Sacramental Preparation: First Reconciliation
As Catholics we believe that the Sacraments are the outward signs of inward grace which were established by Christ and effect what they signify. Because Sacraments are the normal means of receiving God’s grace, it is very important for children to receive the Sacraments of the Church as soon as possible, that they may take full advantage of the inheritance offered them through their Baptism. As a child reaches the age of reason, typically around age seven, he or she becomes able to discern right from wrong, and the hunger to receive forgiveness begins to awaken. In order to receive God’s forgiveness children who have attained the age of reason and display a desire to be forgiven are invited to prepare for the sacrament of Reconciliation.
The reconciliation preparation at St. Mary consists of a number of sessions based on the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd method for preparing children for the sacrament of reconciliation. These sessions are in addition to participation in regular R.E. classes, and will be offered twice in the coming catechetical year: once over a series of Wednesday evenings after Easter then again over a three day intensive in the early Summer. Each family should choose the opportunity that better suits their needs. The Wednesday sessions will take place 5:00-6:00pm on the following dates:
April 7, 14, 21, 28
These will be followed by a Retreat on Saturday, May 8, from 9:00am-2:00pm. The reception of the Sacrament will be on May 15 during the normal Parish reconciliation time.
The summer intensive preparation will take place over several consecutive weekdays after school is out, followed by the sacrament on the Saturday following. Dates will be announced in the Spring of 2021.
Every child preparing for first reconciliation will receive a simple Bible. The fee to help cover this and other materials is $5, but no child will be turned away due to lack of funds. Please note that the above program is intended for children who have been baptized Catholic. Children who are not baptized Catholic, or those 14 years or older who still need to receive First Reconciliation, should be prepared through the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (R.C.I.A.) or an adaptation thereof.