At what age does Sacrament Preparation begin?
The parish has programs for First Reconciliation, First Eucharist, Confirmation, and Baptism for children over the age of seven. Please see the individual Sacramental pages for program specific information. Parents need to attend one of the Orientation meetings, during which details for the upcoming year of preparation and celebration will be discussed.
My child is already enrolled in the Family Faith Formation process. Do they have to participate in the Sacramental Preparation process in order to receive one of the sacraments this year?
Yes. The Sacramental Preparation process is separate from the grade level study of the Catholic faith that is done at a Catholic parochial school or parish Faith Formation program and is a freestanding process that is part of our ongoing and lifelong faith formation process that takes place in the midst of parish life.
My child attends a Catholic School (e.g. Villa Madonna, Academy of the Holy Names). Do they have to participate in the Sacramental Preparation program in order to receive one of the sacraments this year?
Yes. While it is wonderful that your child is studying the Catholic faith at his or her appropriate grade level in school, the seven Sacraments are celebrations of the Church and are therefore prepared for and celebrated in the parish community with which you worship. At Sacred Heart, we encourage faith formation that is ongoing and lifelong, extending far beyond the school-aged years. Thus, Sacramental Preparation is a freestanding parish process. This includes weekly Sunday Mass attendance, active participation in our parish community events, and attendance of all sessions for the preparation of the Sacraments.
Why can’t my child prepare for Sacraments at the Catholic School?
Since our seven Sacraments are “ecclesial” (of the Church) celebrations, they are prepared for at the parish of membership and are part of the ongoing and lifelong faith formation of a Catholic Christian, which continues well beyond the school-aged years. For those children or youth who are attending a Catholic school and who are actively engaged Sacred Heart parishioners, a written letter from the Catholic school acknowledging enrollment for at least two years must be submitted with the registration paperwork for Sacramental Preparation.
What are the requirements to participate in the Sacramental Preparation program here at Sacred Heart?
- All children and youth must be baptized and be a member of a registered, actively engaged family of Sacred Heart.
- All children and youth must be currently enrolled and actively engaged in either the Family Faith Formation sessions or in attendance at one the area Catholic schools. Attendance at all sessions is expected and any missed sessions must be made up upon consultation with the Director of Faith Formation.
- All children and youth must have been enrolled in and have regularly attended a Faith Formation program at a parish, or have attended a Catholic school for at least one year prior to the year of preparation – in other words, there is continuity and regular attendance in Faith Formation, which we consider as ongoing and lifelong. All sessions for a least one-year prior to the year of preparation for Sacraments are mandatory and ALL missed sessions must have been made up upon consultation and approval by the Director of Faith Formation.
- Parents are expected to attend a parent orientation, at which all information for the preparation process will be given. All children and youth must faithfully attend all of the sessions and fully complete the year of preparation prior to celebrating the sacraments.
My child was in Sacramental Preparation at another parish. Can they join your program?
Yes. If your son or daughter is joining mid-year, our Director of Faith Formation will consult with the parents in order to best place the child. A letter from the parish where the child was attending should be obtained and included with the registration paperwork.
How can I find out more about the individual programs?
To find out more about each Sacramental Preparation program, please visit the individual Sacramental pages:
You may also contact the Director of Faith Formation at the Sacred Heart Parish Office at 813-229-1595.
My child has not yet been baptized. What should we do?
- For infants and young children less than seven years of age, the focus of preparation is on the parents. Baptismal Preparation sessions for parents are required prior to all infant baptisms, in which the godparents are also welcome. Please call the office for more information on Baptism for children.
- For children and youth over the age of seven, please contact the Director of Faith Formation for information about the RCIA Process Adapted for Children.
Please contact the Director of Faith Formation at the Sacred Heart Parish Office at 813-229-1595.