The sacraments are pivotal and meaningful events in a person’s journey of faith. Preparing and celebrating the sacraments deepen the faith of children and youth, and of the families, those involved in preparing them—including the sponsors—the Catholic school community and all Christ’s faithful in a given territory (parish). For more information on sacramental preparation, please see our Parishes.
Many children in Catholic schools are already baptized. Their initiation into Catholic life continues with their family, parish, and school preparing them to receive the sacraments. They will continue their journey of initiation in the parish with their peers.
If a child was not baptized Catholic as an infant, he/she can be baptized with the consent of at least one parent before turning 7. After age 7, a child has reached the age of discernment and the preparation process (Rite of Christian Initiation adapted for children) can take a year or more.
Those who have yet to be baptized are invited to become part of God’s family. The Church welcomes new members at all ages.
The Eucharist is the source and summit of our Christian life. It is the memorial of Christ’s Passover, in which his one sacrifice, the perfect act of redeeming love is made present for us. It enables us to be in intimate communion with God. Christ’s Paschal Sacrifice, his passion and death, was a total gift of self to free humanity from the slavery of sin and gives us the freedom of the children of God. The Eucharist is a repeatable sacrament.
To receive the sacrament, the child should have the desire to receive Jesus and to be able to distinguish between ordinary bread and wine and the Eucharist as the Body and Blood of Jesus. Children who have been baptized and have completed the process of preparation for First Reconciliation are able to receive their First Eucharist. This usually takes place when a child has reached the age of discernment (7 years of age).
Parents need to contact the parish to request sacramental preparation. To prepare for this sacrament, parents, sponsors, and the child or youth must participate in the process of preparation provided by their parish.
If your son or daughter has not been confirmed, we invite you and your teenager to consider participating in the Confirmation preparation program offered by your parish.
Christian initiation begins with Baptism. One’s Baptism is sealed with Confirmation. The Sunday Eucharist renews both of these sacraments. God calls each of us to a life-long faith journey. The Church’s sacraments provide us with the spiritual grace necessary to live the Christian life.
We earnestly encourage and invite you to have your teenager receive the sacrament of Confirmation and complete the sacraments of initiation. The Holy Spirit, bestowed in Confirmation, seals Baptism, unites us more closely to Jesus, and fills us with the gifts we need for an abundant, faith-filled and joyful life.
Reconciliation involves the examination of conscience, being sorry for them, true intention to change, the confession of sins, forgiveness of sins, and satisfaction (penance). This sacrament precedes First Eucharist. Both Eucharist and Reconciliation are repeatable sacraments.
When a baptized child has reached the age of discernment (7 years of age), he/she is usually ready to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time.
Parents need to contact the parish to request sacramental preparation for First Reconciliation. To prepare for this sacrament, parents, sponsors, and the child or youth must participate in the process of preparation offered by the parish.