Our Faith Formation program is committed to providing high quality, family-centered sacramental preparation programs for children. Each child is unique and we are dedicated to helping parents fashion a vibrant spiritual life in their child especially through sacramental preparation programs.
It is highly recommended and desirable that children enrolling in our sacramental preparation program have had one year of an introductory (Level One) parish faith formation program. Children with no previous introductory faith formation program often experience confusion and demonstrate a difficulty in grasping the materials contained in the sacramental preparation programs. Parents are encouraged to defer immediate preparation for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist for their child and to enroll them in an introductory level class first.
There are special programs for older children who have not received First Reconciliation and First Eucharist. Similarly, our aith Formation Program provides a special process for older children who have not been baptized, called Rite of Christian Initiation of Children.
Our parish policy is that preparation for Sacraments occurs at the parish level. Religious home-schooling should be an exception and only for very serious medical reasons.
Children enrolled in St. Clement’s Regional Catholic School may prepare for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist at the school. However, the celebration of these sacraments occurs within the context of a parish celebration with other parish families candidates.
For our Sacramental Preparation Program for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist, we use CALL TO CELEBRATE (Reconciliation) and CALL TO CELEBRATE (Eucharist) also from Harcourt Religion Publishers.
Parent preparation sessions are woven into the process so that parents are empowered to fulfill the promise they made at the time of their child’s baptism: to be the primary teachers in the ways of faith and Christian living.
Social justice projects appropriate to children are integrated into the preparation process. In this way our children learn from the beginning that the Eucharist calls us to act with justice and care on behalf of the poor and needy of our world. In recent years our First Communicants have undertaken some wonderful social action projects including donating their First Communion clothing to children of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Calle Real, El Salvador; helping raise money to help mothers and children at St. Raphael’s Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq, as well as a program for children with special needs in Oaxaca, Mexico.