A child normally receives the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist (First Holy Communion) during Grade 2 (age 7). It is a 2 year program that begins in Grade 1. This first catechetical year provides for a child to receive adequate knowledge of the Catholic faith in order understand the sacraments they will be celebrating the following year.
In accordance with the policies of the Diocese of Trenton, child must celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation prior to the celebration of First Holy Communion. St. Paul Parish generally celebrates communal First Reconciliation services in the Fall of grade 2. First Holy Communion is celebrated during the Easter Season at special liturgies at the end of April or the beginning of May. Parents may also choose to celebrate their child's First Holy Communion at a regularly scheduled Sunday mass during Easter.
In addition to their learning in a catechetical setting (i.e., religious education program, catholic school, home schooling), a child preparing for these sacraments is expected to participate in proximate preparation activities. This includes two Saturday retreats, one for each sacrament.
Catholic School Families
Does your child attends a Catholic School and is your family registered at St. Paul Parish? Do you wish for them to celebrate First Reconciliation/First Eucharist or Confirmation at their home parish? Please complete this form https://forms.parishgiving.org/form-4785078/ to be sure they are enrolled in any upcoming proximate sacramental preparation!
Ideally, students who will celebrate First Reconciliation/First Eucharist in grade two should participate in 2 sacramental preparation retreats as well as their parents participating in a parent meeting. Young people preparing for Confirmation should be enrolled in PURPOSE, our confirmation sacramental preparation program.
We recognize that families face different challenges, if you need to discuss options for catch-up for an older child, or one that hasn't been enrolled for the appropriate formation, please contact the Office of Religious Education: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org