Sacramental Preparation for Children
The sacramental preparation program at Mount Saint Peter Parish is designed to assist parents in the preparation of their children for the celebration of the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion.
Parents are the primary educators of their children in the faith. To support them, the parish sacramental preparation process is situated within the family context. Sacramental preparation includes Individual Family Meetings with a member of the Parish Staff, Parent Formation Sessions, and Retreats for Children and Parents.
Our Catholic School and parish religious education programs support parents in helping to prepare children for the sacraments through on-going education and spiritual formation.
Parents prepare their children to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation through study and a retreat day based on the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Children and their parents are invited to come to know Jesus as the Good Shepherd, who calls them by name, cares for their needs, and searches for them when they are lost. The Good Shepherd also lays down his life for his sheep, so much does he love them. In gratitude for this gift of overwhelming love, children and parents prepare to celebrate this sacrament with an awareness of God’s great love, reflected in the gift of forgiveness, even when we sin. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is usually celebrated first in the Season of Advent, a time when we prepare our hearts for the Lord’s coming.
Since the Church teaches that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith, children and parents learn about how this Sacrament of Unity strengthens us to live as members of the Body of Christ. The Good Shepherd is the model again of God’s desire to feed the flock. As he gathered the apostles at the Last Supper, Jesus invites us to follow him to the table of the Eucharist, where we are united over time and space with all other believers. The celebration of First Communion takes place throughout the Easter Season at the regularly scheduled parish Masses.
Preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation occurs gradually over the years following the celebration of First Holy Communion. Immediate preparation focuses on the image of the Vine and the Branches, where the desire to stay attached to Jesus and to bear fruit is strengthened by a deepening of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. Children and their parents are invited to claim anew these gifts of God’s love, first given in Baptism and confirmed again in the Sacrament of the Spirit. Families learn to recognize and use in their daily lives these gifts of wisdom, understanding and knowledge, courage and right judgment, reverence and wonder and awe. The Sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated according to the Bishop’s schedule.