miniheader catholic

whitespace

Home | Catholic Life and Religious Education | Sacramental Programs

Sacramental Programs

square massSaint Thomas Aquinas School is part of the Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish, Bowral. Our Parish Priest is Father Sean Cullen.

Sacraments are sacred events, in which we enter more fully into the mysteries of our Catholic faith.  They are community events, which remind us of the role of the community in our faith life. 

The parish-based sacramental program workshops are usually held within the school’s facilities. It is supported by the school through the implementation of units of work from the Religious Education Curriculum.

THE ROLE OF FAMILIES

Parents are the first faith educators of their children and most particularly model this through the witness of their lives. Parent involvement in sacramental preparation is crucial in shaping the values and attitudes of each child. Knowledge is not the key factor for parents but faith and a willingness to spend time sharing with their child is an important element.

SACRAMENTAL REGISTRATION

Parents need to attend Parish Mass to register their children for any of the sacraments in 2013.
Parents of children in Year 3 and Year 6 who will be receiving the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist or Confirmation this year are asked to REGISTER their child for the reception of the Sacrament.

Penance

The Rite of Reconciliation is a two-stage process. Reconciliation is vital in all our lives and focuses on how we restore peace when we make mistakes or do wrong and how God’s desire to forgive and heal is offered to us through reconciliation. 

Children who have been baptised and are at least in Year 3 at school can be enrolled by their parents into the Sacrament of Penance programme.  The programme is also referred to as the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

A four-week parish-based and school-assisted programme is administered every year during the Season of Lent. Because of school holidays, the enrolment process actually takes place the previous year in Advent (in the weeks of December) when the children are in Year 2.

First Holy Communion

Eucharist is a Greek word meaning “thanksgiving.” The Eucharist is a celebration of the Christian community in which all are included.

The celebration is there to nourish and nurture us, so that strengthened by God’s word, we are enabled to act and live with courage and commitment as disciples of Jesus in our world.
After having celebrated the Sacrament of Penance, children can be enrolled by their parents in the First Holy Communion programme. The First Holy Communion programme is celebrated in our parish on the Feast of Christ the King towards the end of November every year. The enrolment process begins at Sunday Mass in early September.

Confirmation

The Sacrament of Confirmation is the third Sacrament of Initiation and is offered to children who are in Grade 6 and have been baptised. Confirmation is intimately linked to Baptism. In Confirmation, your child is now confirming their Christian faith as their own, and in doing so are sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, anointed with the oil of chrism and sent as witnesses of God in the world.

In the Diocese of Wollongong, like the neighbouring Archdiocese of Sydney, the Sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated for pastoral reasons at a later age than First Holy Communion. The Sacrament of Confirmation is conferred at a time when children have substantially more intellectual development, enabling them to better understand the great value of the sacrament.

PARENTAL COMMITMENT

The family is the place where a child’s real education in faith occurs. What happens within the family shapes the child’s appreciation of God, the Church and the child’s encounter with God through the Sacraments. We ask then that parents also make a commitment to this Sacramental Program by attending all sessions with their child and by following up these sessions at home with discussions with their child. This encouragement and support will enable your child to benefit from the best preparation possible.