Sacramental Program

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Sacramental Program for 2023

The Pymble Catholic Parish has a comprehensive annual Sacramental Program for children. The program is under the guidance of Melanie Benbow.

The order of the sacraments is Baptism, Confirmation, Reconciliation and then First Eucharist. The preparation for each of these sacraments involves an individual enrolment, and a preparation program led by parent volunteers. The enrolment procedure is an online process explained below.

The Parish program has two components:

  • The Confirmation program, and
  • The First Reconciliation and Eucharist program.

The following information provides an overview of the process of registering for the program and information for the parents and candidates.

Confirmation Program

Children, referred to as "candidates", in Year 3 and above (aged eight years and over) who are already baptised are eligible to participate in our Parish. However, as a parent, you know your child best and may wish to wait a little longer if you feel that your child is not yet ready to be involved in this program. The Pymble program is open to families who are members of the Pymble Parish. Families who are members of different congregations and, or, live out-of-area are welcome to join if written permission is granted from their resident Parish Priest.

At Baptism, your child began a life-long journey and a way of life. At Confirmation, the graces received in Baptism are sealed with the reception of the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. This sacrament enables your child to better participate in the worshipping and apostolic life of the Church. The words that Jesus shared with his disciples at Pentecost apply to each one of us at Confirmation, "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come down upon you; and you will be my witnesses" (Acts 1:8).

In order for a child to participate in the Pymble program, the following must be completed:

  • Each child must be baptised prior to receiving the sacrament of Confirmation.
  • Proof of baptism must be provided to the Parish.
  • The child must be in Year 3 or above (aged eight or over).
  • The child needs to be registered online for the program (as below). Online registrations will open in March.
  • The child, along with their parent or carer, must participate in a preparation program for the sacrament.

As a parent, you may wish to host or facilitate a small family group for the candidates to prepare for Confirmation. Without your support in this way, we could not offer a family-centred approach to this sacrament. Please consider taking on this valuable roll. You do not have to be a great saint to do this: although you probably are already and just don't recognise it. All that is required is a space or a venue to host the group and a willingness to facilitate the discussion between parent and child. The Confirmation Workbook supplied by the Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay is very comprehensive and will give the group its structure.

The expectation is that the candidate, along with one of their parents, will attend the group formation sessions. The group will meet between two (2) and four (4) times in order to best prepare for Confirmation. The group will have between four (4) and six (6) candidate participants maximum (for a total of eight to 12 people including parents), and remaining mindful of COVID-safe regulations.

The group will meet at an agreed upon time that is convenient for all participants in the group and at a mutually agreeable location. For example, the formation group may agree to meet over four (4) Sundays from 3pm to 4pm at Sally's house to prepare. If the group does not have a venue to hold formation sessions, the church has meeting rooms we will gladly book for you based on availability (the rooms need to be booked in advance). Below, a nominated group is one of these groups formed by the parents or carers on behalf of their children and meets on days, times and places that suit the group. A parent volunteer is required to facilitate these meetings.

If your preference is to attend a formation group or class at the Parish, you are welcome to do so. This class will be offered over two weekends.

If your child has additional needs, please contact the Parish office so we can work with your family to find the best way to support you and your child during preparation for the sacraments.

Confirmation Schedule

Parent and Candidate Welcome Evening:
Wednesday, 26 April at 6:30pm at Sacred Heart Church
Preparation Program: Over 4-weeks in April and May with a nominated home-based group or the Parish group as below*.
Presentation Mass: Saturday, 29 April or Sunday, 30 April, any Mass, either church
Practice: Thursday, 18 May at Sacred Heart Church, at 4pm and 5pm
Attend the practice that best suits your family.
Confirmation celebration: Sunday, 21 May at Sacred Heart Church, at 11:30am and 1:30pm
You will be prompted to choose the celebration that best suits your family when registering.  Please note, capacity at each service is limited.  The duration of the Confirmation celebrations are 75 to 90 minutes.

Preparation Program

A nominated group is a Parish group or a home-based family group.

The Parish group schedule:
Session 1 - Saturday, 29 April at 2pm or 4pm, Sunday, 30 April at 10:30am, or Wednesday, 3 May at 4pm.
Session 2 - Saturday, 6 May at 2pm or 4pm, or Sunday, 7 May at 10:30am, or Wednesday, 10 May at 4pm.

The Home-based family group:
Each family group will have a parent facilitator and work through the information in a group of about six candidates with their parent(s) or carer(s).

Pre-enrolment Requirements

You will need the following before making your online enrolment.

  • The name of the child making their Confirmation. Enter your child's name in the Candidate's First Name and Candidate's Last Name online section; not your name. Ensure your child's name is spelt correctly and as you want it to appear on their Confirmation certificate. Confirmation certificates are produced using the information you have provided. Therefore, it is important to ensure all of your data entry is correct.
  • A Confirmation name. Each child needs to read about and select a Catholic saint to be their "Saintly Friend" for Confirmation. This is a lovely opportunity for you and your child to learn about the Catholic saints. Please include the saint's full name, i.e. "Mary of the Cross, Mackillop", "John the Evangelist", "John the Baptist", etc. There are wonderful books available from the library regarding Catholic saints or on the internet. Have a bit of fun engaging in this activity with your child. Some children who have a Christian name as their given name may choose this same name. This is a choice for you and your child.
  • A copy of your child's baptism certificate. Please email a copy of the baptism certificate to the Parish office prior to the Parent and Candidate Welcome Evening. Registration cannot be confirmed without a baptismal certificate. If your child was baptised in a non-Catholic christian denomination, they will need to make a profession of faith prior to Confirmation. You may contact the Parish office via the Contact function or use the email address at the bottom of this page.
  • Have the postal address of the parish where your child was baptised. This is a very important piece of information. Catholic Church canon law requires that we send a letter confirming that your child has made their Confirmation to the church where your child was baptised. Please ensure that you fill in all of the fields properly when booking online. This may seem tedious but it is necessary.
  • A sponsor with your child, for your child. The sponsor must be a Catholic over the age of 16 who has received all of their Sacraments. The sponsor may be a godparent, a relative, or a friend; someone you trust who will offer on-going spiritual guidance to your child. We live in a global community and understand that if your child's sponsor is elsewhere on the day of Confirmation, a surrogate is welcome to stand-in on the sponsor's behalf on the day.
  • Group hosting or facilitating details. If you are hosting or facilitating a group, have the time, day and location of the group you intend to offer. Remember, depending on availability, the church does have rooms for group preparation sessions.

First Reconciliation and Eucharist program

The program includes the following two components:

  • The First Reconciliation program, and
  • The First Eucharist program.

Candidates are required to provide a Confirmation certificate prior to participating in this program.

First Reconciliation Schedule

Parent and Candidate Welcome Evening: Wednesday, 24 May at 6:30pm at Sacred Heart Church (this is a combined First Reconciliation and Eucharist parent and candidate meeting)
Preparation Program: Over 4-weeks in May and June with nominated group as below*
Presentation Mass: Saturday, 3 June or Sunday, 4 June, any Mass, either church
Practice: No practice required
Services: Tuesday, 13 June Sacred Heart Church
Each candidate is given a 5-minute time period between 4pm and 5:15pm.
Wednesday 14 June at OLPS Church
Each candidate is given a 5-minute time period between 3:30pm and 4:15pm.

Preparation Program

A nominated group is a Parish group or a home-based family group.

The Parish group schedule:
Session 1: Saturday, 27 May at 2pm or 4pm, Sunday, 28 May at 10:30am, or Wednesday, 31 May at 4pm.
Session 2: Saturday, 3 June at 2pm or 4pm, or Sunday, 4 June at 10:30am, or Wednesday, 7 June at 4pm.

The Home-based family group:
Each family group will have a parent facilitator and work through the information in a group of about six candidates with their parent(s) or carer(s).

First Eucharist Schedule

Parent and Candidate Welcome Evening: Thursday, 18 May at 7:30pm at Sacred Heart Church (combined with First Reconciliation meeting above)
Preparation Program: Commencing in Term 3, over 4-weeks in July and August with nominated group as below*
Presentation Mass: Saturday, 5 August or Sunday, 6 August any Mass, either church
Practice for OLPS: Tuesday, 8 August at 4pm. Practice will be about 30 minutes.
Celebration for OLPS: Sunday, 13 August at 11am.  The celebration will be about an hour.
Practice for Sacred Heart: Thursday, 17 August at 4pm. Practice will be about 45 minutes.
Celebration for Sacred Heart: Sunday, 20 August at 11:30am. The celebration will be about 75 minutes.
Children should go to confession at least one more time prior to First Eucharist:
  • At Sacred Heart: 8:30am Friday, 5pm Saturday, 5:30pm Sunday
  • At OLPS: 9:30am Saturday
  • Confession will also be available immediately following each First Eucharist practice for reconciliation.

Preparation Program

A nominated group is a Parish group or a home-based family group.

The Parish group schedule:
Session 1: Saturday, 22 July 2pm or 4pm, Sunday, 23 July at 10:30am, or Wednesday, 26 July at 4pm.
Session 2: Saturday, 5 August at 2pm or 4pm, or Sunday, 6 August at 10:30am, or Wednesday, 9 August at 4pm.

The Home-based family group:
Each family group will have a parent facilitator and work through the information in a group of about six candidates with their parent(s) or carer(s).

Program Fee

The participation fee for the Sacrament of Confirmation is $75 per child. The participation fee for both Reconciliation and First Eucharist is $140 per child. The Parish makes a charge for each sacramental program to cover the costs of providing books, additional resources, and time of preparation, in particular the employment of our paid staff.

The fees are not for receiving the sacrament - it is simply the only way that our Parish can afford to employ the staff who are needed to lead and organise our sacramental preparation programs. If you are in need of financial assistance, please contact our office.

Online Enrolment

Each child needs to be enrolled in the program via two online registration processes. The first enrolment is for the Confirmation program and a second is for the First Reconciliation and Eucharist program. When making a booking online, please book only one ticket per child. If you have more than one child participating, book each child individually. For example, if you have two children participating, please go through the complete booking process for the first child and then go through the process again for the second child (do not book two tickets at once). This process will ensure we have all of the necessary details for each individual participant.

Note: The registration processes are not yet open for use.

Registration for the Confirmation program will open on Wednesday, 1 March at the online link below. Because of the scheduled events in preparation for the program, late registrations cannot be accepted.

Registration

Registration for the First Reconciliation and Eucharist program will open on Saturday, 1 April at the online link below. Because of the scheduled events in preparation for the program, late registrations cannot be accepted.

Registration

For furthur information or assistance with the Sacramental Program, please make contact with the Parish Office.