The preparation of our children for First Communion begins at Baptism, with particular focus during this entire school year on the meaning and practical application of the Sacrament. This is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation, or belonging, through which people become full members of the Body of Christ, the Church.
The formal instruction emphasizes the reality that we are members of the Family of God called to gather at the Table of the Lord week in and week out to be fed by Jesus with himself. The children are taught that God's children try to imitate the love of Jesus. They learn to forgive others and to celebrate the fact that Jesus will forgive us if we are sorry. This is part of what it means to become active, participating members of the Church.
It is through the Church that we deliberately and explicitly give witness to Christ and fulfil his call to be his presence on earth. In Confirmation, they become full members of the Church, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
As this is a step in their entry into full membership in the Church, we need to see proof of Catholic Baptism. If your child is not Baptized, or is not yet a Catholic (and therefore requires a Profession of Faith), this must be arranged in advance. If you have not yet spoken to the pastor, do so now. Please bring to the church at the time of the parent meeting a (photo) copy of your child's Baptismal Certificate.
The celebration of First Reconciliation will take place at the church on a weekday evening in late January or early February.
At the end of the First Reconciliation celebration, the First Communion workbooks will be handed out. If you need to switch times or dates, call the PARISH office. Otherwise, you will arrive and find there is no seat for you.
At the Mass set for your child's First Communion, there will be a centre aisle seat with your child's name and a "reserved" sign. At the other end of that pew you will find another "reserved" sign, giving your family the whole pew. If you will not need all the seating, please move the second "reserved" sign to the last space you need. We expect the church to be full, and this will allow the ushers to know where they may direct people. The names will be on the pews in alphabetical order.
Please tell your guest that NO ONE may take photographs during Mass. Those with video cameras must remain seated while operating them. If you have guests who are not used to being in church, please advise them of the need for reverent behaviour (no gum-chewing, conversation, etc.). You may also wish to tell them that it is customary to support the church with a donation when the collection basket is passed. At the end, the children will be called forward, and there will be ample opportunity after the closing hymn for group and individual pictures at the altar. There are simply too many people involved to allow anything else.
With your cooperation, we can avoid unnecessary distractions and make the celebration one of beauty and meaning for our children.
Please remember that not one cent of your school taxes comes to the parish, nor is the School Board allowed to spend money on parish programs. In fact, the parish pays to supplement the Separate School religion program. The operation of the parish is made possible entirely through the generosity of yourselves and other parishioners like you who put money in the collection week after week.
Because of the number of children in our Sacramental Preparation program, we need to recover many of the costs directly from them. In addition to the workbooks, there are the Enrolment Hearts, certificates, etc. The program fee is $20.00 and special consideration is given for those who for whatever reason are unable to meet the expense of it.
As the completion of the two workbooks is an important aspect of the preparation, the parish is supplying each candidate with them. The first will be distributed at the parent meeting, the second, at the end of the First Reconciliation celebration.
We will be using dated activity sheets relating to the Gospel of the day available at the back of the church each weekend. Twelve completed sheets, with your child's full name printed on them, must be returned before a date will be given for First Communion. These sheets replace the twelve Saturday morning parent meetings suggested by the program.
For More information please contact Victoria Pusiak 613-824-6822 ext 229 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.