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1st Reconciliation and Communion Preparation in Pandemic

 

Information posted as of September 11, 2021

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If you have a child in Gr. 2 or Gr. 3 who needs to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and Communion, please read the following information thoroughly for important details.

Status of Sacramental Preparation at OLPH: Due to restrictions faced during pandemic, cancellations of our sacramental celebrations and the consequent gap between the children’s preparation and reception of the sacraments, OLPH parish has not held 1st Reconciliation and Communion sacramental preparation for the Gr. 2 children in the 2020-2021 year. Since it appears more likely that children will be able to receive the sacrament immediately following their preparation this year, we will be resuming the sacramental preparation and celebrations of Reconciliation and Communion.
Double Batch Year: We will have two registration periods this year. The first period will consist of children who were in Gr. 2 in the 2020-2021 year (and are now in Gr. 3) and another period will consist of children currently in Gr. 2 (2021-2022). Children in the first batch will register in September 2021 and prepare and receive the sacraments between October and December 2021. Children in the second batch will start registering at the end of November and then prepare from January to March 2022.

Sacramental Preparation: Preparation will take place in-person, with children distanced and wearing masks in the parish hall. Preparation will also include an at-home component that children complete with their parents prior to each session.

Due to distancing requirements, the hall may only accommodate a set number of children. For this reason, each batch will consist of two groups: one preparing on select Tuesday evenings and another group on select Wednesday evenings; each session is from 7-8:15 p.m. As the pandemic program is expedited and does not consist of many classes (i.e. 4 sessions for Reconciliation and 4 sessions for Communion only), children will need to commit to the entirety of the time period and need to attend all the sessions. Due to the compressed nature of the program, there will be no additional sessions for non-Catholic school children as usual.

IMPORTANT: If you feel your family is unable to commit to all the sacramental preparation classes, please do not register your child into the program. Children may register when they will have the time to complete the program; this is in order to ensure that they are sufficiently prepared to receive the sacraments. Should you be uncomfortable with sending your child to the in-person preparation this year, you may defer 1st Reconciliation/Communion to another year when you are ready.

 

Selection of Preparation Days: Parents who register their child will receive a DoodlePoll link (a tool used to manage the date selections) directly to their e-mail the day after the registration deadline date. Parents may ONLY select ONE of the two evenings. Once parents have made their selection on the link, Doodle Poll will automatically assign that day to your child on a first-come, first-served basis. To be fair to all registrants, we will not be pre-registering any parents to a given weeknight; please make sure to sign up to the weeknight that works for you, immediately after receiving the link. Again, this link will be sent the day after the registration deadline, so do make sure to submit your child’s application to the church before or by the registration deadline.

 

Sacramental Celebrations & Strict Guest List: Due to the limit on space with distancing requirements, there will be a strict guest list on the dates that children are to receive their 1st Reconciliation and Communion:

  • The celebration of 1st Reconciliation, which precedes, 1st Communion will consist of two dates. Only ONE PARENT may accompany the child on the Reconciliation date.
  • The celebration of 1st Communion will consist of 3 dates. Each child will have only 1 pew assigned to the family; as such, only the child receiving Communion and their immediate family living in the household (including parents and siblings) may be in attendance and no other guests.

Another Doodlepoll link will be sent after the children have received their 1st Reconciliation; at that time, parents may select one of the three advertised 1st Communion celebration dates; these will again be on a first-come, first-served basis so it is a good idea to have a first and second choice in mind when you are planning out your dates.

Parent Information Document: Pre-pandemic, an additional information meeting would have been held for parents whose children have registered. At this time, no parent information meeting will be held, but registered families will be sent a document with information on what to expect, how to use the workbooks, frequently asked questions etc. Please read it thoroughly.

Sacramental Application & Next Steps:

Cohort 1: If your child was in Gr. 2 in the 2020-2021 year and

  • Attends OLPH school, application packages will be delivered from the parish to go home with your children on Monday, September 13, 2021. Please drop off completed applications in the rectory mailbox (located to the right of the church on 78 Clifton Rd.).
  • Attends a non-Catholic public or private school, applications will be made available at the main entrance of the church (vestibule area) starting Monday, September 13, 2021. The church is open for prayer, Monday to Friday, 9-3 p.m. Please come into the church and pick up an application during these hours. Please drop off completed applications in the rectory mailbox (located to the right of the church on 78 Clifton Rd.)

***The registration deadline for the first cohort is Wednesday, September 22, 2021.***

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Cohort 2: If your child is in Gr. 2 in the current 2021-2022 year and

  • Attends OLPH school, application packages will be delivered from the parish to go home with your children on Monday, November 29, 2021. Please drop off applications in the rectory mailbox (located to the right of the church on 78 Clifton Road).
  • Attends a non-Catholic public or private school, applications will be made available at the main entrance of the church (vestibule area) starting Monday, November 29, 2021. The church is open for prayer, Mon to Friday, 9-3 p.m. Please come into the church proper during those hours.

The registration deadline for the second cohort is Monday, December 13, 2021.

When you receive the application, you will be asked for a copy of your child’s Catholic Baptism certificateYour child won’t be able to receive the sacraments without this document. After the registration deadline, registered children will also receive a package containing a workbook (for the at-home parent-child activities which form a necessary part of the program). This is because some at-home components need to be completed prior to the start of the parish preparation. For those who attend OLPH school and whose applications we have received by the deadline, the parish will deliver workbooks to go home through the school. Those attending the nearby non-Catholic schools will receive an e-mail from Alison Endrizzi (Lay Pastoral Associate) with instructions on how to pick up your child’s workbook.