FIRST PENANCE

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

“The follower of Christ who has sinned, but who has been moved by the Holy Spirit to come to the Sacrament of Penance should above all be converted to God with their whole heart. This inner conversion of heart embraces sorrow for sin and the intent to lead a new life. It is expressed through confession made to the Church, due satisfaction and amendment of life. God grants pardon for sin through the Church, which works by the ministry of priests” (Introduction to Rite of Penance, n.6).

 

PREPARATION

In accord with Canon 914 (Church Law), children who have reached the age of reason are to have made sacramental confession before the reception of First Eucharist. Therefore, catechesis for First Penance must precede the catechesis for First Eucharist.

The Sacrament of Penance is a PARISH-BASED preparation program. The Parish Sacramental Team consists of the Parish Priest, parishioners, the Parish Catechist Coordinator and the Religious Education Coordinator of the parish primary school. All work together to ensure that the children are well prepared to celebrate their First Penance.

The primary role of parents in this preparation is both a right and a duty. Parents take an ACTIVE role in the program by attending each session with their child. Parents also assist their child in follow-up activities at home. It is the Parish Sacramental Team that ASSISTS the parents to prepare their child.

All disciples of Christ are called to an on-going conversion of heart to God expressed through the Sacrament of Penance. Since catechesis and participation in the Sacrament of Penance is ongoing, parents are responsible for continuing to provide opportunity for their child to enter more deeply into the sacramental experience of forgiveness and reconciliation.

 

PROGRAM

The Parish-based program has various components which MUST all be attended:

  • Parent Information Session

  • Enrolment Sunday

  • Sessions on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings

  • Celebration of the Sacrament of Penance.

The preparation for the Sacrament of Penance takes place in Term 1 of Year 3 during the season of Lent. Those who have been baptised Catholic are eligible to participate in the preparation program to receive their First Penance.

 

PROGRAM DATES

Relevant program dates for 2018 will be posted towards the end of 2017.

 

Information contained in this section is taken from St Jerome’s Parish Policy and “The Sacraments of Initiation Polices” of the Archdiocese of Sydney.