Faith and doctrinal formation is an important part of the life of every parish. It is in response to Our Lord’s mandate to make disciples of all men, and the Holy Father’s call for a “New Evangelization”, that we try to foster and renew the faith and knowledge of people both young and old.
We offer the following Religious Education programs.
The beginning years are the formative years in a child’s life. This is why it is so important that children have religious education from the earliest years. The first years of Religious Education are also an important part of preparation for the Sacraments of 1st Penance and 1st Holy Communion.
First Penance and First Holy Communion
We prepare the children for First Penance and First Holy Communion beginning in the first grade. The children are taught the basic prayers and are given the foundation of their faith. There is recitation of prayers, story telling, arts and crafts, and a lot of hands-on activities that foster their learning.
In the second grade the children review what they’ve learned the previous year and begin a more intensive program to prepare them to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. First Penance usually takes place in late January. Once the Sacrament of Penance has been received, we begin preparation for First Communion. Traditionally, First Communion is held the weekend prior to Mother’s Day. We also involve the children in the May Procession for Mother Mary.
The children in all grades (after First Penance), are required to attend two Penance Services throughout the school year; once during Advent, and once during Lent. Children are expected to attend Mass on all Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. Children are not allowed to miss more than three classes throughout the school year.
Beginning this year, the age for the reception of Confirmation will be changing.
Spring of 1010, Confirmation will be given to both Grades 9 and 10
Spring of 2011, Confirmation will be given to both Grades 8 and 9
Spring of 2012 and following, Confirmation will be received in 8th Grade.
During the next few years, we will be adjusting the program until we come up with the desired curriculum, service hours and Liturgy hours to form our new program.
Grades 9 – 10
Preparation for receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation usually follows the successful completion of the Religious Education program in Grades 7 and 8.The program for receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation is a two year commitment as specified by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence. Candidates must successfully complete the Confirmation I program year which is 13 sessions, including two dates for the reception of the Sacrament of Penance, one in the season of Advent and one in the season of Lent, before continuing on to the second year Confirmation II program. In the Confirmation II year there are 12 sessions, a full day Retreat and two dates for the reception of the Sacrament of Penance, as in the Confirmation I year. The date for Confirmation will be given when it is received from the Bishop’s office!
“Candidates for Confirmation, as for Baptism, fittingly seek the spiritual help of a sponsor. To emphasize the unity of the two sacraments, it is appropriate that this be one of the baptismal godparents.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1311)
Like in Baptism, the Confirmation Sponsor is to be a witness, an inspiration, an example of what it means to be a Roman Catholic in today’s world. That means that the person must be a Catholic not only in name but by the life they lead each and every day.
Most people do not know the Church’s requirements for a person who is to undertake the role of Sponsor. In the Code of Canon Law, a book with the laws that governs and guides the life of the Catholic Church, there are specific regulations regarding sponsors (godparents) for the Sacrament of Baptism and Confirmation.
The requirements for godparents are:
- be, not less than sixteen years of age.
- be a Catholic who has received the Sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation.
- be registered and active members of their parish.
- be living in conformity with Catholic morals and in good standing with the Catholic Church (if married, married according to the laws of the Church).
- may not be the mother or father of the person to be baptized.
Finally, they must obtain a Sponsor Certificate, attesting to their fulfilling the stated requirements, from the parish in which they are a registered member.
Before asking someone to take on the role of a sponsor, please be sure they fulfill the requirements of the Church. This will save the person from embarrassment and the family from being disappointed. The Priest has a responsibility before God and in justice to be sure these requirements are fulfilled!
For more information on our Confirmation preparation program, please contact Religious Education Office, at (401) 624-3664.