Frequently Asked Questions

I want to join St. Joseph. What do I need to do?

Welcome! We'd love to have you as a parishioner. While you are most certainly welcome to stop in the Parish Office or speak with a priest or deacon after Mass, you may also chose to visit our Registration and Welcome Page for more information and a Parish Registration Form. In either case, we look forward to meeting you in person!

I’ve just had a baby and need to get my child baptized. What do I need to do?

Congratulations! What a blessing! If you haven't attend a baptismal preparation class before, you will need to attend one. Please call our Parish Office at 440.238.5555 for information. You will also need at least one Catholic Godparent, who is over the age of 16, a fully-initiated (Baptized, made First Communion, and Confirmed), practicing Catholic (attends Mass regularly and receives the sacraments) and who, if married, is in a valid Catholic marriage (usually married in the presence of a priest or deacon). Others, who are Christian (baptized in a different Christian denomination), can serve as Christian witness; but this person cannot have been baptized as a Catholic. The Church only requires one Catholic Godparent and records only one male and one female in such a role.

I’ve been asked to be a godparent. What do I need to do?

Congratulations! Being asked to be a godparent for Baptism or a sponsor for Confirmation is an awesome honor and responsibility. Most likely, you will need to get a Sponsor Certificate from the Parish Office where you are registered. The Sponsor Certificate stipulates that you are eligible to be a sponsor for one of the Sacraments of Initiation. To get the Sponsor Certificate you must be a registered member of our parish, over the age of 16, a fully-initiated (Baptized, made First Communion, and Confirmed) practicing Catholic (attends Mass regularly and receives the sacraments) who, if married, is in a valid Catholic marriage. The Parish Office will need 48 hours to create a Sponsor Certificate for you.

My daughter just got engaged! What do we need to do?

How exciting! Your daughter and/or her fiancé should contact one of our priests or deacons to discuss marriage preparation and dates.

What if I am divorced and Catholic?

Divorce is the sad and painful death of a once precious dream. Faith in Jesus Christ can assist in its healing. Simply being divorced does not separate a Catholic from the sacraments. Divorced Catholics are encouraged to celebrate the sacraments, including receiving Communion. Because of our belief in the life-time commitment of marriage, we urge those who have remarried without an annulment to abstain from receiving Communion, but to attend Mass with the Christian community. Divorced and remarried Catholics should explore the possibility of an annulment so that their union can be validated by the Church. You find out more information about this process below.

What is an annulment?

A Declaration of Invalidity (annulment) is a statement by the Church after investigation by a church court (Tribunal) that the bond of marriage was never brought into existence when the parties exchanged their vows. While this declaration recognizes that a civil marriage existed, sacramental marriage as understood by the Catholic Church did not come into existence due to the presence of certain circumstances. Trained ministers throughout the Diocese are ready to answer your questions and help you understand, prepare, and submit a petition to begin your case. These case specialists are priests, deacons, and laypeople, and most take on this work in addition to their regular parish ministry. You may find out more information here about these case specialists or speak to a member of our parish staff.

How can I become a Catholic?

Faith is a precious gift from God. The Catholic Church offers the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) for adults who wish to accept this gift and become active members in full communion. Full communion for catechumens (not yet baptized) and candidates (already baptized in the Christian faith) occurs at the Easter Vigil. Catholic spouses and sponsors are welcome to attend the classes. Our RCIA group meets on Thursday evenings. Those interested in learning more about RCIA can call the Parish Office at 440.238.5555. 

How can I become more involved?

There are many ways for Catholics to get more involved in their faith and in the ministry of the Church. Those include liturgical ministries (such as choir member, reader, altar server, usher or extraordinary minister of Holy Communion at Mass), various parish ministries (PSR, RCIA, Mission of Hope, or the Carpenters/Seniors Club), as well as volunteer services such as holiday church decoration, and various Church activities throughout the year. Please speak with a parish staff member to discern your gifts, your time, and your opportunities to serve. A complete listing of our Parish Ministries can be found at

How do I arrange for a funeral?

When a Christian dies, it is a significant event in the life of our parish. There are three moments in the journey from death to burial: the Vigil Services during the visitation period, the funeral Mass or service, and the committal service at the cemetery. If cremation is to take place, the most appropriate time for cremation is after the Funeral Liturgy at church. All remains of Catholics must be buried in blessed graves, crypts, or at sea. If you are making arrangements for a loved one, work through your chosen funeral home. The funeral home will contact us at your request to make arrangements for the visitation and the Mass. If you would like to make plans for your own funeral in advance, helpful materials are available at the Parish Office (440.238.5555) or by visiting our Funeral Planning page.

How can I remember the dead?

It is an unbroken tradition of the Christian faithful to pray for the dead. The intention of the Mass is a customary form of this prayer and remembrance. In the Diocese of Cleveland, the typical offering suggested to obtain the intention of a particular Mass is $10. We ask that no more than six Masses per year for any one individual be reserved and no more than one of them on a weekend. Arrangements for Mass intentions and payment should be made in person at the Parish Office.

What does it mean to be a “mature Catholic”?

Spiritual progress takes us toward a deeper union with Christ. In addition to the fundamental practices of our Catholic faith (attending Sunday Mass, going to confession at least twice per year, observing days of fasting and abstinence), the mature Catholic develops additional habits and continues to seek other avenues at growing in holiness. Some of the signs of a spiritually mature Catholic that reach beyond the basic practices of our faith would be: praying at intervals throughout the day, seeking times of solitude for contemplation, knowing Church teachings, spending time in Eucharistic adoration, exploring the lives and reflections of saints and Christian scholars, and practicing sacrificial giving.

How can I include St. Joseph in my estate planning?

If you would like to designate St. Joseph Parish as the beneficiary of your life insurance, retirement account, or personal estate it should be listed as “The parish of St. Joseph, Strongsville, Ohio.” You also wish to visit our Legacy Giving page. Your legacy and generosity would be very much appreciated. Please contact the parish Business Office at 440.238.5555, ext. 102 for additional information.