Preparing to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist is an exciting time for children as they blossom in the way they learn to see and experience their Catholic faith. This growth is necessary, as each child must have a reasonable understanding of the graces they will receive with each sacrament.
Over the course of one year, parents work with their children to receive these sacraments. This program is structured around the family and taught primarily at home by the parents who are the primary educators of the faith development of children and youth.
SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION
Our students are prepared to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation prior to receiving the Holy Eucharist for the first time. This preparation of second-grade students takes place in the first part of the second grade school year, with the support of teachers in St. John’s School and in CCD classes. The students usually receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation shortly before Christmas.
SACRAMENT OF HOLY EUCHARIST
Soon your child will join your family and God’s family at the Lord’s Table for the first time. He/She will eat the Bread of Life and drink from the Cup of Life. Your child will learn in his/her Eucharist preparation classes what a wonderful gift Jesus has given us in the Blessed Sacrament. You can support this learning by expressing your own appreciation of the wonder and the mystery of this glorious gift.
The best preparation for First Eucharist that you can give your child is REGULAR ATTENDANCE AT MASS. Talk to your child about the Mass before you go and at appropriate moments in the actual celebration when you are in church together. Emphasize that the Mass is God’s family celebrating a meal. Start at the beginning of the Mass and explain that as we enter the church, we make the family sign, the Sign of the Cross. Ask your child if he/she knows or can guess why the cross is our family sign. Remind your child that Jesus, by His death on the cross, won the life that he/she will share in; the bread and wine of the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Jesus; life that goes on forever, even after we die.
Students in second grade prepare to receive Jesus in Holy Communion for the first time in the second part of the school year. Ordinarily First Holy Communion takes place on the first Sunday of May. The children and their parents will attend a Jesus Day Retreat the day before First Holy Communion as a final preparation for receiving the sacrament for the first time, as well as a chance to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation again.