First Reconciliation and First Communion
The Preparation Process
This year, preparation will look a bit different. Most of the preparation will be done at home at whatever pace parents choose using a couple of workbooks and accompanying videos. There are no due dates or pressure. At thirty minutes a week, typically children can be prepared to receive their First Reconciliation in eight weeks and their First Communion in another ten weeks. It’s also never too late to sign a child up to prepare to receive these Sacraments. This process can begin at whatever time is most convenient for families.
Doesn't This all Happen in School?
The Sacraments are about a faith relationship found within the community of the Church, not membership in a school. Eventually, students graduate from their school; they may visit, but their school will not be the place they go back to for healing in a moment of crisis, for sacramental care in a time of sorrow or joy, or for direction when they are called to grow and mature in life. A parish, a faith community, is a family one never graduates from, and through the Sacraments one declares, “I want to be a member of a community of faith for life”. Through our community, the faithful, including our children, grow and become who God wants them to be!
How to Enroll
Families living within the boundaries of, and registered and worshiping at, St. Alphonsus Liguori Church in Peterborough are welcome to enrol their children for the Sacrament here. Once enrolled, arrangements will be made for parents to pick up the workbooks needed. Directions for accessing all the preparation material will also be given.
Additionally, families will also be asked to provide a copy their child’s baptismal certificate. Certificates can be obtained from the parish where he/she was baptized. These can then be dropped off to the office at St. Alphonsus Liguori or uploaded. Those baptized at St. Alphonsus Liguori do not need to provide a copy of their certificate.
- Enroll your child.
- Children baptized outside of St. Alphonsus Liguori will need to get and submit a Sacramental record from the church they were baptized in.
- Children who belong to another church need a letter or blessing from their parish priest.
Your church is usually the parish closest to where you live or where you regularly worship.
- Complete all online preparation at your own pace.
- After completing all preparation, bring your child to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Candidates from Other Churches
Participation at Sunday Mass
At baptism, parents promise to raise their children in the practice of the faith. Through the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion, candidates are strengthened in their Christian commitment and begin the process of taking personal responsibility for building good faith habits. This is, indeed, a grace filled time for candidates and family members alike. The most consequential way parents can help their children prepare for any sacrament is to participate regularly with him/her in the Sunday Eucharist (every week).
Candidates and their families are strongly encouraged to participate in Mass regularly. Normally, this is done in person by going to church. During the COVID-19 pandemic however, the bishop has dispensed Catholics from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. Participation in Mass through an online live stream is still encouraged.
The Sunday Eucharist is at the very centre, the “heartbeat”, of the Catholic Christian; it is, after all, what receiving the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion are all about. Every aspect of our Catholic life, everything else we do, is rooted in our celebration of the Sunday Mass and without it our Christian lives are incomplete. It is important that our actions match our inner thoughts, so, candidates looking to receive these two Sacraments who also intend to not enter a church again for some time afterwards should question whether or not this is the appropriate time in their lives to receive these Sacraments.
At St. Alphonsus Liguori in Peterborough, your family are invited and welcome to join any our Sunday Masses designed to fit any busy schedule:
Saturday, 5:00pm; Sunday, 9:00am; Sunday, 10:45 am; Sunday, 12:30, and Sunday, 5:30pm.
May God bless you as you continue on your journey of faith. Of course, if our parish can be of any assistance or answer any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. The entire parish community shares your excitement as you prepare for these beautiful Sacraments!