“In our time, in a world often alien and even hostile to faith, believing families are of primary importance as centers of living, radiant faith.” CCC 1655
Preparation for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist is a pivotal time in the formation of faith for a young child. This is the first time they have been able to consider the importance of their actions, right or wrong, on the people around them and ask for forgiveness through the sacrament of Reconciliation. It is the first time they are able to come to the table and celebrate, with the entire assembly, the presence of Christ through Eucharist. Through growth in understanding of these two life-sustaining sacraments, we hope that young children begin to form an understanding that the Catholic Church is a source of comfort and strength with each opportunity to celebrate Reconciliation and Eucharist.
As parents, your role is crucial in the preparation of your child. In our diocese, we celebrate both sacraments during the 2nd grade year. While the children will receive preparation at Sacred Heart School, or on Wednesday evening during a CFF class under the direction of the staff in Children’s Faith Formation, the parents will always play a primary role in the preparation of the child. Our staff enjoys the opportunity to work in union with parents to help the young 2nd grade students begin to understand the difficult concepts presented to them as they learn about these sacraments.
To help in the preparation, parents should pay close attention to the current calendar for all activities to prepare 2nd grade students and their families for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist. The CFF staff plans many activities throughout the year.
- First Reconciliation is celebrated the first Monday in December and includes an opportunity for parents to receive the sacrament along with the child.
- The children make "Blessing Cups" that they use at home for special prayers and celebrations.
- In the spring of the year, the students attend a workshop to learn more about First Eucharist through the many activities.
- The celebration for First Eucharist is held in the spring.
Below we have listed the required items needed to complete the sacramental preparation:
- We must also have a copy of the student's baptismal certificate. If baptized at a parish other than Sacred Heart, the certificate can be faxed to our office at 515-225-0286. If a child is baptized at Sacred Heart, we must have a copy of the certificate, or the exact date of baptism. At Sacred Heart Church, baptismal records are kept by date, not name.
- We must have a "Data for Sacramental Register Form" on file for each child receiving Reconciliation or Eucharist.
- Students must attend the program at Sacred Heart Church, or another religion program at a Catholic Church for at least one year prior to the fall of enrollment to prepare for a sacrament. If the student has not previously attended, the student will be placed in the appropriate grade-level class for the first year, and an Introduction to the Sacrament class the following year.
Congratulations on taking the steps to make faith an important part of your family life. We look forward to celebrating a wonderful year with your child and your family.