“Faith is a personal act – the free response of the human person to the initiative of God who reveals himself. But faith is not an isolated act. No one can believe alone, just as no one can live alone. You have not given yourself faith as you have not given yourself life. The believer has received faith from others and should hand it on to others. Our love for Jesus and for our neighbor impels us to speak to others about our faith….”
Catechism of the Catholic Church 166
The Children’s Sacramental Preparation program strives to communicate the person and message of Jesus Christ in the context of the beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. In handing on the mysteries of faith it is fitting to recall that “the whole concern of doctrine and its teaching must be directed to the love that never ends. Whether something is proposed for belief, for hope or for action, the love of our Lord must always be made accessible….” (CCC 25)
Together with parents who are the first teachers of the faith, the program strives to educate and nourish the youth as they prepare to receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord in the Eucharist, to be healed and forgiven in the sacrament of Reconciliation, and to be strengthened in the Holy Spirit though Confirmation. Guided by the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Sacred Scripture and Tradition, approved Archdiocese materials, and other Catholic resources children of the parish begin to understand the four pillars Catholic teaching –the Creed, sacraments, faith, and prayer. As true children of God, they learn to pray, witness to their faith, practice love of neighbor, and grow in the life of the church.
In the Archdiocese of Washington, preparation for a sacrament is a two-year process. Children typically begin their preparation for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist in the first grade and receive these sacraments in the winter/spring of second grade. Preparation for Confirmation begins in seventh grade, and is administered in the spring of eighth grade.
At the start of each school year our parish hosts the initial information meetings for parents whose children will begin preparing for First Reconciliation/First Eucharist and Confirmation. Details about the program requirements and schedule are discussed at the initial meeting. Catechesis is primarily accomplished through the Sunday Faith Formation Program or the daily Religion class at St. Andrew Apostle School along with participation in retreats, special programs, and service projects.
For more information about Children’s Sacramental Preparation for First Reconciliation, First Eucharist, or Confirmation contact: Mrs. Julie Benjamin, Director of Religious Education, 301.649.3700 x209, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christian Initiation for Children or Teens
For children and teens who have not received the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, or Reconciliation at the usual age of reception, St. Andrew Apostle offers a specialized preparation program adapted from the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, or R.C.I.A. The process guides children or teens though an age appropriate understanding of our Catholic Faith nurturing the relationship with Jesus Christ whom God sent for the salvation of all.
The Rite of Christian Initiation for children or teens is geared for those between seven and eighteen years old who are:
For further information and enrollment contact the parish office at 301.649.3700.
“The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for.” (CCC, #27)
For information about RCIA, Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, click here
For Faith Formation on Sunday for grades K-8, click here
For Saint Andrew Apostle School, click here