September-May).

You can register online with our eRegistration form, or e-mail the parish office at

Marriage Prep


  • Any couple preparing for marriage through St. John University Parish with the approval of the priest or deacon.
  • Parishioners of St. John (WVU faculty, staff, students) preparing for marriage in their “home” parishes.
  • IF SPACE IS AVAILABLE, the program is also open to other engaged couples who have the recommendation of their priest/deacon.

The preparation process consists of two parts:

  • Several meetings with the priest or deacon to complete paperwork and to discuss the sacrament of marriage.
  • Weekend marriage preparation retreat. You may attend a retreat sponsored by the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. This retreat enables you to learn more about each other as well as some aspects of Christian marriage as presented by married couples. Ask the priest or deacon meeting with you for details about the retreat.
  • Natural Family Planning introductory course
  • Catholics will need a new copy (issued within the last six months) of their Catholic baptismal certificate, with Sacramental annotations. This certificate can be obtained from the parish in which you were baptized.
  • Non-Catholics, who have been baptized, must get a copy of their baptismal certificate. (This certificate does not have to be newly issued.)
  • If either of you, whether Catholic or a member of another faith community, has ever been married, you must inform the priest or deacon of this immediately.


Our mission is to proclaim Christ’s Gospel and bring people into communion with God and His one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. The aim of catechesis (instruction and formation in the Catholic faith) is to bring about in the believer an ever more mature faith in Jesus Christ, a deeper knowledge and love of His person and message, and a firm commitment to follow Him. The object of catechesis is communion with Jesus Christ. Catechesis is essentially an ecclesial act – an action of the Church.

Please know we are here and ready to accommodate your family’s needs for the faith formation of your children, sacramental preparation for First Confession/ First Holy Communion and Confirmation, as well as anyone who might desire to inquire to learn more about the Catholic Church. Please contact our Director of Religious Education, John Lojeweski, at for more information.

Parents are the first teachers of the faith to their children. Therefore, the goal of St. John University Parish’s faith formation program is to partner with parents in raising their children in the Catholic faith.

We seek to accomplish this through the six tasks of catechesis:

  1. Promoting knowledge of the faith
  2. Promoting a knowledge of the meaning of the Liturgy and the Sacraments
  3. Promoting moral formation in Jesus Christ
  4. Teaching the Christian how to pray with Christ
  5. Preparing the Christian to live in community and to participate actively in the life and mission of the Church
  6. Promoting a missionary spirit that prepares the faithful to be present as Christians in society.

We know, however, that the journey of faith is a journey that continues throughout our lives. We seek to help believers of all ages to come to a greater knowledge and love of Christ.

K-8 Faith Formation

For more information on our 2022-2023 instructional year, please contact our Director of Religious Education John Lojewski at