1st Reconciliation and 1st Communion – update

Dear Students, Parents, and School Staff, Happy Easter!

We hope that you and your families are all doing well. This is a follow-up to the initial letter that was sent in January regarding the upcoming celebrations of First Reconciliation and First Communion for your child/children/students.
After hearing the news of first the most recent lockdown and now the stay-at-home order, the decision has been made to postpone the celebrations of these Sacraments until (hopefully) later in this school year. Under the heightened restrictions, we are permitted to have only 15% of the church’s seating capacity filled, which for most of the schools would translate to only the students and their parents being able to attend based on the number of students that are registered. We will be working with the schools to choose new dates and will update you on those in the near future, in the hopes that the restrictions will be eased by that time so that additional family members can be present.
In the meantime, we have some resources to share with you to aid particularly those who have been learning online, or who may have had their in-class preparation for one or both of these Sacraments disrupted by the pandemic, in at-home preparations for each Sacrament. Our Diocese has suggested the following videos to watch, which cover the basics of First Reconciliation and First Communion. They are designed to help students and families to better understand what First Reconciliation and First Communion are all about and make these celebrations more meaningful.

First Reconciliation: · Sophia Sketchpad: Confession
7 min. 54 sec. – good for adults and children ·
Busted Halo Sacraments 101- (why we confess)
5 min. 9 sec. – for adults, excellent catechesis on Reconciliation but brief enough for children

First Communion: · Sophia Sketchpad: The Eucharist
6 min. 38 sec. – good for adults and children
Busted Halo Sacraments 201- (what we believe)
9 min. 18 sec. – for adults, excellent catechesis on the Mass, but brief enough for children

We also have the following resources to share with all of you, families and school staff, at this time:

Videos:
Instructions for our Celebrations at St. Francis Xavier
Please note one change from what you will see in this video: When coming forward for Communion, rather than removing your mask and consuming the host while you are standing directly in front of the priest, please first move 6 feet away from him once he has placed the host into your hand and then remove your mask, consume the host, replace your mask, and return to your seat.

Virtual Church Tour:

Handouts:
A step-by-step Confession guide and Examination of Conscience for Children
Virtual church tour worksheet (This can be submitted for the chance to win a prize! More details are in the Virtual Church Tour video.)
Preparing for First Confession (brief document with tips for parents from the Diocese)
Preparing for First Communion (brief document with tips for parents from the Diocese)
Reconciliation word search
First Communion memory page

We’ll be in touch again once a new set of dates has been chosen for each school. Thank-you for your understanding and patience during this challenging time in all of our lives. We pray that the joy of the Resurrection will fill your hearts with peace and hope during this Easter season! Our risen Lord is with us always, walking beside us at every step of our journey through life.


God bless,
Fr. Mariusz

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