Our parishes offer our families sacramental preparation that prepares them for First Holy Communion. The preparation process takes place usually around seven years of age or otherwise as determined by the pastor. Whether or not their children attend a Catholic school, the parents are to register their family for the preparation at their parish.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. My child attends a Catholic school. My family goes to Mass at our local parish. Who is responsible for preparing my child for First Communion, the school or the parish?
The parents and the parish are responsible for your child’s preparation for the First Holy Communion, with help from our Catholic schools. To prepare for First Holy Communion you are to register your family in your local parish.
If you are not attending a parish currently, we warmly invite you to participate in the Mass on Sundays with one of our many parish families.
2. Why is this preparation held in the parish and not the school?
The immediate preparation for the celebration of the sacraments is the responsibility of the parents and the parish.
3. Why are parents involved in the process?
Children to the faith of the parents are like sponges to water. At baptism the point about the parents’ and godparents’ responsibility to pass on the faith of the Church is clear as day in the symbol of the lighting of the candle from the paschal candle at Baptism. The Church involves parents in the faith of their family from the start, because parents are called to be “the first preachers of the faith” to their children.
The parents “are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their off-spring”, as St. Augustine once said that parents are called “not only to bring children into the world but also to bring them to God”. For this reason the Church calls the Christian family “the domestic church” (CCC: 1655-1658; Compendium: 350), as Pope John Paul II reminds us in the words of Pope Paul VI:
“The family, like the Church, ought to be a place where the Gospel is transmitted and from which the Gospel radiates. In a family which is conscious of this mission, all the members evangelize and are evangelized. The parents not only communicate the Gospel to their children, but from their children they can themselves receive the same Gospel as deeply lived by them. And such a family becomes the evangelizer of many other families, and of the neighbourhood of which it forms a part.”
4. Why is there a cost associated with this preparation?
While there is absolutely no fee associated with the Sacrament of Eucharist, our parish families help cover such expenses as program materials, refreshments, and so on, through voluntary donations.
5. What if my child is not ready to celebrate the sacrament?
Please speak to the pastor or coordinator.
6. If my child did not receive First Communion in Grade Two, can they receive it when they are older?
Yes, but please speak to your parish pastor for their preparation for First Communion.
7. How may validly baptized non-Catholic children receive First Communion?
The pastor will be able to speak to your particular situation.  Validly baptized non-Catholic children between seven and fourteen years should be enrolled in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Children of Catechetical Age.
8. Can a non-baptized or non-Catholic child receive First Communion if they are enrolled in a Catholic school?
No. Eucharistic communion is reserved to those who are in the fullness of ecclesial communion with the Catholic Church.
9. Can an Eastern Catholic or an Orthodox child receive First Holy Communion?
First Holy Communion is usually the first celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Because baptized children from these ecclesial communities normally received First Communion along with Baptism and Confirmation, these children do not usually celebrate First Holy Communion again. Orthodox children are usually not presented for First Communion even if they are enrolled in Catholic schools.
Speak to your pastor about your particular situation, especially if the child has a Roman Catholic parent or if the parents would like to be received into the Catholic Church.
1st Communion Registration closes at the end of November.