Sacrament of Eucharist


First Reconciliation and First Eucharist Preparation

There is a special preparation program for children in the 2nd grade and above, to prepare them for the reception of both the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist.  For more information, contact Laura Stapleton.

Sacrament Preparation for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion

Preparation for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion is open to all St. Mary's Parish children who are in the 2nd grade or above.  As primary witnesses of the faith to their children, parents participate actively in the preparation of their children for the sacraments.  Our preparation program incorporates "at-church" retreats for parents and children as well as "at-home" learning for parents and children to do together.

The preparation process at St. Mary’s will guide parents in helping their child(ren) understand both what we believe as Catholics and how to live out those beliefs.  The focus of the preparation is not only for the child’s first celebration of these Sacraments but, more importantly, for a lifetime of regular participation in the Sacrament of God’s love and mercy and a lifetime of being nourished at the Table of the Lord.  Sacrament preparation is not only about cognitive learning; it is also a period of spiritual preparation.  All members of the family are privileged to journey with these children as they prepare to celebrate these Sacraments.

2023-2024 Sacrament preparation includes the following:

  • A Parent/Child orientation session (Sunday Oct. 15 OR 29)
    • about one hour
    • child should attend with a parent 
  • A Parent/Child retreat focused on preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation (about 1.5 hours) (Sunday Jan. 14 OR Jan. 21)
  • At-Home Reconciliation textbook to be completed. (6 lessons)
  • Celebration of First Reconciliation - February 9, 2024. There will be a sign-up. 
  • Two Parent/Child retreats focused on preparation for the Sacrament of Holy Communion (about 1.5 hours)
    • (Sundays Feb. 25 OR Mar. 3)
    • (Sundays Apr. 14 OR Apr. 21)
  • At-Home Eucharist textbook to be completed. (6 lessons)
  • A first communion mass rehearsal (tbd between April 22-May 3)
  • Celebration of First Holy Communion - (May 4-5) There will be a sign-up.

2023-2024 PREPARATION CALENDAR (beginning 1:30p Sunday afternoons) 

Orientation (10/15 or 10/29)

First Reconciliation retreat (1/14 or 1/21)

Sacrament celebration (2/9)

First Holy Communion retreats (2/25 or 3/3) and (4/14 or 4/21)

Sacrament celebration (5/4-5/5)


The Diocese of Richmond has set the following requirements:

  • All baptized children must prepare for First Reconciliation before preparation for First Holy Communion.
  • All children in the Sacrament Preparation program must also be enrolled in and attending Faith Formation classes/homestudy or attending a Catholic School
  • The sacrament preparation program is separate and distinct from Faith Formation classes and Catholic Schools.  Although children learn about the sacraments during the course of their education in these places, the immediate preparation takes place within the parish community where the family attends Mass.
  • In addition, families should be registered members of St. Mary's Parish.  (Contact Laura Stapleton to help faciliate this procress.)

Sacrament Preparation Materials Fee: $50 

  • This fee covers the cost of the books and resources used throughout the year. 
  • Payment can be made by credit card at the time of registration or by cash or check on the first day of classes.
  • Please note that these fees can be waived if needed - contact the Coordinator of Christian Formation  No child will be denied participation due to financial concerns.

For questions, please contact Laura Stapleton.