Sept. 27, 2021
As the purpose of celebrating First Communion and Confirmation for school-age children is to allow them to participate more fully in the Sunday Eucharist, there is no urgency about having these celebrations while the children are unable to attend Mass during the Covid crisis. You may hear of some parishes doing so; you will find that, unlike us, these are dealing with very small groups of children.
While the ‘remote’ or school-based component of the preparation for these sacraments can continue as long as the elementary schools are operating, the ‘family and parish’ component depends upon the parents being able to bring the children to the church (or St. Joseph High School gym) regularly for Sunday Mass.
Therefore the Sacramental Preparation program will not begin until there are no restrictions on Mass attendance and St. Andrew Parish resumes Masses at St. Joseph High School. The process will begin with a parent meeting of one hour at St. Monica church hall, followed by registration and the distribution of materials. Since the meeting will not be optional, it will be repeated several times to better accommodate parent schedules.
The actual celebration of First Communion will take place over several Sundays, at different regular parish Masses, in small groups, and not by school. The candidates will be given a date for the celebration only after all requirements have been met. Whether this will be during the Easter season or the summer will depend on the timing of the end of the crisis.
The celebration of Confirmation has been held at the Cathedral on Sussex Drive on a weekday evening in the September following the school year of preparation. This has worked very well, and we hope to be able to do the same this time.
As always, if your circumstances make it too difficult to participate in the preparation this time, you are welcome to wait until next year. Grade Two is simply the minimum age for First Communion; the ‘typical’ age for Confirmation is set by the local Bishop and varies from age seven to fifteen. In Ottawa the typical age is eleven.
The dates of the parent meetings will be posted in our parish bulletin. If you wish to be sent a notice about the meeting, please reply to the Sacramental Coordinator, Milva Calla. She will send you information about registering as parishioners (if you have not done so already). When we have dates, she will invite you to attend the registration meeting. The registration must be in person, at the parent meeting.
May the Lord bless you and your family and keep you safe.