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[dre-talk] Topic of the month - First Reconciliation

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  • Katveee@aol.com
    Blessings in the New Year!!! May today there be peace within you. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 3, 2000
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      Blessings in the New Year!!!

      May today there be peace within you.
      May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
      May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
      May you use those gifts that you have received,
      and pass on the love that has been given to you.
      May you be content knowing that you are a child of God.
      Let His presence settle into your bones,
      and allow your soul the freedom to sing,
      dance, and to bask in the sun.
      It is there for each and every one of you.

      Our topic of the month is First Reconciliation. How are the children
      prepared? How are their families/parents involved? How is it celebrated?

      I'd like to welcome our new members (we have several). My name is Kathy and
      I
      am the listowner. I post a topic each month as a discussion starter, not as
      a
      discussion limiter. You are free to post on any subject relating to
      coordinating Religious Education programs, parish leadership and/or religious
      formation. This is not a forum for arguing about doctrine or Church
      practice, but a place to ask questions, share ideas, concerns and successes
      about your own experiences in your parishes.
      I ask that you do not forward cute stories, chain letters or other such
      things to this
      list unless you are telling us how you use them in your program. Please
      keep prayer requests to a minimum. If a relative or friend is seriously ill
      we will be glad to pray for him/her. If you have a specific response or
      question for a list member forward your request to them, not the list.

      We have over 100 members. Most people who join this list and stay more than
      two months usually don't leave. I like to think that is because we provide
      useful information and support.

      Egroups provides us with this list, they are the ones who put the ads on the
      messages. If you go to thier homepage and register: http://www.egroups.com
      you will have access to our archives (so you can see all the great ideas we
      had last year). You will also have access to our links. The links page has
      links to publishers, the Bishop's Conference and others related to teaching
      religion. You are welcome to add your favorites. We also have a vault, a
      place where you can upload files that you think would be of interest to the
      group. Please put them there rather than attaching them to email.
      The database is basically a membership list but it is voluntary and includes
      names, city, state, parish and position in the parish, and email address. If
      you have a question, you can email me at Katveee@...

      Have a great Jubilee Year! (Ongoing topic -Let us know how your
      parish/programs are celebrating Jubilee)

      Peace,
      Kathy
    • Pat Manuli
      We do our sacramental preparation separate from grade level curriculum. Students attend class on Saturdays (in addition to their regular weekday class) for six
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 26, 2000
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        We do our sacramental preparation separate from grade level curriculum.
        Students attend class on Saturdays (in addition to their regular weekday
        class) for six weeks in the fall to prepare for Reconciliation and six
        weeks in the spring to prepare for Eucharist. There are several textbook
        series geared to this type of programming. We are currently using
        Benziger's Sacramental Preparation Program. There are two sessions for
        parental preparation for each sacrament, held during class time. We
        celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation on the Saturday before
        Thanksgiving. We usually have about 100 students so we divide them into
        two ceremonies and invite extra priests, when necessary. We use the
        communal rite and conclude the service after everyone has celebrated the
        sacrament (including any family members who wish to do so). This rarely
        takes more than an hour. Following the ceremony, we host a reception in
        the gym. We ask each family to bring a "finger dessert" to share. They
        drop it off before the ceremony and some of our confirmands set up, serve
        and clean up as their parish apostolic work commitment. The Religious Ed
        Office provides the coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and punch.

        An excellent video for the parents (or teens) is "Pardon and Peace" (I
        believe it's by Franciscan Communications). It is a little "old" and has
        been slightly revised. The revision is entitled "Pardon and Peace
        Revisited". We also use this with our Confirmands on our Confimation
        Retreats.

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      • dreonline
        I am thinking about doing this also At the present time Sacrament prep is in a grade level. This year it has been especially awkward since I have quite a few
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 26, 2000
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          I am thinking about doing this also> At the present time Sacrament prep is
          in a grade level. This year it has been especially awkward since I have
          quite a few kids that do not fall in the grade category here. I need to do
          something quick. So....any suggestions? How can I go about beginning this
          kind of preparation in the Fall? I do not have a Board of Rel. Ed or
          anything great like that. At the present time it is ME and a part time
          secretary (and a Rel Ed population of about 700) in the office. Hopefully,
          prayerfully, some day that will change.
          Mary Ann - Indiana
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Pat Manuli <stmarysore@...>
          To: <dre-talk@egroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2000 12:41 PM
          Subject: [dre-talk] Re: Topic of the month - First Reconciliation


          > We do our sacramental preparation separate from grade level curriculum.
          > Students attend class on Saturdays (in addition to their regular weekday
          > class) for six weeks in the fall to prepare for Reconciliation and six
          > weeks in the spring to prepare for Eucharist. There are several textbook
          > series geared to this type of programming. We are currently using
          > Benziger's Sacramental Preparation Program. There are two sessions for
          > parental preparation for each sacrament, held during class time. We
          > celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation on the Saturday before
          > Thanksgiving. We usually have about 100 students so we divide them into
          > two ceremonies and invite extra priests, when necessary. We use the
          > communal rite and conclude the service after everyone has celebrated the
          > sacrament (including any family members who wish to do so). This rarely
          > takes more than an hour. Following the ceremony, we host a reception in
          > the gym. We ask each family to bring a "finger dessert" to share. They
          > drop it off before the ceremony and some of our confirmands set up, serve
          > and clean up as their parish apostolic work commitment. The Religious Ed
          > Office provides the coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and punch.
          >
          > An excellent video for the parents (or teens) is "Pardon and Peace" (I
          > believe it's by Franciscan Communications). It is a little "old" and has
          > been slightly revised. The revision is entitled "Pardon and Peace
          > Revisited". We also use this with our Confirmands on our Confimation
          > Retreats.
          >
          > ________________________________________________________________
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        • Pat Manuli
          I think that the most important thing is getting the word out that this is your new program! Of course, your pastor would have to be in agreement in case you
          Message 4 of 7 , Jan 27, 2000
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            I think that the most important thing is getting the word out that this
            is your new program! Of course, your pastor would have to be in
            agreement in case you are met with resistance which can sometimes happen
            (especially when soccer, baseball, etc. may meet at the same time).

            We have three separate groups of children in the sacramental program:
            eight classes comprised of 2nd and 3rd grade students, one class of
            4th-6th grade students and one class of 7th-11th grade students. The
            7th-11th grade group is usually small so it meets at a mutually
            convenient time during the week (often attached to the regular weekday
            session).

            We send a letter in the fall to all those whom we believe in need of
            these classes and also a flyer through the program to all 3rd-6th grade
            students to be sure we have not missed anyone. Announcement is made at
            the opening parent session for the program and is also placed in the
            parish bulletin. Students must be present for at least 5 out of the 6
            classes so it is really important that everyone gets the message on time.
            Classes begin six weeks prior to the celebration of the Sacrament the
            Saturday before Thanksgiving.

            Parents now know that this is our program and they make their plans
            accordingly. It is only 6 weeks (12 total) for one year -- people have
            become very accepting and the program really works. Having done it both
            ways, it seems to me that the celebration of the Sacrament becomes much
            more meaningful when the preparation is so focussed and intense.

            Hope this helps -- good luck!!
            Pat


            On Wed, 26 Jan 2000 16:47:37 -0800 "dreonline" <dreonline@...>
            writes:
            >I am thinking about doing this also> At the present time Sacrament
            >prep is
            >in a grade level. This year it has been especially awkward since I
            >have
            >quite a few kids that do not fall in the grade category here. I need
            >to do
            >something quick. So....any suggestions? How can I go about
            >beginning this
            >kind of preparation in the Fall? I do not have a Board of Rel. Ed or
            >anything great like that. At the present time it is ME and a part
            >time
            >secretary (and a Rel Ed population of about 700) in the office.
            >Hopefully,
            >prayerfully, some day that will change.
            >Mary Ann - Indiana
            >----- Original Message -----
            >From: Pat Manuli <stmarysore@...>
            >To: <dre-talk@egroups.com>
            >Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2000 12:41 PM
            >Subject: [dre-talk] Re: Topic of the month - First Reconciliation
            >
            >
            >> We do our sacramental preparation separate from grade level
            >curriculum.
            >> Students attend class on Saturdays (in addition to their regular
            >weekday
            >> class) for six weeks in the fall to prepare for Reconciliation and
            >six
            >> weeks in the spring to prepare for Eucharist. There are several
            >textbook
            >> series geared to this type of programming. We are currently using
            >> Benziger's Sacramental Preparation Program. There are two sessions
            >for
            >> parental preparation for each sacrament, held during class time. We
            >> celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation on the Saturday before
            >> Thanksgiving. We usually have about 100 students so we divide them
            >into
            >> two ceremonies and invite extra priests, when necessary. We use the
            >> communal rite and conclude the service after everyone has celebrated
            >the
            >> sacrament (including any family members who wish to do so). This
            >rarely
            >> takes more than an hour. Following the ceremony, we host a
            >reception in
            >> the gym. We ask each family to bring a "finger dessert" to share.
            >They
            >> drop it off before the ceremony and some of our confirmands set up,
            >serve
            >> and clean up as their parish apostolic work commitment. The
            >Religious Ed
            >> Office provides the coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and punch.
            >>
            >> An excellent video for the parents (or teens) is "Pardon and Peace"
            >(I
            >> believe it's by Franciscan Communications). It is a little "old"
            >and has
            >> been slightly revised. The revision is entitled "Pardon and Peace
            >> Revisited". We also use this with our Confirmands on our
            >Confimation
            >> Retreats.
            >>
            >> ________________________________________________________________
            >> YOU'RE PAYING TOO MUCH FOR THE INTERNET!
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            >>
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            >> http://click.egroups.com/1/337/3/_/2401/_/948920888/
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            >> -- http://www.egroups.com/ChatPage?listName=dre-talk&m=1
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            >

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          • Julie Dekreon
            My parish also uses this 2 six week model. We celebrate Reconciliation before Advent and 1st Eucharist after Easter, usually the 3rd Sunday in May. I send
            Message 5 of 7 , Jan 27, 2000
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              My parish also uses this 2 six week model. We celebrate Reconciliation before Advent and 1st Eucharist after Easter, usually the 3rd Sunday in May. I send letters inviting families to participate in both the Advent and Lent Parish Reconciliation services which provides everyone additional opportunities to celebrate the sacracment as a community. My program has grown to over 50 children so I will have to add more class sections.
              However, a critical point is advance notice. I write the parents in May that the classes begin in October and to mark their schedules to avoid conflicts with other activities. I used to say this in a vague way, now I write that I am first to ask the family for this time and I would value that they honor their children's faith formation before swimming, indoor, soccer, etc. I schedule for 4pm Saturdays so most activities are over for the day. I am flexible and parents who see me ahead of time about a meet or tournament take home books and lessons and actually work the lessons with the student. I send out letters for 1st Eucharist in Jan claiming the timeslots in April.  Amazingly, if a coach says the child can only miss one practice, everyone complies and faith formation is out. If a catechist says this, well....
              I have talked personally to coaches (my children also play diff sports) and every single one was agreeable to letting a child off a game, practice, etc for church. I have even talked to high school activity directors and they also agreed that no player would be penalized or benched but that the coaches should have advance notice in order to prepare another player for that game. So I try to be well informed, flexible, but firm.
              Julie

              Pat Manuli wrote:

              I think that the most important thing is getting the word out that this
              is your new program!  Of course, your pastor would have to be in
              agreement in case you are met with resistance which can sometimes happen
              (especially when soccer, baseball, etc. may meet at the same time).

              We have three separate groups of children in the sacramental program:
              eight classes comprised of 2nd and 3rd grade students, one class of
              4th-6th grade students and one class of 7th-11th grade students.  The
              7th-11th grade group is usually small so it meets at a mutually
              convenient time during the week (often attached to the regular weekday
              session).

              We send a letter in the fall to all those whom we believe in need of
              these classes and also a flyer through the program to all 3rd-6th grade
              students to be sure we have not missed anyone.  Announcement is made at
              the opening parent session for the program and is also placed in the
              parish bulletin.  Students must be present for at least 5 out of the 6
              classes so it is really important that everyone gets the message on time.
               Classes begin six weeks prior to the celebration of the Sacrament the
              Saturday before Thanksgiving.

              Parents now know that this is our program and they make their plans
              accordingly.  It is only 6 weeks (12 total) for one year -- people have
              become very accepting and the program really works.  Having done it both
              ways, it seems to me that the celebration of the Sacrament becomes much
              more meaningful when the preparation is so focussed and intense.

              Hope this helps -- good luck!!
              Pat

              On Wed, 26 Jan 2000 16:47:37 -0800 "dreonline" <dreonline@...>
              writes:
              >I am thinking about doing this also>  At the present time Sacrament
              >prep is
              >in a grade level. This year it has been especially awkward since I
              >have
              >quite a few kids that do not fall in the grade category here.  I need
              >to do
              >something quick.  So....any suggestions?   How can I go about
              >beginning this
              >kind of preparation in the Fall?  I do not have a Board of Rel. Ed or
              >anything great like that.  At the present time it is ME and a part
              >time
              >secretary (and a Rel Ed population of about 700) in the office.
              >Hopefully,
              >prayerfully, some day that will change.
              >Mary Ann - Indiana
              >----- Original Message -----
              >From: Pat Manuli <stmarysore@...>
              >To: <dre-talk@egroups.com>
              >Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2000 12:41 PM
              >Subject: [dre-talk] Re: Topic of the month - First Reconciliation
              >
              >
              >> We do our sacramental preparation separate from grade level
              >curriculum.
              >> Students attend class on Saturdays (in addition to their regular
              >weekday
              >> class) for six weeks in the fall to prepare for Reconciliation and
              >six
              >> weeks in the spring to prepare for Eucharist.  There are several
              >textbook
              >> series geared to this type of programming.  We are currently using
              >> Benziger's Sacramental Preparation Program.  There are two sessions
              >for
              >> parental preparation for each sacrament, held during class time.  We
              >> celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation on the Saturday before
              >> Thanksgiving.  We usually have about 100 students so we divide them
              >into
              >> two ceremonies and invite extra priests, when necessary.  We use the
              >> communal rite and conclude the service after everyone has celebrated
              >the
              >> sacrament (including any family members who wish to do so).  This
              >rarely
              >> takes more than an hour.  Following the ceremony, we host a
              >reception in
              >> the gym.  We ask each family to bring a "finger dessert" to share.
              >They
              >> drop it off before the ceremony and some of our confirmands set up,
              >serve
              >> and clean up as their parish apostolic work commitment.  The
              >Religious Ed
              >> Office provides the coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and punch.
              >>
              >> An excellent video for the parents (or teens) is "Pardon and Peace"
              >(I
              >> believe it's by Franciscan Communications).  It is a little "old"
              >and has
              >> been slightly revised.  The revision is entitled "Pardon and Peace
              >> Revisited".  We also use this with our Confirmands on our
              >Confimation
              >> Retreats.
              >>
              >> ________________________________________________________________
              >> YOU'RE PAYING TOO MUCH FOR THE INTERNET!
              >> Juno now offers FREE Internet Access!
              >> Try it today - there's no risk!  For your FREE software, visit:
              >> http://dl.www.juno.com/get/tagj.
              >>
              >>
              >------------------------------------------------------------------------
              >> For the fastest and easiest way to backup your files and, access
              >them from
              >> anywhere. Try @backup Free for 30 days.  Click here for a chance to
              >win a
              >> digital camera.
              >> http://click.egroups.com/1/337/3/_/2401/_/948920888/
              >>
              >> -- Check out your group's private Chat room
              >> -- http://www.egroups.com/ChatPage?listName=dre-talk&m=1
              >>
              >>
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >------------------------------------------------------------------------
              >Accurate impartial advice on everything from laptops to tablesaws.
              >http://click.egroups.com/1/748/3/_/2401/_/948927233/
              >
              >-- Easily schedule meetings and events using the group calendar!
              >-- http://www.egroups.com/cal?listname=dre-talk&m=1
              >
              >

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            • Anita Willoughby
              I have a First Sacrament team composed of catechists and parents, both interparochial school an dparish catechetical programs, who are involved in making any
              Message 6 of 7 , Jan 27, 2000
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                I have a First Sacrament team composed of catechists and parents, both
                interparochial school an dparish catechetical programs, who are involved
                in making any changes, review and approve policies, events an dschedule,
                about sacramental initiation, preparation and celebrations.

                Try to use the RCIA, esp the adaptations for children as a guide for
                all sacraments.

                First Reconciliation takes place second sunday in Lent, first Eccharist
                easter season..all Masses, sit with families, last week in April has
                been tradition.

                Parish centered, parents use the Silver Burdett WE CELEBRATE sacrament
                books at home with children.

                children must be registered and active in catechetical program for a
                least one year before starting prep.

                Have 4-5 Family Gathering (program, prayer, ritual) plus a parent
                meeting for each sac. We have a Rite of Welcome on feast of Jesus
                baptism, and scrutiny/blessing for candidates for reconciliation and
                eucharist (and confirmation)

                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: dreonline [SMTP:dreonline@...]
                > Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2000 11:38 PM
                > To: dre-talk@egroups.com
                > Subject: [dre-talk] Re: Topic of the month - First Reconciliation
                >
                > Interesting way to handle the change over to a different way of
                > offering Sacrament Preparation.   I need to begin to plan on that
                > now.  
                >    You mentioned writing to those we think this will apply.  In this
                > area it seems too many either move into the area with circumstance
                > that fit this need.  Or they do not register for R.E. classes until
                > they know Sacrament Preparation should be happening. Do you know what
                > I mean?  
                >     Mary Ann - Indiana
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: Julie Dekreon <mailto:pfjxd@...>
                > To: dre-talk@egroups.com <mailto:dre-talk@egroups.com>
                > Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2000 1:41 PM
                > Subject: [dre-talk] Re: Topic of the month - First
                > Reconciliation
                >
                >
                > My parish also uses this 2 six week model. We celebrate
                > Reconciliation before Advent and 1st Eucharist after Easter, usually
                > the 3rd Sunday in May. I send letters inviting families to participate
                > in both the Advent and Lent Parish Reconciliation services which
                > provides everyone additional opportunities to celebrate the sacracment
                > as a community. My program has grown to over 50 children so I will
                > have to add more class sections.
                > However, a critical point is advance notice. I write the parents
                > in May that the classes begin in October and to mark their schedules
                > to avoid conflicts with other activities. I used to say this in a
                > vague way, now I write that I am first to ask the family for this time
                > and I would value that they honor their children's faith formation
                > before swimming, indoor, soccer, etc. I schedule for 4pm Saturdays so
                > most activities are over for the day. I am flexible and parents who
                > see me ahead of time about a meet or tournament take home books and
                > lessons and actually work the lessons with the student. I send out
                > letters for 1st Eucharist in Jan claiming the timeslots in April. 
                > Amazingly, if a coach says the child can only miss one practice,
                > everyone complies and faith formation is out. If a catechist says
                > this, well....
                > I have talked personally to coaches (my children also play diff
                > sports) and every single one was agreeable to letting a child off a
                > game, practice, etc for church. I have even talked to high school
                > activity directors and they also agreed that no player would be
                > penalized or benched but that the coaches should have advance notice
                > in order to prepare another player for that game. So I try to be well
                > informed, flexible, but firm.
                > Julie
                > Pat Manuli wrote:
                > I think that the most important thing is getting the
                > word out that this
                > is your new program!  Of course, your pastor would have
                > to be in
                > agreement in case you are met with resistance which can
                > sometimes happen
                > (especially when soccer, baseball, etc. may meet at the
                > same time).
                > We have three separate groups of children in the
                > sacramental program:
                > eight classes comprised of 2nd and 3rd grade students,
                > one class of
                > 4th-6th grade students and one class of 7th-11th grade
                > students.  The
                > 7th-11th grade group is usually small so it meets at a
                > mutually
                > convenient time during the week (often attached to the
                > regular weekday
                > session).
                > We send a letter in the fall to all those whom we
                > believe in need of
                > these classes and also a flyer through the program to
                > all 3rd-6th grade
                > students to be sure we have not missed anyone. 
                > Announcement is made at
                > the opening parent session for the program and is also
                > placed in the
                > parish bulletin.  Students must be present for at least
                > 5 out of the 6
                > classes so it is really important that everyone gets the
                > message on time.
                >  Classes begin six weeks prior to the celebration of the
                > Sacrament the
                > Saturday before Thanksgiving.
                > Parents now know that this is our program and they make
                > their plans
                > accordingly.  It is only 6 weeks (12 total) for one year
                > -- people have
                > become very accepting and the program really works. 
                > Having done it both
                > ways, it seems to me that the celebration of the
                > Sacrament becomes much
                > more meaningful when the preparation is so focussed and
                > intense.
                > Hope this helps -- good luck!!
                > Pat
                > On Wed, 26 Jan 2000 16:47:37 -0800 "dreonline"
                > <dreonline@...>
                > writes:
                > >I am thinking about doing this also>  At the present
                > time Sacrament
                > >prep is
                > >in a grade level. This year it has been especially
                > awkward since I
                > >have
                > >quite a few kids that do not fall in the grade category
                > here.  I need
                > >to do
                > >something quick.  So....any suggestions?   How can I go
                > about
                > >beginning this
                > >kind of preparation in the Fall?  I do not have a Board
                > of Rel. Ed or
                > >anything great like that.  At the present time it is ME
                > and a part
                > >time
                > >secretary (and a Rel Ed population of about 700) in the
                > office.
                > >Hopefully,
                > >prayerfully, some day that will change.
                > >Mary Ann - Indiana
                > >----- Original Message -----
                > >From: Pat Manuli <stmarysore@...>
                > >To: <dre-talk@egroups.com>
                > >Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2000 12:41 PM
                > >Subject: [dre-talk] Re: Topic of the month - First
                > Reconciliation
                > >
                > >
                > >> We do our sacramental preparation separate from grade
                > level
                > >curriculum.
                > >> Students attend class on Saturdays (in addition to
                > their regular
                > >weekday
                > >> class) for six weeks in the fall to prepare for
                > Reconciliation and
                > >six
                > >> weeks in the spring to prepare for Eucharist.  There
                > are several
                > >textbook
                > >> series geared to this type of programming.  We are
                > currently using
                > >> Benziger's Sacramental Preparation Program.  There
                > are two sessions
                > >for
                > >> parental preparation for each sacrament, held during
                > class time.  We
                > >> celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation on the
                > Saturday before
                > >> Thanksgiving.  We usually have about 100 students so
                > we divide them
                > >into
                > >> two ceremonies and invite extra priests, when
                > necessary.  We use the
                > >> communal rite and conclude the service after everyone
                > has celebrated
                > >the
                > >> sacrament (including any family members who wish to
                > do so).  This
                > >rarely
                > >> takes more than an hour.  Following the ceremony, we
                > host a
                > >reception in
                > >> the gym.  We ask each family to bring a "finger
                > dessert" to share.
                > >They
                > >> drop it off before the ceremony and some of our
                > confirmands set up,
                > >serve
                > >> and clean up as their parish apostolic work
                > commitment.  The
                > >Religious Ed
                > >> Office provides the coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and
                > punch.
                > >>
                > >> An excellent video for the parents (or teens) is
                > "Pardon and Peace"
                > >(I
                > >> believe it's by Franciscan Communications).  It is a
                > little "old"
                > >and has
                > >> been slightly revised.  The revision is entitled
                > "Pardon and Peace
                > >> Revisited".  We also use this with our Confirmands on
                > our
                > >Confimation
                > >> Retreats.
                > >>
                > >>
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              • dreonline
                Interesting way to handle the change over to a different way of offering Sacrament Preparation. I need to begin to plan on that now. You mentioned writing to
                Message 7 of 7 , Jan 27, 2000
                • 0 Attachment
                  Interesting way to handle the change over to a different way of offering Sacrament Preparation.   I need to begin to plan on that now.  
                     You mentioned writing to those we think this will apply.  In this area it seems too many either move into the area with circumstance that fit this need.  Or they do not register for R.E. classes until they know Sacrament Preparation should be happening. Do you know what I mean?  
                      Mary Ann - Indiana
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2000 1:41 PM
                  Subject: [dre-talk] Re: Topic of the month - First Reconciliation

                  My parish also uses this 2 six week model. We celebrate Reconciliation before Advent and 1st Eucharist after Easter, usually the 3rd Sunday in May. I send letters inviting families to participate in both the Advent and Lent Parish Reconciliation services which provides everyone additional opportunities to celebrate the sacracment as a community. My program has grown to over 50 children so I will have to add more class sections.
                  However, a critical point is advance notice. I write the parents in May that the classes begin in October and to mark their schedules to avoid conflicts with other activities. I used to say this in a vague way, now I write that I am first to ask the family for this time and I would value that they honor their children's faith formation before swimming, indoor, soccer, etc. I schedule for 4pm Saturdays so most activities are over for the day. I am flexible and parents who see me ahead of time about a meet or tournament take home books and lessons and actually work the lessons with the student. I send out letters for 1st Eucharist in Jan claiming the timeslots in April.  Amazingly, if a coach says the child can only miss one practice, everyone complies and faith formation is out. If a catechist says this, well....
                  I have talked personally to coaches (my children also play diff sports) and every single one was agreeable to letting a child off a game, practice, etc for church. I have even talked to high school activity directors and they also agreed that no player would be penalized or benched but that the coaches should have advance notice in order to prepare another player for that game. So I try to be well informed, flexible, but firm.
                  Julie

                  Pat Manuli wrote:

                  I think that the most important thing is getting the word out that this
                  is your new program!  Of course, your pastor would have to be in
                  agreement in case you are met with resistance which can sometimes happen
                  (especially when soccer, baseball, etc. may meet at the same time).

                  We have three separate groups of children in the sacramental program:
                  eight classes comprised of 2nd and 3rd grade students, one class of
                  4th-6th grade students and one class of 7th-11th grade students.  The
                  7th-11th grade group is usually small so it meets at a mutually
                  convenient time during the week (often attached to the regular weekday
                  session).

                  We send a letter in the fall to all those whom we believe in need of
                  these classes and also a flyer through the program to all 3rd-6th grade
                  students to be sure we have not missed anyone.  Announcement is made at
                  the opening parent session for the program and is also placed in the
                  parish bulletin.  Students must be present for at least 5 out of the 6
                  classes so it is really important that everyone gets the message on time.
                   Classes begin six weeks prior to the celebration of the Sacrament the
                  Saturday before Thanksgiving.

                  Parents now know that this is our program and they make their plans
                  accordingly.  It is only 6 weeks (12 total) for one year -- people have
                  become very accepting and the program really works.  Having done it both
                  ways, it seems to me that the celebration of the Sacrament becomes much
                  more meaningful when the preparation is so focussed and intense.

                  Hope this helps -- good luck!!
                  Pat

                  On Wed, 26 Jan 2000 16:47:37 -0800 "dreonline" <dreonline@...>
                  writes:
                  >I am thinking about doing this also>  At the present time Sacrament
                  >prep is
                  >in a grade level. This year it has been especially awkward since I
                  >have
                  >quite a few kids that do not fall in the grade category here.  I need
                  >to do
                  >something quick.  So....any suggestions?   How can I go about
                  >beginning this
                  >kind of preparation in the Fall?  I do not have a Board of Rel. Ed or
                  >anything great like that.  At the present time it is ME and a part
                  >time
                  >secretary (and a Rel Ed population of about 700) in the office.
                  >Hopefully,
                  >prayerfully, some day that will change.
                  >Mary Ann - Indiana
                  >----- Original Message -----
                  >From: Pat Manuli <stmarysore@...>
                  >To: <dre-talk@egroups.com>
                  >Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2000 12:41 PM
                  >Subject: [dre-talk] Re: Topic of the month - First Reconciliation
                  >
                  >
                  >> We do our sacramental preparation separate from grade level
                  >curriculum.
                  >> Students attend class on Saturdays (in addition to their regular
                  >weekday
                  >> class) for six weeks in the fall to prepare for Reconciliation and
                  >six
                  >> weeks in the spring to prepare for Eucharist.  There are several
                  >textbook
                  >> series geared to this type of programming.  We are currently using
                  >> Benziger's Sacramental Preparation Program.  There are two sessions
                  >for
                  >> parental preparation for each sacrament, held during class time.  We
                  >> celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation on the Saturday before
                  >> Thanksgiving.  We usually have about 100 students so we divide them
                  >into
                  >> two ceremonies and invite extra priests, when necessary.  We use the
                  >> communal rite and conclude the service after everyone has celebrated
                  >the
                  >> sacrament (including any family members who wish to do so).  This
                  >rarely
                  >> takes more than an hour.  Following the ceremony, we host a
                  >reception in
                  >> the gym.  We ask each family to bring a "finger dessert" to share.
                  >They
                  >> drop it off before the ceremony and some of our confirmands set up,
                  >serve
                  >> and clean up as their parish apostolic work commitment.  The
                  >Religious Ed
                  >> Office provides the coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and punch.
                  >>
                  >> An excellent video for the parents (or teens) is "Pardon and Peace"
                  >(I
                  >> believe it's by Franciscan Communications).  It is a little "old"
                  >and has
                  >> been slightly revised.  The revision is entitled "Pardon and Peace
                  >> Revisited".  We also use this with our Confirmands on our
                  >Confimation
                  >> Retreats.
                  >>
                  >> ________________________________________________________________
                  >> YOU'RE PAYING TOO MUCH FOR THE INTERNET!
                  >> Juno now offers FREE Internet Access!
                  >> Try it today - there's no risk!  For your FREE software, visit:
                  >> http://dl.www.juno.com/get/tagj.
                  >>
                  >>
                  >------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  >> For the fastest and easiest way to backup your files and, access
                  >them from
                  >> anywhere. Try @backup Free for 30 days.  Click here for a chance to
                  >win a
                  >> digital camera.
                  >> http://click.egroups.com/1/337/3/_/2401/_/948920888/
                  >>
                  >> -- Check out your group's private Chat room
                  >> -- http://www.egroups.com/ChatPage?listName=dre-talk&m=1
                  >>
                  >>
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  >Accurate impartial advice on everything from laptops to tablesaws.
                  >http://click.egroups.com/1/748/3/_/2401/_/948927233/
                  >
                  >-- Easily schedule meetings and events using the group calendar!
                  >-- http://www.egroups.com/cal?listname=dre-talk&m=1
                  >
                  >

                  ________________________________________________________________
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