Parents as First Educators
The Catholic Church acknowledges that parents are the first educators of faith for their children. From baptism parents commit to nurturing their child’s faith by introducing them to God through prayer and example.
From an early age the notion that God is present in a child’s life can be developed in simple daily practices and observations. Prayer at meal times, before going to bed, or leaving for school each day can become daily family practices. Bringing the family to Sunday Mass to gather with other Catholics introduces the child to the Church’s ritual and symbol.
The Role of the Parish
The Catholic Parish of Bundaberg supports parents in their role as first educators in faith and assists them in the preparation of their child for the sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist. Preparation is necessary before any sacraments are celebrated.
The Rite of Infant Baptism is used for children from birth to 7 years of age. Preparation for baptism of infants and young children is required and is offered in a group situation on the first Sunday of each month. Alternate arrangements can be made if necessary. For more information see Baptism.
Parents who reside in a town or city outside of Bundaberg and who wish to have their child baptised in our parish are asked to complete their preparation in their parish of residence. A letter from your Parish Priest or Administrator is required before the baptism. A date and time for the baptism can be arranged by contacting our Parish Office.
Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist
In the Catholic Parish of Bundaberg, parents prepare their children for the sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation, and Eucharist with the assistance and support of the parish Sacramental Team, the Catholic Schools, and the parish community.
Who may prepare?
We offer a program of preparation for primary school children wishing to prepare for all or any of these three sacraments. Usually children who are 8 years or older may prepare for the sacraments. Secondary school students prepare together in a separate group. See below for further information.
When does it begin?
The process follows the Church’s liturgical year, not the school year, and begins with a Parent Information Session in late July / early August each year. The process is outlined at this session.
How does it happen?
A number of Parent sessions, Parent/Child sessions, and rituals are scheduled during the period of preparation which concludes with the celebrations of Confirmation and First Holy Communion in the Easter season of the following year.
The Sacrament of Penance (Reconciliation) is celebrated during the season of Lent, prior to Easter.
The parish acknowledges the busy lifestyles of today’s families and believes it offers a preparation program for the sacraments that fits into family life.
A Team of catechists and welcomers, with the Parish Priest and/or Assistant Priest, lead each session and guide parents through the process. The Catholic Schools support the families in their preparation by acknowledging the student’s journey of preparation in class and whole school activities.
Sunday Mass is pivotal to the preparation of children for the sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist. Families are expected to attend Sunday Mass throughout the period of preparation on a regular basis so that the child’s relationship with God and the Church is developed.
Liturgy of the Word for Children is offered at every Mass throughout the year, except from Christmas to the beginning of the new school year and on certain major feasts or celebrations. Liturgy of the Word for Children allows young children, Prep – sacramental age, to listen to and respond to the Sunday readings at their level.
A fee is involved for resources used throughout the preparation period.
Important Dates for Sacramental Preparation Program
Unless otherwise indicated, all sessions are held at the Parish Office, Level 1, 66 Woongarra Street.
Parent and Family Sessions are held on Sundays at 10.30am or Wednesdays at 7.00pm.
A PDF version of the dates can be found here
Secondary Students’ Sacramental Preparation
Secondary school students who wish to prepare for the sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation, and Eucharist follow a process similar to that of younger students.
Older students are guided by their parents, peers, and the Sacramental Team through the process of preparation.
An Information Evening for parents and students, during which the process is outlined, is scheduled during September marking the beginning of the program.
The sacraments are celebrated ideally in Lent (Reconciliation) and the Easter Season (Confirmation & Eucharist). Every effort is made to schedule the program around students’ school, college, work, and social activities.
Contact Anne Sheehan, Sacramental Co-ordinator, 4151 6666, for further information.