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Today's Readings
. SACRAMENTAL PREPARATION PROGRAMS

Eucharist


• Sacramental Preparation
• Reconciliation
• Eucharist
• Confirmation


. SACRAMENTAL PREPARATION

Overview

Christian initiation is celebrated in Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.  Through these visible actions a young person is incorporated into the Church and shares its mission in the world: full initiation into the Church occurs by stages.

.Sacramental Catechesis has traditionally been of two kinds: preparation for the initial celebration of the sacraments and continued enrichment by their reception.  Requirements for the reception of First Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation is determined by Canon Law:

. • Age of reason (to be able to distinguish right from wrong)
• Proper knowledge of sacraments
• Emotional and spiritual preparation
• Approval by parent, pastor, catechist, Director/Coordinator

.The policy of St. Mary’s is that a child who will prepare for the sacraments (First Penance, Eucharist and Confirmation) must have had a minimum of one year of religious education immediately before entering the Sacramental Preparation Programs.

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. RECONCILIATION

Preparation

ReconciliationPreparation for this sacrament starts at the second grade level.  The program consists of six classes which meet on Saturday mornings from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM in the fall.  The sacrament is celebrated prior to Christmas.  In addition, there are parent sessions which are designed to provide background and information on both the sacrament and the textbook materials.  This will enable parents to help prepare their children at home.  Parents are required to attend these sessions.  All children preparing to celebrate their First Eucharist must first be prepared to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1457).  In September, a letter is mailed to each family announcing the dates of all classes and parent sessions.

Registration

.Registration for the Reconciliation and Eucharist programs takes place at the Opening Parent Session for these sacraments in the fall.  A separate letter is mailed in September indicating the date and time of the Opening Parent Session for the Sacramental Program.

Please call the office the last week in September
if you do not receive this information.

A separate fee is charged for the Reconciliation/Eucharist Program, which is collected in the fall.

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. EUCHARIST

Preparation

EucharistPreparation for this sacrament starts at the second grade level.  The program consists of six classes which meet on Saturday mornings from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM in late February, March, and April.  The sacrament is celebrated in late April or early May.  In addition, there are parent sessions which are designed to provide background and information on both the sacrament and the textbook materials.  This will enable parents to help prepare their children at home.  Parents are required to attend these sessions.  All children preparing to celebrate their First Eucharist must first be prepared to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  In January, a letter is sent to each family giving them the dates of all classes and parent sessions.

Registration

.Registration for the Reconciliation and Eucharist programs takes place at the Opening Parent Session for these sacraments in the fall.  A separate letter is mailed in September indicating the date and time of the Opening Parent Session for the Sacramental Program.

Please call the office the last week in September
if you do not receive this information.

A separate fee is charged for the Reconciliation/Eucharist Program, which is collected in the fall.

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. CONFIRMATION

Overview

ConfirmationAs a Sacrament of Initiation, Confirmation is intimately related to Baptism and the Eucharist.  Christians are reborn in Baptism, strengthened by Confirmation, and sustained by the food of the Eucharist.  In Confirmation young people are signed with the gift of the Holy Spirit and become more perfect images of their Lord.  This sacrament renews and strengthens their baptismal call to bear witness to Christ before the world and work eagerly for the building up of his body.  The candidate must be baptized.

.As the primary educators of their children, parents are to be intimately involved in catechesis for Confirmation.  This will help them renew and strengthen their own faith, besides enabling them to set a better example for their children.

.The policy of this office is that any student who seeks entrance into the Confirmation Program must be in at least the seventh grade, must have had a minimum of one year of religious education immediately before entering the Sacramental Preparation Program, and must have completed all essential religious education curriculum.  They must also be currently enrolled in a Religious Education Program covering elementary or junior high curriculum.

.Any student of seventh grade level or above who did not attend religious education classes before the last year will be required to take make-up classes.


.The Confirmation Preparation Program will be outlined at a special session for parents and students.  It is our hope that the Confirmation Program will provide the following opportunities for each student:

• to examine his/her own personality
• to develop a spiritual relationship with Christ
• to understand the meaning of commitment and discipleship
• to become an active member of the Christian community
• to develop a deeper understanding of the Sacrament of Confirmation

Participation in Apostolic Work is encouraged as an integral part of the preparation. 

Letters are mailed to all eligible students, giving the date and time of the first parent-student session.  Students wishing to be considered as a candidate for the Sacrament of Confirmation must attend this first session.

A separate fee is charged for the Confirmation Preparation Program, which is discussed at the first session.


Office of Religious Education

...
Patricia M. Manuli
Director of Religious Education sm_ore@yahoo.com
-
April DeBard
Secretary
stmaryrelsec@yahoo.com
 
Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Phone: (845) 297-7586
Fax: (845) 297-3227

Sites of Interest
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Code of Canon Law
Capuchin Franciscan Youth and Family Ministries (Retreats)
Faith First (RCL) Sacrament Program
  More...

The Catechism of the Catholic Church
Paragraph 1457

According to the Church's command, "after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year."56  Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession.57  Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time.

56 Cf. CIC, can. 989; Council of Trent (1551): DS 1683; DS 1708.

57 Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1647; 1661; CIC, can. 916; CCEO, can. 711.

The Code of Canon Law
Can. 913 §1 & Can. 914

Can. 913 §1. The administration of the Most Holy Eucharist to children requires that they have sufficient knowledge and careful preparation so that they understand the mystery of Christ according to their capacity and are able to receive the body of Christ with faith and devotion.

Can. 914 It is primarily the duty of parents and those who take the place of parents, as well as the duty of pastors, to take care that children who have reached the use of reason are prepared properly and, after they have made sacramental confession, are refreshed with this divine food as soon as possible.  It is for the pastor to exercise vigilance so that children who have not attained the use of reason or whom he judges are not sufficiently disposed do not approach holy communion.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church
Paragraph 1309

Preparation for Confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a more lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit - his actions, his gifts, and his biddings - in order to be more capable of assuming the apostolic responsibilities of Christian life.  To this end catechesis for Confirmation should strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish community. the latter bears special responsibility for the preparation of confirmands.125

125 Cf. OC Introduction 3.

The Code of Canon Law
Can. 879

The sacrament of confirmation strengthens the baptized and obliges them more firmly to be witnesses of Christ by word and deed and to spread and defend the faith.  It imprints a character, enriches by the gift of the Holy Spirit the baptized continuing on the path of Christian initiation, and binds them more perfectly to the Church.125

125 Cf. OC Introduction 3.

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