First Reconciliation/Eucharist

These are the safety precautions in place for our celebration of First Eucharist this Fall.

Social Distancing
Current Diocesan regulations indicate that churches may seat a maximum of 33% of their typical occupancy in order to ensure adequate social distancing. St. Paul is currently set for a maximum of 58 households of four or fewer. Each household (of ≤ 4) will be seated in a green outlined "box".This arrangement keeps the church occupancy below 33% of our typical maximum and ensures social distancing between households.
  • Families will be limited to bringing only the student receiving the sacrament and two parents. In order to ensure safety, we cannot make exceptions to this rule for siblings, grandparents, etc. Please note, all celebrations will be live streamed on our parish website so that extended families may view.
  • Seating will be assigned ahead of time.
  • There will be no procession at the beginning or end of sacramental celebrations; families will arrive together and be immediately seated. Please plan to remain in your "box" (to the best of your ability) for the duration of your time inside the church.
  • Due to Diocesan guidelines, families may not take group pictures in church or on campus. Limited pictures from your seat will be permitted.

Face Coverings
In order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and in keeping with state and Diocesan regulations, face coverings (i.e., masks) must be worn for the duration of time on campus. Face coverings must cover both the nose and the mouth.
  • Masks must be work for the entirety of Mass with the exception of personal reception of the Eucharist
  • Clergy and ministers may have masks removed while on the altar (apart from the congregation), but will wear them during the of the distribution of Communion.
  • Those without face coverings will not be permitted to enter the church
  • If coverings are being worn improperly (e.g., not fully covering both nose and mouth) you will be reminded of proper use

The Office of Religious Education has determined that we will begin our year remotely. This decision will also apply to sacramental formation. The best guidance available to us from the Diocesan and Civil authorities, suggests that this is the best course of action at this time.

During our Summer Academy program in July we provided support to parents as they reviewed lessons with their children utilizing online resources such as videos, digital text, and family lesson plans. Families were also accompanied by a volunteer that I call a catechetical concierge. As parents discussed lessons with their children these volunteers assigned activities, reviewed assessments, and even offered video calls for the parents and children to connect.

Whether you are registered for Family Home Study, Sunday PREP, or Tuesday PREP you will be provided with these materials to begin the year. If circumstances change and we are able to offer in-person classes later this year, families enrolled in the Sunday or Tuesday sessions will be given the option to return or to remain remote. All those that wish to remain remote for the entire year are encouraged to register for Family Home Study.

Our Pastoral Team has been able to reschedule the sacramental celebrations that needed to be postponed in the spring due to COVID-19. All of our sacramental celebrations are being carefully planned to be in full compliance with both Diocesan and state regulations in order to ensure the health and safety of our students and families. We appreciate your patience as we worked diligently to come up with our parish's plan and are grateful we can continue to count on your support as we approach these monumental days in our students' lives.

For more information about the current regulations in place for the celebration of the Mass and Sacraments, please visit our parish website (or watch our video) and/or the Diocesan website. If these regulations change before our celebrations of these Sacraments occur, we will adapt our celebrations as necessary in order to remain in full compliance.

First Eucharist Celebrations

First Holy Communion celebrations are scheduled for 9:30 AM and 11:30 AM on Saturday mornings in September and October. Please see below for the schedule of dates. If you have a question about the date/time you are assigned or need to make a change, please contact the Office of Religious Education.

All precautions that are taken for Sunday Mass will be in place at our First Eucharist celebrations.

Sept 12 @ 9:30am: St. Paul School Students

Sept 19 @ 9:30am Hispanic PREP Students

Oct 3 @ 9:30am Home Study & Catch-Up

Oct 3 @ 11:30am Sunday PREP & Stuart Country Day School Students

Oct 10 @ 9:30am Tuesday PREP & Princeton Academy Students

Oct 10 @ 11:30am by request and only as needed

Schools of the Diocese of Trenton will be closed through May 8, 2020. Therefore, the celebration of First Eucharist will need to be postponed until it has been determined to be safe to gather once again.

Parish staff will continue to meet remotely, and monitor the situation. Please know that whatever option we pursue, steps will be made to assure that this is a special experience for the children.

We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.

The St. Paul Parish Office of Religious Education is concerned with the current public health issues that affect all of us. As a result, we have decided to modify the current classroom-based Parish Religious Education Program to a home study model in the coming weeks.

We will suspend Sunday PREP beginning March 15, and Tuesday PREP beginning March 17, and we hope to resume Sunday PREP April 19 and Tuesday PREP April 21 after careful re-evaluation of health and safety conditions at that time. In this model, our children will miss three sessions of classroom instruction that will be replaced with home-based lessons.

Please follow the following instructions carefully:

  1. Make sure you have your child's religious education workbook. (John McGuire will be available in the school cafeteria during the scheduled PREP sessions Sunday, March 15, and Tuesday, March 17 if you need to pick-up forgotten materials.)
  2. The curriculum is available below please follow the lessons your child will be missing at home (excluding the family life lesson for this week).
  3. Please have your child complete any chapter, session, or unit reviews in their workbooks. Catechists will be asked to review these lessons our first week back.
  4. Please watch your email for videos and resources aimed to help make your experience more complete.

Religious Education staff is available to help and support you during these weeks. If you have any questions, contact John McGuire at (609)524-0509 or or Maureen Sano at (609)524-0510 or We will be continuing office hours Monday-Friday 9:30 AM- 4:30 PM until further notice.

Sacramental Preparation for First Eucharist

Currently, we are planning to proceed with rehearsals and celebrations of First Eucharist as scheduled. However, the First Eucharist Retreat scheduled for Saturday, March 21 is canceled. Banner kits and children's packets will be available for review at home.

Materials will be available for pick-up on Sunday, March 15: 8:40- 9:45 AM and Tuesday, March 17: 4:30-5:45 PM in Saint Paul School Cafeteria. If you are unable to pick up these materials at that time, you can contact us to schedule a time for pick-up during office hours.

Confirmation Formation

The Confirmation Formation Program will also be affected by these closures. Please keep watch for an update from our Confirmation Coordinator, Kait Mayer.

Saturday 10/12/2019 from 9:30 am– 11:30 am. Parents and children will pray together in Church. Children will be brought to their assigned classroom, and parents will begin their session in the St. Paul School Cafeteria. Topics will include the examination of conscience, instruction for going to confession, the act of contrition, the meaning of absolution, and the Confessionals will be open for inspection.

Parents with children preparing for the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist are expected to attend a meeting discussing these sacraments and this year of preparation on Tuesday, September 24th at 6:30 PM in the Saint Paul School Gym. Please contact the Religious Education Office for more information. We look forward to meeting with you as we begin the journey with you towards your child's celebration of these sacraments.

Do you have a child entering into First Grade? It's time to begin preparing for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist! You have a few options to get started. Children can attend Summer Academy (July 22nd-August 2nd Monday-Friday 9:00 am- 12:00 pm) Sunday Parish Religious Education Program (beginning September 15th 8:40- 9:45 am), Tuesday PREP (4:30- 5:45 pm) or Family Home Study. To find out more about registering click here:

Did your rising second grader miss first grade Religious Education? Sign up for Summer Academy to catch up, and they will still be able to begin second grade preparation in the fall.

The parish also offers an optional kindergarten program! This program is offered on Sunday Mornings from 8:40- 9:45 am. This is a fun opportunity to become involved with Religious Education! Children will do crafts, say their prayers, and participate in fun lessons!

Church and Spiritual Center

Students registered for Sunday PREP and Stuart Country Day School, as well as some Family Home Study Families will celebrate First Eucharist at 9:30 am. Children in Hispanic PREP will celebrate at 11:30 am. You should arrive in the Spiritual Center no later than 15 minutes early to line up for your celebration!

Where: Spiritual Center and Church

Children preparing for the sacrament at St. Paul School will celebrate at 9:30 am. Children preparing in Sunday PREP, Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart, and some Family Home Study students will celebrate at 11:30 am. Please arrive at the Spiritual Center at least 15 minutes early to line up.

The First Reconciliation Retreat is this Saturday, October 13 from 9:30 am until 11:30 am. Children preparing for Reconciliation are expected to attend with one parent/guardian. We will begin the day in prayer as we gather in the Church, and then children and parents will break into their own sessions. The purpose of the day is to provide children an opportunity to become more comfortable with the sacrament of reconciliation. Parents will have their own opportunity for reflection and conversation on preparing their children for this sacrament.

There will be a meeting for parents of all children preparing to celebrate the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist at St. Paul Parish during the 2018-2019 school year on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 7:30 pm in the school gym. It is important that one parent from each family attend this meeting as we prepare for this exciting time in the life of your child and family. For more information, please contact the Religious Education Office.