CHILDREN & SACRAMENTAL PROGRAMS
The PARISH is responsible for establishing and running programs for sacramental preparation and for the celebration of the Sacraments.
The FAMILY is where the faith is learned and lived. Parents, the first educators of their children, share with them the Catholic faith and the experience of belonging to the Church. They are best placed to discern readiness for the Sacraments and make the formal request of the parish for their child’s admission to sacramental preparation.
The CATHOLIC SCHOOL provides both education about the Sacraments through the classroom teaching of religion and also the experience of the faith through its own religious life. These occur at each year level, before, during and after the periods of sacramental preparation.
Christian Initiation incorporates us into Christ and forms us into God’s people. In Baptism, God adopts us as children and makes us a new creation through water and the Holy Spirit. As we are signed with the gift of the Spirit in Confirmation, God brings us to the full stature of the Lord Jesus to continue his mission in the world. At the table of the Eucharist, we are fed on the Sacrament of Christ’s body and blood and with the whole Church, take part in the saving offering of Christ on the cross. In the Sunday Mass, those who have been initiated are continually formed by the word of God and affirmed in their belonging to the Church, the Body of Christ.
- Infants are baptised at the request of their parents, usually in the first year of life and in their home parish. At least one parent should be Catholic.
- In the year when the children turns eight (Year Three), they are sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation administered by the Bishop or his delegate.
- In the year when children turn nine (Year Four) they are welcomed to the Lord’s Table and receive Holy Communion for the first time. This is the climax of their Christian initiation.
CHRISTIAN INITIATION FOR OLDER CHILDREN
Once children have turned eight (Year Three), they are no longer a candidate for infant Baptism. If they have not been baptised, they are enrolled in a modified catechumenate leading to the celebration of Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion at Easter. However, because of the importance of the peer group in the catechumenate process for children, the celebration of their Christian Initiation may also be aligned with the parish celebration of Confirmation and First Holy Communion.