“This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me. This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” — Corinthians 11:24-25
The Sacrament of the Eucharist is both a sacrifice and a meal. It has its origin at the Last Supper when on the night Jesus was betrayed, He instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of His Body and Blood. This He did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until He comes again. In this Sacrament, Jesus entrusts to his Church a memorial of His death and Resurrection, the sacrament of love, a sign of unity and a bond of charity, in which Christ is consumed, and our minds and souls are filled with grace and a pledge of future glory. The Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith through the actions of the Holy Spirit and the Real Presence of Jesus; His Body and Blood become present under the form of bread and wine. It is through the Eucharist that each of us is nourished by Jesus to seek God’s will.
At Mass, our gifts of bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is really present under the appearance of bread and wine. Our participation in Mass is a sign of our full initiation into the Church, the Body of Christ.
Children preparing to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion for the first time normally do so during their second grade year of school. Our Sacramental Preparation Program is designed to assist parents in fulfilling the commitment they made at a child’s baptism “of training them in the practice of the faith.” While this program is important, nothing is more important than the example that parents themselves give to children and the faith they share with them. These are essential for a child’s understanding of what we are teaching them in the context of our CCD Program or Bishop Fenwick School classrooms.
In order for a student to be eligible to be prepared for First Reconciliation, he/she must be baptized. In addition, the student must have completed at minimum one full year of formal religious instruction prior to the formal instruction the student would receive in order to partake of the sacrament. At this time, this formal religious instruction may be through either enrollment in our CCD program, Bishop Fenwick School, or an approved home school curriculum. Further, during the year of sacramental preparation, the child must be enrolled in either our CCD program or Bishop Fenwick School. It is our policy at Saint Thomas Aquinas that children participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation before receiving Holy Communion for the first time. Parents of children preparing for First Reconciliation attend a series of classes designed to increase their own understanding of the sacrament as well as to assist them in preparing their children. Older children may be prepared separately from the second graders.
For further information, please contact our Director of Faith Formation.
Please refer to our Becoming Catholic (Right of Christian Initiation for Adults) program for more information.