Preparation for the Reception of Sacraments
There is a two year preparation period for the reception of sacraments in the Diocese of Joliet as mandated by the Office of the Bishop. Generally children in the second grade are considered as having reached the age of reason, and thus ready to receive First Reconciliation and First Eucharist. In these younger grades, children receive two years of religious instruction with additional preparation for the sacraments in the second year (second grade). If a child arrives in the second grade, this will be their first year of instruction and sacramental preparation will begin in the third grade. If a child arrives after this time, a similar process will be followed. Preparation for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist in our parish takes the form of family instruction. This is a faith journey for all of us as we renew our understanding of and commitment to the gift of grace we receive in the sacraments. These family preparation sessions count toward the family “Explore Four” requirement. There will be one preparation session for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Children will then have the opportunity to receive the sacrament in the weeks that follow this session. There will be three preparation sessions for First Eucharist. The dates for the reception of the Sacrament of First Eucharist will be assigned by class. Families may also choose to have their children receive First Eucharist at a Sunday celebration of the Liturgy.
During preparation for Confirmation in the junior high years, BOTH 7th and 8th grade youth receive two years of religious instruction AND additional sacramental preparation. This sacramental preparation takes the form of retreats, special assignments and content specific workshops. The content specific workshops are intended for youth and their parents and also count toward the “Explore Four” requirement.
Students often show up in our program in the older grades in need of First Reconciliation/First Eucharist. Each of these situations will be handled in a pastoral manner; often these students and parents will meet with a faith formation team leader over the period of two years outside of the regular instruction sessions. Sometimes this preparation can take more than the minimum two years requirement. Each case will be considered on an individual basis, but two years of formal instruction and preparation is the minimum. Students who have missed years of faith formation may be required to make up that formation.
If a child comes from another program or another school, they still will be expected to go through our preparation sessions, unless the director/principal of their former program provides us with written testimony to the fact that the youth has received preparation under their direction, and in accordance with the Diocese of Joliet, or their home diocese.
If a child has not yet been baptized after he/she reaches the age of reason (approximately 7 years of age), please contact the Director of Faith Formation regarding special preparation for your child.
If an adult desires to receive the Sacraments they may have missed in their youth, or an adult wishes to become Catholic, please call the Director of Faith Formation for specific instructions on who they should contact and how they too can prepare for the Sacraments as adults.
We look forward to this special preparation with you and your family.