On the day of a child’s Baptism, the Priest asked parents: “You have asked to have your child baptised. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training him/her in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring him/her up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbour. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?”
The Church teaches that the responsibility for initiating children into the Church through preparation for sacraments belongs firstly with parents. The family is the basic unit of the faith community. Children are presented for initiation into the church at baptism by their parents whose role in fostering a child’s life of faith is so crucial that nothing else can replace it. It is within the family that faith is received and nurtured and so the family is the primary focus for sacramental preparation. Times of sacramental preparation are moments of grace for nurturing the faith of the whole family and of the parish community.
What is expected of the parents to assist their child in the preparation for the Sacraments?
- Ensure that their children attend all catechesis.
- Attend parent catechesis meetings.
- Attend Sunday Mass regularly, and especially any celebration Masses.
It is within the parish that children are welcomed, their initiation into the faith celebrated and their journey into Christian maturity nourished and sustained. The parish provides the experience of belonging to a community of faith that is constant throughout the different phases of life, a place where all the initiated should feel at home. It is the parish, as the place of the Christian community which coordinates the activities involved in preparing the child for the Sacraments, working with the family, the school, catechists and parish clergy, the parish ensures that all requirements necessary to bring the children to the Sacraments are attended to in good time. In this way, the parish will both nourish and be nourished by the faith of the children and their families.
What is expected of the Parish?
- To invite families to enrol their children for the Sacraments.
- To offer support through communal and personal prayer, hospitality and giving witness to Christian living.
- To support parents in their role of sharing faith within the family through experiences of family catechesis.
Fr Kieren normally begins to invite families to enrol on the programme from May-July before the children enter Yr3. Registration forms must be collected from Sunday Masses and returned to the Presbytery on Roseneath Road.