Primarily a home preparation program using Silver Burdett Ginn’s Golden Books, families join in larger group activities over the course of the 5-month preparation period. Both the Rite of Enrollment and the sacrament occur on Sunday at the 10am Mass. Additionally, participants share a Seder meal, learn experientially and reflect on the significance of the Eucharist at a retreat and rehearsal. To learn more, contact Susan Rutkowski.
The time is quickly approaching for us to begin formal preparations of your child(ren) for the Sacrament of Holy Communion and continuing their process of initiation into the Catholic Church. To register your child, please fill out the registration form included in our updated Family Brochure. You will receive a letter in December confirming your participation in the class with information on the First Communion program.
The first step in the process is The Rite of Enrollment, which happens at our 10 am mass in February. This is the rite in which the children are called up one by one to receive their golden books and a blessing for their four-month journey in preparing for the sacrament. After that liturgy, parents and children meet to discuss and divide up responsibilities for the 4 month-long process. The last hour will be spent with the adults to talk about the theology of First Eucharist and the children meeting separately to enjoy a child-friendly discussion on theology in addition to arts and crafts.
Each year, two parents co-coordinate the First Communion process. In past years, one person has taken on most of the logistics and coordination and some years two or three people have acted as co-coordinators. It is especially helpful if coordinators have been through the program before with an older sibling. Parents take responsibility for leading one of the areas of activities such as the making of the special altar cloth or writing the prayers of the faithful.
For those of you who are new to the process, you will learn about our exciting program in which you, as parent, play a particularly important role. It is primarily a home-based program for which you will receive materials to assist you and be able to preview samples of the Golden Book which your child(ren) will receive at the Rite of Enrollment. The gatherings offer opportunities for you and your child to join the other young people preparing for the sacrament and their families, to reflect upon what the Eucharist means for us as a community and to prepare for the Liturgical Celebration in May.
For those of you who have been through the preparation process previously with other family members, we hope to tap your wisdom to help make this a vital preparation program for everyone. Most particularly, revive your memories of significant elements from your past engagement with the process to share so that we might incorporate meaningful aspects in the years ahead.
The Eucharist is a particularly significant aspect of our life as a faith community. The First Communion Program offers us all an opportunity to reflect upon why we gather on Sunday. I look forward to sharing this time with you and your families. Please call (617-948-2426) if there is any way I can be of further assistance or email me at Susan@paulistcenter.org.
Pastoral Minister, Family Religious Education and Social Justice