The Christian initiation of these children requires both a conversion that is personal and somewhat developed, in proportion to their age, and the assistance of the education they need.
RCIA, no. 253
The time of First Sacraments is a beautiful and special moment for each family and child, as for the first time they find forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation and are fed in the sacrament of the Eucharist. We prepare these young members of the faith in their first two years of grade school faith formation. Older students who have not yet received the Sacraments may become a part of our Catch Up preparation program.
The Sacrament of Baptism is a prerequisite for receiving these Sacraments. Each fall, sacramental registration information is mailed out to the second grade students of our grade school faith formation programs and registered parishioners with second graders at Catholic schools (parents of Catholic school children are encouraged to contact the Religious Education Office to ensure that we have their name).
Parents are considered the primary educators for this important sacramental preparation process, with support from the parish. For each sacrament, a parent/child workshop will be offered on three different dates, in the fall for First Reconciliation, and in the winter for First Eucharist. Parents may choose the workshop that best fits their schedule, but attendance at one of these workshops is required. There is a one-time fee to cover the cost of the materials for both sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist.
In the Sacrament of First Reconciliation, we celebrate God’s mercy and forgiving love. Children may celebrate with one of our groups for Reconciliation Services or on any Saturday at the Parish.
At the fall parent/child workshop, parents will be provided with materials to prepare their child for First Reconciliation. At that time, the registration form, both sacramental fees and a copy of the child’s Baptismal certificate should be submitted.
Group First Reconciliation services will be offered on two separate occasions, or a student may choose to celebrate individually at a Saturday afternoon Reconciliation time (3:30 – 4:30 p.m).
This is a required “Retreat Day” for those celebrating the Sacrament of First Reconciliation. It will be held on a Saturday to help prepare the children for this Sacrament. Students will have planned activities that reinforce the lessons they have been learning about God’s forgiving love.
In this Sacrament, children are invited to share the Body and Blood of Christ at the Table of the Lord for the first time. The process of Parent/Child Workshops repeats itself; once again, three workshop opportunities will be offered to allow parents to choose the one that best fits individual schedules. At the parent/student workshop, parents will be provided with materials to prepare their child for First Eucharist. Attendance at ONE workshop is mandatory. There will be no make-up sessions offered.
This is a required Retreat Day for all second grade students involved in sacramental preparation. Students will bake bread, watch a video, make crafts and hear a story about God’s love. This will reinforce and review the sacramental preparation that they have been learning from parent preparation, and supportive activities through PSR, Partners in Faith or Family Home Schooling. This program is presented to help children learn about Eucharist at an age-appropriate level of understanding.
First Eucharist may be celebrated as part of a large group on the first Saturday in May, or as part of a small group celebration during designated weekend liturgies beginning in May. Small group celebrations are limited to 8 children at each mass. One row in the Worship Space will be reserved for each child. Additional details will be discussed at the Parent/Child workshops in the fall.
If your child is older than second grade and has not yet received sacraments, they will have an opportunity to participate in “Catch Up”, to help them prepare for the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist. Preparation will be on an age-appropriate level for older children. Call the Religious Education Office to receive further information about this program.