In order to receive the Sacraments for the first time, children must attend two consecutive years of Religious Education Classes. During the first year they will receive regular catechism lessons, and the second one is totally oriented to the reception of the sacraments.

Through the year, kids will explore the meaning of rituals, symbols, gestures, and prayers to promote active participation. The program is designed to touch the heart as well as the head, engaging children using story, Scripture, doctrine and prayer.

First Reconciliation

First Reconciliation is celebrated in January of the 2nd Year of R.E.

The text used is the Sacrament Preparation series by RCL Benziger: “Reconciliation. Pardon and Faith”.  Each lesson begins with an engaging story that connects with Scripture to invite children to a living relationship with God's word. Family involvement is encouraged at every step, and a Little Catechism provides a review of basic Catholic doctrine. 

 
The process of reconciliation will also be part of the curriculum:  how to make an examination of conscience using the Ten Commandments, confession, penance and absolution.

 
First Reconciliation is offered in the second year of the sacramental preparation program, usually in 2nd grade.

First Communion

First Communion is celebrated in April or May of the 2nd year of R.E.

This is a special time of preparation for your child.  It is a wonderful opportunity for the children to learn and grow in faith as they prepare to receive Holy Communion for the first time.

We continue with the Sacrament Preparation series, but now they will use “Eucharist. We give Thanks and Praise”. The book helps the students reflect on the mystery of the Eucharist.   They will learn and understand more about the Mass and how to participate in it.  They will learn the prayers and responses that we say out loud, when to stand, when to kneel and other gestures that are part of the Mass.

Because parents are primary educators for their children there are specific parent expectations: 

          1.  Attend Sunday Liturgy with their children
          2.  Attend parent classes every week
          3.  Attend retreats and Family Sessions
          4.  Insure regular attendance for your child

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) Adapted for Children

Children celebrate the sacraments during the Easter Vigil of the 2nd year of R.E.

This two year program welcomes children who have attained the age of reason, approximately the age of seven, and are not baptized or for those who were baptized in the Catholic faith as infants but who have received no instruction in the faith and gone beyond the usual age for instruction necessary for preparation for First Communion. 

The class uses Our Catholic Faith as the text.  It is organized and designed to foster faith development through the following:  knowledge of basic Catholic beliefs, which are Trinitarian, Christocentric, and Ecclesial; identification with Jesus Christ and the Church; interaction with church community; personal reflection and prayer experiences.

Additionally, participants attend classes weekly while they are being formed.  Mass attendance on Sundays is essential.  Special rites and blessings are part of the process throughout the year.

For additional information on childhood ministry please contact Betty Franceschi at 512-454-0384 x 221 or send her an email to beatriz.franceschi@st-louis.org