Children's Faith Formation and First Reconciliation and Holy Communion

Contact John Sweet - Director of Religious Education

Elementary Faith Formation – 2021-2022

(Elementary Faith Formation is for all children, grades Kindergarten through 5th Grade)

Our Elementary Faith Formation program will be back this year with some exciting changes.  Our Sunday program will be offered in the morning so attending Mass and Formation classes is more connected.   Our in-person class offerings for the 2021-2022 year are:

Session 1:  Sundays from 9:30 am - 10:45 am (for families attending the 11:00 am Mass)

Session 2:  Sundays from 10:15 am - 11:30 am (for families attending the 9:00 am Mass)

Session 3:  Wednesdays from 4:30 pm - 5:45 pm

In addition, there is a Home Study option available.  Texts and parent guides are provided and review sheets are turned into the office at the end of the year.

 

Elementary Faith Formation 2021-22 Calendar - a new calendar is being created. 
Note:  Change to the calendar.  There are no classes on October 3 or 6.  Instead, there is an orientation for parents
(October 3 at 10:15 am in the parish hall and October 6 at 4:30 in the Lower Commons.)

 

Our Faith Formation Fee is $30 per child.

  • This fee covers the cost of the textbooks 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 Director of Christian Formation  No child will be denied participation due to financial concerns.

CLICK HERE FOR OUR ONLINE REGISTRATION FORM

COVID MITIGATION UPDATE: All in-person classes will be following the guidance of the Diocesan Office of Catholic Schools.  At this time, all children and adults in the school building for Faith Formation classes, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear a face mask.  This includes parents who enter the building to drop off and/or pick up their children from the classes.


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" gatherings for parents and children as well as "at-home" work 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.

A typical year of sacrament preparation includes the following:

  • 2 Parent/Child workshops focused on preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation
  • At-Home Reconciliation textbook to be completed.
  • Celebration of First Reconciliation - late January/early February.
  • 3 Parent/Child workshops focused on preparation for the Sacrament of Holy Communion
  • At-Home Eucharist textbook to be completed.
  • Celebration of First Holy Communion - first weekend in May

2021-2022 PREPARATION CALENDAR* 

First Reconciliation Preparation Schedule: 

Workshop #1 - January 8, 2022 (10:00 am or 1:00 pm)
Workshop #2 - January 22, 2022 (10:00 am or 1:00 pm)
Celebration of First Reconciliation - February 4, 2022 (5:30 pm or 7:00 pm)

First Holy Communion Preparation Schedule

Workshop #1 - February 12, 2022 (10:00 am or 1:00 pm)
Workshop #2 - March 5, 2022 (10:00 am or 1:00 pm)
Workshop #3 - March 26, 2022 (10:00 am or 1:00 pm)
Celebration of First Holy Communion - April 30, 2022 (11:00 am and 5:30 pm), May 1, 2022 (9:00 am and 11:00 am)

All workshops are 2 hours.  You will be asked to sign up for the workshop your family wants to attend as we will be limiting the number of participants at each time.  These sign-ups will be available beginning in October.

*Dates are subject to change.

The Diocese of Richmond has set the following requirements:

  • All 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 either Faith Formation classes 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 must be registered members of St. Mary's Parish.  (If you are not yet registered, but will be in the near future, you may still register for the program).

Sacrament Preparation Materials Fee: $50 

  • This fee covers the cost of the textbooks 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 Director of Christian Formation  No child will be denied participation due to financial concerns.

CLICK HERE FOR OUR ONLINE REGISTRATION FORM

 


Other Children's Ministries:

Click on the program name to visit each page and learn more.

Elementary Faith Formation & First Reconciliation/Holy Communion

Adult Volunteer Opportunities (it takes many people to help run these programs)

Sunday Nursery (coming soon)

Children's Liturgy of the Word

Vacation Bible School