First Reconciliation and First Communion
Registration for 23/2024 is now open
At St. Alphonsus Liguori, Catholics in grade 2-4 are invited to begin the preparation process for their First Holy Communion, to be united with Our Lord Jesus in His Body and Blood. Along the way of this process they also receive their First Reconciliation, cleansing their souls of all sin so that the King of Kings may enter there unhindered. The sacrament process is an excellent time for a young Catholic and their family to grow in faith and renew their Catholic commitment.
- Register through the link below.
- Submit the child’s baptism certificate, birth certificate, and fee to the church.
- Pick up their workbook from the church.
- Participate in five in-person sessions and two online sessions before receiving their First Reconciliation on Saturday December 9th, 2023.
- Participate in an additional five in-person sessions, three online sessions, and a rehearsal before receiving their First Holy Communion on Saturday June 1st, 2024.
If they were baptized at our church, we can look up their sacrament record here. If they were baptized at a different church but can’t find their certificate(s), we recommend calling their church of baptism as soon as possible and asking for an updated sacrament record (it can be helpful to the process if you’re able to give their full name, date of birth, and even their baptism date to the church when you request the record). This record can be sent directly to our church, or you can send us a copy when you receive it.
This program is meant for children who have been baptized Catholic and are in grades 2-4. For a child in grades 5-8 seeking to receive their sacraments or to be baptized, we have a separate program that is more appropriate for that age range. Please contact Samantha (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information if your child falls in that older age range or has not yet been baptized.
A few years ago, the diocese determined through prayer and discussion with the school board that a parish-based sacrament prep program was the way to go. This is primarily because the sacraments stem from the faith relationship found within the community of the Church, not membership in a school. Eventually, students graduate from school; but a parish is a family of faith that someone never graduates from. 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 and encouragement when they are called to grow and mature in life. Through the Sacraments one declares, “I want to be a member of this community of faith for life”. Through our community, the faithful, including our children, grow and become who God wants them to be!
Normally, sacraments should be received in one’s home parish, usually the closest parish to where you live or the parish where you regularly worship. For a serious reason, however, an exception may be made for a child to receive their first sacraments in a different parish. If you’re from a parish other than ours, we ask you to obtain a letter of permission from your own parish pastor and provide it to us before beginning our preparation program.
Children will be partaking in sessions directly following the 11am Sunday Mass, and are strongly encouraged to participate in Mass regularly – every weekend. (Our Mass schedule is Saturday at 4pm and Sunday at 9am or 11am.) At baptism, parents promise to raise their children in the practice of the faith. Through Reconciliation and Holy Communion, Catholics are strengthened to take personal responsibility for building good faith habits. 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 this is the appropriate time in their lives to receive these Sacraments. The most significant way parents can help their children prepare for any sacrament is to participate regularly with them at Mass, to model their own regular participation with the sacraments – and it’s never too late to start!
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!