Sacramental Preparation

First Eucharist and First Reconciliation

How do I help prepare my child for First Eucharist and First Reconciliation?

First Eucharist is the first sacramental milestone your child will experience since baptism as she/he continues her/his journey with God and the Christian community.

In the Eucharist (communion), your child will finally be able to receive communion with you as you come up to the altar to receive the Bread of Life.

In Reconciliation (confession), your child will learn the importance of forgiving and being forgiven by God and others for what they have done wrong.

Most of us remember, at least vaguely, our First Reconciliation and Eucharist because these sacraments highlight the intimacy that God invites us to, and how that intimacy is experienced through the gathering of family, friends and fellow believers.

Our spiritual selves cry out to be nurtured in our everyday lives. For the young this is paramount. We hold them in prayer and ask our loving God to hold them close to Him.

Who will be preparing my child for these sacraments?

You the parent(s)/guardian(s) are the first to prepare your child for this holy experience. Your daily prayer life at home, and bringing your child(ren) to church on Sundays will be the most important example and support for your child on this sacred journey. Your concern for the poor, your example of forgiveness and reconciliation, your mutual respect will be the sacred ground in which the seeds of Baptism are planted and grow.

My child attends a Roman Catholic school . . .

If your child is now studying in a Roman Catholic school, they will be preparing for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist in the second grade.

My child attends a public school . . .

If your child is enrolled at a public school she/he must receive catechetical instruction and sacramental preparation for 2 years before the First Eucharist and Reconciliation. The programs listed below are offered through the diocese and parishes and taught by the parents to their child.  To register contact Christina Mines, Diocese of Hamilton Catechesis Office at 905-528-7988 ext. 2239 or visit the Hamilton Diocese Catechesis Office website  for more information, printable registration forms and to register online.

Program I “Coming to God”
Program II “Coming to Jesus” - First Eucharist

How would I register my child for these Sacraments?

A letter is sent out to the parents of children in the Catholic schools, including a registration form or a link to a registration form. Parents of children in Public school who are registered in catechetical correspondence courses with the Diocese of Hamilton are invited to contact the parish office to receive the link to the registration form. Each family must upload a PDF of a the child's Catholic Baptismal Certificate during the online registration. Registration for the 2024 First Communion Celebration is now closed, those seeking First Communion for their children who have not yet registered will be considered for inclusion in 2025 (registration in the fall of 2024).

Parent meetings for children receiving First Reconciliation and First Eucharist:

This is an opportunity for all parents/guardians to reflect on their own faith experiences, including the practice of faith at home and in church, and assist in imparting the Catholic faith to their children. It is also an opportunity for parents to ask the priest any questions they may have. Parents must attend this meeting. Date, time and place will be announced in the parish bulletin and letters sent out from the schools.

First Reconciliation:

Only parents/guardians come with the child to this celebration. If you wish to come with other brothers and sisters at another time, St. Raphael’s church offers the sacrament every Saturday afternoon between 4:15 and 4:45.

Enrollment Sunday - Call to Eucharist:

On Enrollment Sunday, during the Mass, the parents/guardians present their child to the priest and the assembly, formally asking to receive this sacrament. This may be at any of the weekend Masses. You will receive a copy of this presentation prior to the date.

Practice & Church Visit:

All First Communicants will have a reflection time in the church during a school day.

The children will practice in the church and school prior to their date.

First Eucharist, a Parish Event:

First Communion in St. Raphael’s Community is a parish event.

The St. Paul School First Communion Celebration will be on Sunday, April 7, 2024, at 1:00pm

The St. Raphael School First Communion Celebration will be on Sunday, April 14, 2024, at 1:00pm

Children in the Catechetical Correspondence Course can choose to participate in either of these two First Communion Celebrations.