FIRST COMMUNION – THE SECOND SACRAMENT OF INITIATION
FIRST COMMUNION VIA FAITH FORMATION
Is your child ready to join in Holy Communion? At St. Patrick’s First Communion preparation generally occurs during second grade, although sometimes it is earlier and sometimes it is later. Our process is for children of many ages. It is always a family affair; the preparation process involves the child with parents or guardians.
In Holy Communion, your child takes their second step, after Baptism, into full initiation into the Church. They receive the bread and wine at Mass and fully participate at the Table of the Lord.
A feature of our program is that First Eucharist is celebrated with the family at a Mass of their choice for two weeks beginning on Mother’s Day. The child making First Communion participates in the Mass, and is especially recognized and honored at the Mass.
Children should be age 7 or older to prepare for the sacrament. The Parents and Pastor discern jointly if their child is fully ready following an interview during the preparation year. Preparation for the sacraments of Reconciliation and Communion ordinarily include at least two years of family or classroom based religious education.
We encourage families with several young children who have siblings of close age to go through the program together in the same year. When siblings prepare at the same time, they often prepare better. Parents are fully involved in the classes and retreats. Having multiple children in the program enables the parents to really concentrate on the preparation process in one year.
Registration is in August and September. First Eucharist is after Easter.
Depending on the date for Easter, the preparation process usually begins after January 1, with First Reconciliation in February or early March, and First Communion beginning on Mother’s Day in May. First Communion classes are scheduled in the time slot as Faith Formation.
There will be an information meeting around the beginning of November, plus or minus a week, after the 9:00am Mass. If you cannot attend, please call Deacon Ben or Carl directly. Watch the bulletin or call the office for each year’s schedule and meeting location. Once you register, you will be notified via e-mail of the time and place.
Students attending public schools, who begin Faith Formation in September, will then move into First Communion classes after the New Year. Students attending Catholic Schools are especially encouraged to join the Faith Formation classes in September of the year of their Sacraments so that both the child and the parents can participate in service activities together and make friends with the other families who will be participating in Sacraments that year. Remember that the Sacraments are not individual awards but initiations into and celebrations of the whole church along with the family and the child and the other families involved. The Sacraments are primary mechanisms to build up the Catholic community and to experience true missionary discipleship.
If you wonder if this might be the year for your child, or have any questions about the program, please call. We look forward to working with you and your child!
CHRISTIAN FAMILY STUDIES
Sometimes, for any number of reasons, one, two, or even all the children in a family may not have received their sacraments at the same time as their peers. We welcome those parents and families who decide to bring their children to the church to participate in the sacraments given to us by Jesus Christ. We gather the families together and address each of the needs presented. Through a flexible program, we assist in preparing the family for any or all of the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation. Last year, we had eight families with 22 children who completed their Sacraments through this program. For more information you may contact Deacon Ben Hooks, at 813-839-5337 ext. 206 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RCIA – RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS
RCIA is an adult and family process of preparation for reception of the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist). RCIA meets on Sunday mornings and/or several afternoons during the month. The RCIA process is flexible and tailored to the needs of candidates who proceed through the process at their own pace. Generally, a new class begins each September, however, many factors may require adjustment of the schedule so we welcome your inquiries at any time of the year. Adults who wish to enter the Church and children age seven or above in need of Baptism should contact John Williams in the parish office.