The First Holy Communion Programme will continue to be driven by the parish with the support of the school. Parents are the first educators and they are central to the success of the programme.
Father Michael, with our support, wants to strengthen the links the children have with church. The bishop is extremely supportive of this and wants the parishes of Christ the King and St Patrick’s to work in the same way in how they prepare the children for this special sacrament.
The parish would like to support parents in their roles so their children are able to receive First Holy Communion with some meaning. For children to be able to receive First Holy Communion they need to attend the preparation classes held after church. This will mean that the children are asked to attend mass and to sit during mass in church with their parents.
In Holy Communion, the children receive the True Body of Christ. So that the children can receive this with some level of understanding it is important that they are prepared and supported so that the day is special for them and has meaning for the child and their families. For children who are not Catholic, we support the children in a similar way so that they prepare with their friends and they, and their families, receive a Special Blessing from Father Michael. All are included and invited.
Children do not have to make their First Holy Communion. Parents may decide that they would wish to wait until their child is older and they can receive this sacrament then. We usually offer our First Holy Communion Programme to children when they are in Year 3 so they have some understanding of the Sacrament they are receiving.
Only children who attend the preparation classes and the welcome masses will be invited to receive the Sacrament of First Holy Communion. You may not of course be able to attend mass every week, but it is expected that there is a serious commitment. Children and families who have not attended the meetings are welcome to complete the programme when it runs again next year.
The school will place no pressure on parents or families to attend these meetings/masses as it has to be the parents’ wish for their child to take an active part in this preparation. Obviously, as you have chosen a Catholic school for your child, we would hope that you see this as a very important stage in their journey and would want to support you in any way we can.
All information will be given to parents during the course of the year and obviously the best way to find out is to attend mass with your child. School plays an important part in supporting with the programme, but the key to its success lies in the relationship with the parent, child and parish.
Various weekends in April – families will be informed as to their appropriate date
First Holy Communion – 13th May
St. Patrick’s RC Primary School