We are making plans for the upcoming Parish Religious Education Program.
As you might have anticipated, this fall’s program will be affected by the continued restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic. These restrictions we are required to follow are related to the number of students that can be put in a classroom while keeping them 6 feet apart. Consequently, because of the large number of students in CCD, the program will not take place in the classrooms this year.
In some ways the challenges we are facing now, allow us to engage a reality that has sometimes been neglected in our presentation of Sacramental preparation at the parish level. Namely, the Catholic Church’s view that parents, are by their natural right and obligation, the first teachers of their children. This principle is reflected in the formal teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and in the Code of Canon Law, which guides the Church in its living out the life of the Gospel.
As such, we are developing a program for First Reconciliation (confession), Confirmation, and Holy Communion in which:
*The Priests and Catechists will instruct parents, and give them all the tools that they need to pass the faith to their children by preparing them for the Sacraments of initiation. As you will recall Bishop Wall began implementing throughout the diocese the restoration of the order of receiving the Sacraments last year.
*In effect this places the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation in its proper place prior to the reception of First Holy Communion. Ordinarily this will mean that children will receive Confirmation and First Holy Communion in the same ceremony.
*For the children who have already received Holy Communion but have not yet received Confirmation, this year will be the year that they will have the opportunity to receive the Sacrament. Consequently, our parish will have many students between fourth and eighth grade who will need to be prepared for Confirmation.
Tentatively our program will consist in:
*A public presentation, given in the Cathedral Church on Wednesday evenings.
*Parishioners who prefer to attend the class in person are welcome to do so.
*The class presentations will also be live streamed and archived, likely on YouTube; to be viewed or reviewed as necessary.
*The parents, guardians, or sponsors will be responsible to attend or listen to the presentations with or without their child, but to make sure that the lesson is taught to their child.
*Materials will be given to help convey the lesion and to review it with the student.
*It will be the parents and sponsors obligation to evaluate whether the student has learned the material and comprehend the teaching about the Sacrament.
*At the end of the program the candidates and their parents will be interviewed. If the parents are satisfied that their child has been properly prepared for the Sacrament they will request that their child receive the Sacraments.
*Registration will take place at the end of August, with classes scheduled to begin on Wednesday, September 16.
*Everyone who is a candidate to receive a Sacrament will need a recently updated copy of their baptismal certificate. -Fr. Keller