Dear parents of our First Reconciliation and First Communion children,
I hope you have enjoyed your summer vacation! Hopefully this time was restful and exciting, and has helped you to charge up for a very important year in your child’s formation as a Catholic individual. We are happy to embark upon this special year with you and your family as you grow deeper and stronger and ever more faithful in your duty and role as Catholic parents.
Your child this year in Grade 2, with the help of our Catholic teachers, the sacramental team and our priests, will be preparing for two great sacraments; that of First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion.
We invite your family to take a moment to review the information listed below, to help you decide if you would like to have your child receive First Reconciliation and First Communion this year and are able to wholeheartedly commit to all that it entails. We have designated two Information/Registration meetings for you and your child that must be attended in order to receive the sacraments during this special year. Please feel free to choose the one that best suits your family’s schedule. All meetings are in the Church. The dates and times are as follows:
Thursday, October 3rd at 7:00 p.m. or
Saturday October 5th at 10:00 a.m.
Should you have smaller children or babies, we kindly suggest that you have someone stay at home to care for them. It is important that we get some uninterrupted time to lay out the program for the coming year.
The requirements for receiving First Reconciliation and First Communion at St. Francis de Sales Parish are as follows:
- Be a registered Parishioner of St. Francis de Sales Parish
- Attend Sunday Mass weekly at a Catholic Church (passport program will be in place for children preparing for their Sacraments)
- Be in Grade 2 to 6 (when parents feel their child is ready for this sacrament)
- Register for First Reconciliation and First Communion by attending one of the Registration Meeting dates and submitting the completed sacramental registration form at this time. First Reconciliation must be received before your child can receive First Communion
- Submit a photocopy of your child’s Baptismal certificate** and the $60.00 fee to cover the cost of programme materials at the registration meeting
- Participate in all catechetical sessions throughout the year
During our Information/Registration meeting, we will outline the route we are taking in our sacramental preparation this year, namely that, together with the school curriculum geared for grade 2 and the visits provided by Father and the sacramental catechist, families are to participate in the regular attendance of weekend Masses. Once registration is complete, each child will receive a “passport” which they are expected to have stamped by a team member at the end of each weekend Mass (please have your child get a bulletin stamped if they forget to bring their passport or if you are travelling and are required to attend another Catholic Parish). The passports will be collected and reviewed by our team throughout the course of the year. Failing to commit to weekly Sunday Mass, families may be invited to consider postponing their First Reconciliation and First Communion to another year when their child has the opportunity to encounter Jesus in a more focused and special way without too many interruptions.
**If you have difficulty locating your child’s Baptismal certificate, please contact the Church where your child was baptized to get another copy. Please note that if your child was Baptized in the Catholic Church and your family is currently practising another faith, this program is not suitable for your child at this time.
If your child is in need of Baptism or being received into the Roman Catholic Church, please indicate this on the registration form and come by the Parish office to pick up the Baptism preparation package for First Reconciliation and First Communion children. This registration package should be submitted on the First Reconciliation/First Communion registration date as well. RCIC (Rite of Christian Initiation for Children) classes at the Parish are required for children who are not Baptized or if your child was Baptized in another faith. RCIC classes are also required for children who attend Public schools, other Catholic schools outside of our Parish and children in grades 3-6. For those children attending one of our 6 Parish schools, our First Reconciliation/First Communion Co-ordinator will be providing in school preparation to all the grade 2 classes to prepare the children for each of their special sacraments.
Sacraments are meant to be celebrated in the parish where you regularly worship. If you attend St. Francis de Sales, this is the Parish where your child should receive their First Reconciliation and First Communion. If you attend regularly at any other Catholic parish, you may choose to have your child receive their sacraments at that Parish.
If you have any questions or concerns, I invite you to jot them down and bring them to the Information/Registration session, that way, everyone may benefit from the answer your question has evoked.
God bless you and we look forward to sharing this special time of preparation with you. See you at the meeting!
Father David Twaddle