First Penance and First Holy Communion

Overview

Children in 2nd grade or older may begin to prepare to receive First Penance (Confession) and First Holy Communion.

Preparation for First Penance and First Holy Communion will begin in January of 2020. Our catechists and priests will be leading regular in-person meetings for the children and their parents (not an at-home program as has been done in the past). A schedule will be published in the early fall.

Eligibility

  • Children must be age 7 or older (grade 2) to enroll
  • Children must be enrolled and active in Faith Formation in the current year
  • Children must have been enrolled and active in Faith Formation last year

Preparation Components

  • Weekly Mass attendance
  • Weekly or bi-weekly sessions held in person (schedule forthcoming, beginning in January of 2020)
  • Attendance at a rehearsal for each sacrament
  • Interview with Fr. Amato or Fr. Symon to determine readiness to receive each sacrament

Calendar

(forthcoming)


Frequently Asked Questions

Is sacramental preparation a part of regular Faith Formation?

No, they are distinct. Sacramental preparation and Faith Formation each have their own, separate registration forms and their own, separate meetings. But children must be engaged with Faith Formation in order to begin sacramental preparation.

Why does my child have to be involved in Faith Formation before beginning sacramental preparation?

Your child deserves the chance to find deep meaning in these sacraments. A solid grounding in the faith is necessary to help your child grow in love for God so he or she can appreciate the gift of God’s reconciliation and Christ’s own self in Holy Communion.

Why does my child have to be in 2nd grade to begin?

The Catholic Church defines age 7 as the age of reason, when children have a solid understanding of right and wrong and can be considered morally responsible. In order to receive the Sacrament of Penance, a child must be able to understand the difference between a sin (a free choice to do wrong) and an accident. In order to receive Holy Communion, a child must first be in a state of grace made possible through receiving God’s grace in the Sacrament of Penance.

When exactly will these sacraments be offered?

The exact timing of the preparation changes every year based on when Easter is observed. We schedule preparation so that your child can come to understand and appreciate the gift of God’s love through these sacraments in a clear and unhurried manner before the start of the Easter season, when the sacraments are offered. As soon as the schedule is available, it will be posted to our Forms and Calendars page here under the current year.

My child is past 2nd grade, but needs to receive these sacraments. What do we do?

This sacramental preparation is appropriate for any children in grades 2-6.  If your child is in 7th grade or higher, please contact Elena Cambio at the parish office, and we will work with you to make sure your child receives appropriate catechesis that suits your family’s needs.

My child has special needs. Is this program appropriate?

Every Catholic has a right to receive the sacraments and the right to catechesis appropriate to our unique abilities and understanding. We will work closely with you to ensure we meet your child’s needs.