Parent Meeting

Welcome! A Special Year

Welcome! We are honored to be with you for this parent meeting. This coming year is indeed a special year .. a holy year for you, for your children, and for our parish communities. This year your children will celebrate the Sacrament of Penance for the first time. This year, your children will join us at the Eucharistic table for the first time.

This year is a journey that offers all of us–adults and children–many opportunities to deepen our faith and to grow in our understanding and appreciation of both Reconciliation and the Eucharist.

Opening Prayer

Loving and gracious God,
We praise you for the countless signs of your presence among us.
We feel your refreshing Spirit in the cool rain of a spring shower.
We taste your nourishing goodness in the bread that we eat.
We feel your healing power in the gentle touch of a friend.
We hear your voice in the song of our children.
Be with us as we journey together in faith.
Come and awaken us, Spirit of Light.
Come and refresh us, Creator of Life.
Come and inspire us, Risen Son.
Give us the grace to grow in our faith.
And grant us the wisdom and love we need
to pass on this faith to our children.
O God, grant us this gift.  Amen.

As we begin this journey together, it is important to think about the role parents play in passing on the faith to their children. The parish will help support you in many ways, but it is the parents who have the greatest impact on a child’s faith and faith development. As we gather here, the question before us is, What can parents do to help prepare their children to receive and celebrate the Sacraments of Penance and Eucharist with joy and understanding?

Let’s begin by looking in on a parent who is wrestling with this same question. Listen as a young mother expresses her concerns as she thinks about preparing her son for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist.

Reflection: A Parent’s Prayer

Exploring Scripture and Tradition

Small Group Conversations

  1. Introduce yourself and tell a little about your family.  What child/children in your family will celebrate a sacrament for the first time this year?
  2. Name something from the talk that caught your interest.  Talk about a new insight or something that you want to be sure to remember.
  3. In light of this session, what is important to you in preparing your child for a sacrament this year?

    The most important thing to me is that my child…

    Has a sense of belonging to this community of faith and to the Church.
    Recognizes God’s presence in his or her everyday life.
    Sees how sacraments are expressed in everyday life.
    Other:
  4. What questions or comments to you have about this presentation and discussion?

Pragmatic Information

The parish-based segment of Sacramental Preparation will be completed through distance learning this year, using home study materials and online Parent/child Retreats and online Learning Stations.

My goal: to take the overwhelm off of parents so that you are able to joyfully and without stress, engage your children in this special year of formation for them. You are not penalized for not doing what I ask you to do, but my 20 years of experience with faith education has shown me that when parents are able to take time to reflect and pray with their children during their preparation year, it makes a big difference to the children, and it supports their ongoing relationship with God and the Church.

Please contact Lisa for specific instructions and information.

Closing Prayer

God is the source of all wisdom and love.
Let us close our time together by asking for God’s blessings
as we enter into this special year together.
Please respond: “Hear us, O God.”

We pray for our children, God, bless our children as they enter into this year of sacramental formation. Help them to grow in their faith. Grant them the gift of understanding. For this we pray…

Hear us, O God.

We pray for parents. May parents share their faith with gentleness, patience, and open hearts. For this we pray…

Hear us, O God.

We pray for the adults in this community of faith. May the faith and love of those in this community be an example to our children. For this we pray…

Hear us, O God.

Loving God,
You sent us your Son to each us by word and example that true wisdom comes from you alone.
Send your Spirit upon these parents and their families and fill them with your wisdom.
Grant that during this special year of sacramental formation they may grow closer to you and become more aware of your loving presence.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.
And may God bless and keep us,
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Script of this meeting from Gathering Together, First Celebrations of Reconciliation and Eucharist: A Family Preparation Program by Jane E Regan and Mimi McReavy Bitzan, Loyola Press, Chicago: 2004.

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