Sacramental Programmes for Children

The Background

Receiving the sacraments is a special time in our journey of faith, and it is the means by which baptised children can complete their journey into full membership of the Catholic Church. They are community events, which remind us of the role of the community in our faith life. 

Baptism is the first of three Sacraments of Initiation and one you have chosen for your child. Our sacramental programme offers parents a convenient process to enable the reception of further sacraments for their child.

The gift of God's Holy Spirit which the children received in Baptism is strengthened in the Sacrament of Confirmation, and the children complete their initiation with the reception of first Holy Communion - a public declaration that they are now fully a part of this community, this "Communion" of God's family. The programme itself strives to help them grow into a church community, and feel a real sense of belonging to the wider Family of God.

Just as, ideally, baptism takes place when your child is a baby, there is an appropriate age for the reception of each of the sacraments. In the Diocese of Broken Bay, and many other dioceses, the following are the recommended ages of the children:

  • Confirmation: When your child has reached 7 years of age, and is in Year 2.

  • Reconciliation & Penance: When your child is 8 years of age, and is in Year 3, and has received the sacrament of Confirmation. 

  • First Eucharist: When your child is 8 years of age, and is in Year 3, and has received the sacraments of Confirmation and Reconciliation & Penance.

An Explanation of the Programme at St Patrick's

St Patrick’s conducts a parish-based sacramental programme, outside of school hours and in the school environs which, after enrolment, commences with an education evening for the parents. Each week for the four weeks thereafter, the children accompanied by their parent/s, attend a class which would take less than one hour each.

Enrolment

Using the Sacramental Programme as your guide, enrolment and information papers are released via this website, to St Patrick’s Primary School, to our Catechists for distribution to the children in the local State schools, and in the receptacles at the foyer of our church, according to the date nominated and relevant to the particular sacrament information you seek, and at least six weeks prior to the enrolment cut-off date. 

Parental Commitment

The family is the place where a child’s real education in faith occurs. What happens within the family shapes the child’s appreciation of God, the Church and the child’s encounter with God through the Sacraments. We ask then that parents also make a commitment to this Sacramental Programme by attending all sessions with their child, and by following up these sessions at home with discussions with their child. This encouragement and support will enable your child to benefit from the best preparation possible.

Parents are also asked to ensure that they bring their child to Mass each Sunday of the programme and indeed, to complete the enrolment process, the children are presented at the Mass they are attending on the first Sunday after the education evening, and will proffer to the priest a slip indicating their presence. 

A Brief Explanation of each of the Sacraments

Confirmation

In our Diocese, the Sacrament of Confirmation is the second Sacrament of Initiation after Baptism, to which it is intimately linked. In Confirmation, your child is now confirming their Christian faith as their own, and in doing so is sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, anointed with the oil of chrism and sent as a witness of God in the world.

Reconciliation & Penance

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the most unique and beautiful aspects of Catholicism. Jesus Christ, in his abundant love and mercy, established the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance, so that we can obtain forgiveness for our sins and reconcile with God and the Church. The sacrament “washes us clean,” and renews us in Christ, and places us in a state of grace to receive the Eucharist. 

First Eucharist

Eucharist is a Greek word meaning ‘Thanksgiving’, and of all sacraments, the Holy Eucharist, or Holy Communion, is the most central and important to Catholicism, and is the third sacrament of initiation for the children. When we receive Holy Communion, we’re intimately united with Jesus Christ - he literally becomes part of us. Also, by taking Holy Communion, we express our union with all Catholics who believe the same doctrines, obey the same laws, and follow the same leaders. 

 
 

Sacramental Programme Dates 2019: Download Here