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First Reconciliation and
First Holy Eucharist (Communion) 

Holy Eucharist is the sacrament in which Jesus Christ gives his body and blood himself for us, so that we too might give ourselves to him in love and be united with him in Holy Communion. In this way we are joined with the one Body of Christ, the Church . 
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Welcome to the Shrine of St. Therese Sacramental Program!

Preparing for First Reconciliation and First Holy Eucharist is a special journey of prayer, learning, and growth for both the child and the family. Due to the unique and special nature of these profound Sacraments, the Diocese in her wisdom asks us to participate in a minimum of two (2) full years of dedicated Catechesis specifically to prepare for the 2 Sacraments. Therefore, students must have completed 1 year of Catechism prior to entering the 2nd grade Sacramental Preparation Program. (*Exception: Only 1 year needed if the child is either in Catholic School or Catholic Home School and receives Catechesis there and books used must be shown to the Parish for reference*)

Class Attendance

Classes for the preparation of 1st Reconciliation/1st Holy Communion begin in September and run through the first weekend of May. Children are expected to have minimal absences (less than 4) during their 2nd grade preparation year.Catechism will meet every Sunday morning in the Parish Hall, a calendarof all dates will be provided at the beginning of each year.

COMPULSORY PARENT/CHILD CLASS SESSIONS: Additionally, there will be some dates that parents are expected to attend WITH their child in order to better understand the beauty and nature of the Sacraments. These classes are important for the growth of both the child and the parent and are to be attended.

Mass Attendance

Families are expected to attend Mass weekly at the Shrine of St. Therese and on all Holy Days of Obligation. In this way the family continues to grow together in their love and knowledge of the Lord in the Holy Sacrafice of the Mass. The celebration of the Sacred Liturgy (Mass) and especially the reception of the Holy Eucharist is the "source and summit" of our entire Christian journey and is not to be neglected.

Registration in the Parish

Families are asked to become registered members of the Shrine Parish Community. Since your child will be receiving their Sacraments here, we will be recording their Sacramental records at the Shrine. Please provide copies of baptismal records for each family member.


  • Baptised children who have reached the age of reason (age 7+) must complete 1 year of Religious Education before entering into the 2nd grade Sacramental Preparation Program.
  • Un-Baptised children, who are past the age of 7, will also participate in the R.C.I.C. preparation courses in addition to the Sunday morning preparation classes. (RCIC classes take place on a separate night of the week - see coordinator for details).
  • Un-Catechised children: Children of the age of reason (7+) who have not attended Catechism before (and who have not been Home Schooled or in Catholic school) must complete one year of Catechism in order to be eligible to enter into the Sacramental Preparation Program.
Please read the Program Outline for more detailed information.

First Confession is to precede First Holy Eucharist:

During their 2nd Grade Year, children will prepare to receive the Sacrament of Confession / Penance by the season of Advent. In the Spring, typically during the month of May, children will then receive their First Holy Eucharist.  In accordance with the mind of the Church, it is imparative that Confession precede the reception of the Holy Eucharist.

IV. Code of Canon Law
Pope John Paul II (1983)

Canon 914. It is the responsibility, in the first place, of the parents and those who take the place of parents as well as of pastor to see that children who have reached the use of reason are correctly prepared and are nourished bt the divine food as early as possible, preceded by sacramental confession: it is also for the pastor to be vigilant lest any children come to the Holy Banquet who have not reached the use of reason or whom he judges are not sufficiently disposed.

V. Catechism of the Catholic Church
Pope John Paul II (1994)

1457 According to the Church's command, "after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year." Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to cenfession. Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time.

2013 1st Eucharist pictures