The Sacrament was instituted at the Last Supper when Jesus Christ, in the presence of his apostles, broke bread and blessed it and blessed the wine transforming both into his Body and Blood. We see this transformation during the Liturgy of the Eucharist at every Mass. When we receive the Body of Christ, we become “Christ” to each other. The more we genuinely accept the real presence of the Lord in the Eucharist, the easier it is to live the life of a disciple of Jesus Christ. It is imperative that families support this Sacrament by weekly Mass attendance and by practicing their faith every day.
Catechesis for those persons receiving the Eucharist for the first time is not only necessary but also vital to the life of the parish. Children in Religious Education Program (CCD) receive First Communion in the second grade.
Special needs children are instructed and catechized according to their needs and ability.
Questions concerning preparation for the Sacrament of the Eucharist can be directed to the Religious Education office at 609-489-0249. Any questions concerning the Eucharist can be directed to any priest
Sacramental Preparation Meetings
Recognizing that parents are the primary educators of their children, an evening of instruction is planned prior to the reception of First Reconciliation, First Eucharist and Confirmation. Parents are required to attend this meeting during the time their child is preparing to receive these sacraments. The purpose of this meeting is to help the parents become more involved in their child’s preparation for these sacraments as well as their continued spiritual formation.
It must be recalled that . . . this reconciliation with God leads, as it were, to other reconciliation’s, which repair the other breaches caused by sin. The forgiven penitent is reconciled with himself in his inmost being, where he regains his innermost truth. He is reconciled with his brethren whom he has in some way offended and wounded. He is reconciled with the Church. He is reconciled with all creation.
1470 In this sacrament, the sinner, placing himself before the merciful judgment of God, anticipates in a certain way the judgment to which he will be subjected at the end of his earthly life. For it is now, in this life, that we are offered the choice between life and death, and it is only by the road of conversion that we can enter the Kingdom, from which one is excluded by grave sin. In converting to Christ through penance and faith, the sinner passes from death to life and “does not come into judgment.”
SACRAMENTAL PREPARATION FOR PENANCE
“The spiritual effects of the sacrament of Penance are: reconciliation with God by which the penitent recovers grace; reconciliation with the Church; remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin; peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation; an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle.” (CCC, #1496)
It is important for every disciple of Jesus Christ to participate in the Sacrament of Penance. Because we need to be in a state of grace grave sins need to be confessed before receiving Holy Communion. Confessing venial sins is strongly recommended by the Church. St. Gianna’s regularly scheduled time for this Sacrament is Saturday from 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the Church or by appointment with one of the Parish Priests. Only priests can forgive sins in the name of Christ.
The first time a person receives the Sacrament of Reconciliation, he/she needs to develop an understanding of the sacrament. There are various circumstances where catechesis is required. Persons learning about the Catholic Faith in the RCIA process gain knowledge of the Sacrament during the weekly meetings. Children in the normal course of their formal religious education receive the sacrament during the 2nd grade. This pertains to parish children enrolled in the School or Religious Education Program and is offered after a previous year of instruction (first grade). Children who move into the parish from other areas that receive at a later date are included in the 2nd graders First Reconciliation. Other circumstances would be a Catholic who has been baptized but did not receive any other sacraments or any person with special physical/emotional/psychological needs. In these cases, individual or group sessions are set up to meet the needs of the person and the requirements of the Catholic Church.
Sacramental Preparation Meetings
Recognizing that parents are the primary educators of their children, an evening is planned prior to the reception of First Reconciliation, First Eucharist and Confirmation. Parents are required to attend these meetings during the time their child is preparing to receive these sacraments. The purpose of these meetings is to help the parents become more involved in their child’s preparation for these sacraments as well as their continued spiritual formation.