Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to download our FAQ fact sheet (DOCX 39.7KB)

Welcome to the 2022/2023 Children’s Sacramental Program
Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 2022/2023 Program Dates and Requirements?
Program Dates can be viewed and downloaded here dates and requirements for the preparation and celebration of the Sacraments of Confirmation, First Reconciliation and First Communion are outlined.

Why isn’t the program school based? The Sacramental Process is parish-based, family-centred and school-supported. This is because the primary role of passing on the faith to children belongs to the parents. Our parish program usually has approximately 180 children participating in the program from up to 10 different schools. The sessions encourage parent-child interaction with activities to help your child explore the key concepts of the sacrament in an age-appropriate way.

Why is Confirmation the first sacrament to be received?
In our Diocese of Broken Bay, we follow the traditional order of the sacraments Confirmation is celebrated before First Reconciliation (Confession/Penance) and First Communion (Eucharist). The order sacraments are received varies from diocese to diocese throughout Australia.

I’ve been through the program once with another child. Why do I have to go through it again?
Each child is different. You yourself may be at a different place in your life than the last time you participated. The parent meetings are developed anew each year to speak to what is relevant in people’s lives and the world at that time. This time of preparation with your child is one that is to be treasured. Make the most of this time of faith sharing with your child so that they understand that this sacramental preparation is something special. However, if you have had a child in the program before it is not necessary to attend the Sacramental Program Overview Parent Meeting.

Why do you need my child’s baptism certificate?
At the time of enrolment, you will be asked to provide details and a copy of your child’s Baptism certificate (if not baptised at St Kieran’s or St Cecilia’s Churches). This is especially important if your child was baptised in a different parish to which they are now receiving their sacraments. The parish which they were baptised will be notified that the child has completed the Sacrament of Confirmation. You will need to provide address/email/website details if your child was baptised overseas.

Can children baptised in Eastern Catholic Churches join in the program?
Children baptised in the Maronite, Ukrainian, Chaldean, Melkite or Syro-Malabar Eastern Catholic Church would have been confirmed at Baptism. Whilst the children can participate in the preparation program, they cannot be presented to receive Confirmation again. They will receive a blessing at the Confirmation ceremony.

My child has been baptised in another Christian Church but would like to complete the Sacraments in the Catholic Church. Is this possible?
Of course! Depending on where your child was baptised there may be a Rite of Welcome where your child will be welcomed into the Catholic Church. Please note that Baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit can only be received once. If your child was baptised in a church that does not use this formula for Baptism, then the Sacramental Process for your child will begin with Baptism.

Can I register my children even if they have not been baptized yet?
This is possible however the journey for your child/children will start first with the preparation for the baptism.

I can't attend all the meetings that are on the Program.
Attending the information sessions and family preparation group sessions are all integral parts of the sacramental process. If you cannot attend, please contact Janette. If you personally cannot attend the meetings consider asking another family member, grandparents, godparents, or sponsors to support you in the preparation.

We have other commitments and are unable to make the sessions/celebration?
If you are asking for your child to receive their sacraments but you have difficulties with the date/s for the celebration, please discuss with Janette.

Can I enrol my child if I do not belong to this parish but send my children to the school here?
The process is parish-based, family-centred and school-supported. This is why we encourage you to contact the parish you belong to first. If you are still connected with our parish, even though you are not living within our area – there is a possibility of joining our parish group.

What is involved in the role of Group Facilitator or Co-Facilitator?
The sacramental preparation family group sessions are offered in small groups of up to 6 children and their parent/carer. We need approximately 30 parents to volunteer as group facilitators (or co-facilitators if you wish to share the role with another parent) for the program.

You do not have to be a teacher or have any expertise in the sacrament. Information and resources are supplied and explained, your role is to guide discussion in the group following the workbook. A group facilitator’s kit is provided which contains supporting information for each of the four sessions and resources to assist with facilitating conversations in the group. We use the Diocese of Broken Bay program which provides an easy-to-follow booklet.

Parents who have been involved as facilitators in the past are happy to share their experiences in their particular school setting.  Watch this short video to get a glimpse of what it is like to be a group facilitator http://youtu.be/jKICzOft2k0

A facilitator training session is provided to all parents who have not led a group (or to others as a refresher). The facilitator training session will last approximately 1 hour. Two options for attending facilitator training are offered in conjunction with the parent meetings or contact Janette to arrange to meet at another time.

How are family preparation groups formed or allocated?
You are welcome to form your own groups/part of a group for the family group sessions and nominate a parent in the group to be the group facilitator and co-facilitator. 6 children per group is the recommended size. If you are new to the program and/or have not joined a group, we will need to organise/place you in a group (after you enrol) and you will be contacted by your group facilitator.

How do we book the Celebration of the Sacraments?
Bookings for the celebration of all sacraments is via TryBooking a link is sent to all parents usually the week after the Parent Information sessions. Booking requirements will also be explained at the parent sessions.

What if my child has not decided on a Confirmation Name or Sponsor at the time of Enrolment?
You can provide details of Confirmation Name and Sponsor at a later date if not known at time of enrolment.

Confirmation Name
The Bishop of our Diocese asks that the children choose the name of a Saint; a model to follow in their own Christian life. For more information about saints www.catholic.org/saints/stindex.php Your child may also choose to be confirmed with their original Baptism Name (if it is a Saint’s name) since it expresses the relationship that exists between these two sacraments, especially after you reflect on its meaning and discover some of the people who shared your child’s name in Christian history. It is important for your child to learn as much as they can about their patron saint since they are asking this saint to be their friend and advocate for the rest of their life. The children will discuss their names during their family preparation group sessions.

Sponsor
The role of the sponsor is to represent the faith community; to guide the one confirmed to act as a true witness to Christ and faithfully fulfil the duties of this sacrament. Godparents are a great sponsor if they are available but any Catholic, baptised person who is 16 years or older and has received the Sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Communion may be a sponsor.
It is preferable that parents are not a sponsor. A parent or another can stand in for a sponsor who is unable to make the celebration (however the sponsor’s name will appear on the Confirmation record).

Payment
Please have your credit card details available. There is an enrolment fee of $100.00 (plus processing fee) for the program (all 3 sacraments) which is payable during the enrolment process. If you do not want to pay electronically you can pay by credit card, cash or cheque at the parish office.

If you are enrolling your child for 1 sacrament the fee is $35.00 and if you are enrolling your child for 2 sacraments the fee is $70.00 payable at the parish office.

If you have any financial difficulty at this time and cannot pay the fee, please contact Janette.

Who can I ask for more details about enrolment and the process of preparation?
Please contact Janette Davidson our Sacramental Coordinator on 0408 866 521 or at sacraments@northharbourcatholic.org.au or visit our website at www.northharbourcatholic.org.au

We look forward to accompanying you and your children on this journey.