First Penance and First Communion
We’ve been working with both parishes to work out an agreeable approach to sacrament preparation. Thankfully, the priests and DREs have been very open and helpful in this process. Both parishes have agreed to allow the children to do their prep in Atrium, along with a few requirements of their own.
Saint Francis: Father Gould is happy to allow any families who would like to put their children in CGS (Catechesis of the Good Shepherd) for First Communion preparation provided the parents attend parish sacramental parent meetings, attend the parish retreats (there are 2 retreats 1 for First Penance, and the 2nd for First Communion), and that the students receive their sacraments with the parish group on the scheduled dates for First Reconciliation and First Communion. In addition, Father requests that children receiving sacrament prep in the Atrium need to have at least one year of level I work before their sacrament year, and that during the sacrament year they need to know and recite their prayers before a Catechist. You do need to register for the sacrament program at the parish and pay the sacrament fee.
Saint Johns: (From Diana Solomon) "The children should be registered in the religious education program here at the beginning of their second grade year. They do not need to attend classes or do the home school program unless you would like to do it. The children will need to attend the Penance workshops and the First Communion Retreat, and parents will need to attend the parent meetings during the year. The children will learn and practice the mechanics of both Confession and First Communion at the retreats. On the registration form, they should use the "new" student form and write on the form where I can see it "Atrium" so I'll know who they are and that they only need to pay the sacrament fee and not be placed in a class."
One of our aims for The Joyful Child Atrium is to remain in solidarity with the parishes. We are very thankful that Fr. Kevin and Fr. Gould are willing to work with us as we strive to build the CGS program.
Sacrament Prep in the Atrium
Sacrament preparation in the Atrium begins in Level I where the foundations are solidified. This continues in the first year of Level II in the weekly presentations. In the second year of Level II, we do 5 presentations that are specifically for the upcoming sacraments. The first is done during the Atrium class time. The second takes place at a local vineyard, the next two occur elsewhere, usually at someone's home. For these three, the parents are invited to attend and have their own discussion group on the same scriptures that the children are working on. The last one is held at church as part of an Agape Feast celebration for the children. It is important for your children to attend these meditations to complete their preparation. The dates for the meditations will be as follows:
Meditation 1 (during class in the Atrium) week of January 11
Meditation 2 (at the vineyard) January 23, 9am
Meditation 3 (at someone's home) January 30, 9am
Meditation 4 (at someone's home) February 6, 9am
Meditation 5 Agape Feast (probably at St. John's) April 28, 4pm.