Fax Baptismal certificates to # 902-566-5949 Att: Karen * All children who were not baptized within the good Shepherd Pastoral Unit Family of Churches, are required to provide a baptismal certificate from the church where your child was baptized in order to celebrate the Sacrament of First Holy Communion.
First Reconciliation ( First Confession )
First Reconciliation with Father John
Note: the children will celebrate the Sacrament of First Reconciliation at 10:00 am on Sat, April 21, 2018 as part of the First Holy Communion Retreat
UNDERSTANDING RECONCILIATION - a Parents guide
Celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation with children not only teaches them to cherish and welcome God's mercy, it also helps them to develop a well-formed, healthy conscience.
Is Your Child Ready for the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
Readiness for the sacrament of reconciliation is not linked solely to age or catechetical level. The church understands that it is not until about the age of seven years that a child is likely to possess the moral reasoning ability to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation with adequate comprehension. However, each child matures differently and some need more time than others. You as a parent are the best person to judge your child's readiness.
It is not recommended or is it expected at this tender age, that the child know the ten commandments word perfect , but rather and understanding of the following list below, based on the Great Commandment which is easier for them to comprehend:
1.Does your child understand that there is a God who loves them unconditionally and wants to be in relationship with them?
2.Are they aware that they need to "work on" this relationship?
3.Do they believe that God's love for them will never cease, even if they fail to do loving things?
4.Do they understand the difference between a sin and a mistake (that sin involves knowing that an action is hurtful or wrong and choosing to do it anyway)?
5.Are they able to forgive others when they have been hurt?
6.Have they experienced love and forgiveness in the family?
7.Do they feel truly sorry when they know that they have hurt someone?
8.Do they apologize not because of looming punishment but because they feel sorrow for their actions?
9.Do they show positive signs of being an agent of reconciliation.... helping heal divisions at home, among friends, etc.?
10.Do they care about the feelings and needs of others?
11.Do they understand the difference between loving and unloving choices?
Suggestions for Preparing Your Child to Celebrate First Reconciliation
Your children receive adequate formation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation for their age during catechism sessions by their catechists.
Here are some additional things you can do at home to enrich the preparation process:
Read stories from the bible about forgiveness and reconciliation to your child. Bedtime is a good time to do this. You may want to purchase a children's bible (available in virtually any good bookstore) or read adaptations of bible stories (such as the Arch series) so that the language is more accessible for the children. The following are some particularly good stories/passages:
The Story of Zacchaeus:Luke 19:1-10
The Prodigal Son: Luke 15:11-32
The Lost Sheep:Luke 15:3-7 or
The Lost Coin: Luke 15:8-10
The Great Commandment:Mark 12:28-31
Develop strategies for "discipline" in your family that reflect an understanding that people grow through love and not punishment. Praise good behaviour more than you condemn bad behaviour. Challenge your children to be the best they can be. Give your children vision.
Explain the reason "why" something is wrong rather than simply telling children not to do it. Talk about the consequences of unloving acts.
Tell family stories of sinfulness, forgiveness and reconciliation. While difficult to admit to or to tell, it is these more than any others that can instruct us in all the realities of sin and forgiveness and its effects.
Say "sorry" to your children. The best (and probably most difficult) way to teach children about conversion and reconciliation is to model it in our own families.
Do a family examination of conscience together. Ask questions like: How does our family show love to one another? What does our family do to make a difference in the world? How do we give God an important place in our family life?
Do some community service together. Talk about how we are all responsible for the healing and reconciling work of building the Kingdom of God.
The most important thing you can do to help your child understand and appreciate his or her call to reconciliation is to deepen your own appreciation of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. If you have not been able to participate in this sacrament, or if you have not even been closely involved in the Christian community, for whatever reason, this is the perfect opportunity to re-establish your connection and to renew your own faith commitment. There is a communal celebration of Reconciliation twice a year (during Advent and Lent) and the priests are available every Saturday afternoon at 3:00 pm and by appointment.
Act of Contrition
Jesus, I have not been kind to others . . .
I am sorry.
Please forgive me.
Send me your Holy Spirit
so I can love more.
First Holy Communion
The Mandatory First Holy communion Retreat for parent(s) and child will be on April 21 st, 2018 at st. Francis of Assisi Parish and will run from 10:00 until 12:30pm Details of the retreat will be mailed to you in February.