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Sacramental Programme - 2017 - 2018

The initial letter to parents and the registration cards for the Sacramental Programme 2017/2018 are available at the back of each church. Children should either be seven years old or reach the age of seven during the course of this programme. Please collect a letter and a registration card from church. This year's letter to parents: Dear Parents, I am very pleased to invite you to consider enrolling your child into the Darwen Catholic Parishes Sacramental Programme 2017/2018. This continues the Initiation into the Church which you began when you had your child baptised. The next steps are as follows:

1. Registration and Enrolment of your child on the programme. If your own Faith in Jesus Christ and involvement in the church is such that you want to register your child for enrolment on the programme, please collect a REGISTRATION CARD from church. Please complete this card and bring it to the meeting for parents on Thursday 16th November 2017 or to the first celebration Mass on Sunday 19th September . This registration meeting will be at 2.15pm in Sacred Heart and St. Edward’s Parish Hall and repeated at 7.00pm in St. Joseph’s Parish Hall. Please attend only one or the other. This meeting is for parents and not for the children. After you have registered your child, you will need to bring him/her along to be enrolled on our Parish Sacramental Programme. There will be two Enrolment Masses. At St. Joseph’s Church, the enrolment Mass will be at 9.00am on Sunday 19th November. At St. Edward’s Church, the enrolment Mass will be at 11.00am on Sunday 19th November. Every child must be REGISTERED and ENROLLED to be on the programme.

2. Complete the full programme. Children who attend Catholic Schools will cover much of the preparation in school. Extra arrangements for instruction will be arranged for children who do not attend Catholic Schools. All the children will need to purchase a work book which will be available from church or school. Every child, whichever school they go to, will need to attend the Parish Celebration Masses in preparation for receiving the Sacraments. In St. Joseph’s Church, these will be the Sunday masses at 9.00am. In St. Edward’s Church, these will be the Sunday morning Masses at 11.00am.

The Parish Celebration Masses will be on Sundays:

19th November 2017

17th December 2017

7th January 2018

25th March 2018

29th April 2018

Children will be expected to attend Mass every Saturday evening or Sunday morning in preparation for the Sacraments. They will particularly be expected to attend all five of these celebration Masses if they are to receive the Sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion in 2018.

3. The child will make his/her First Confession: On either Tuesday 7th February or Wednesday 8th February 2018. Further details and arrangements will be issued after Christmas and children should attend the service booked for them to ensure they are given quality time and a special, personal. experience.

4. After taking part in the Sacramental Programme and making First Confession, you will then be able to book a date for your child to receive Holy Communion for the first time. A list is posted in the Sacristy of both churches giving options for the date and Mass at which your child will receive Holy Communion for the first time. These dates will be Sunday Masses in each church on Sundays during June 2018.

5. Other meetings for children and for parents. There may be additional meetings. You will be notified about these in good time through notices in church, the parish newsletter and the parish website.

6. The Sacraments of Initiation are being reviewed in the diocese. The Sacrament of Confirmation will not be part of this Sacramental Programme. Confirmation will be offered when your child is a little older. Further details will be issued when your child makes the transition from Year 6 to high school. I am looking forward to celebrating with you this important year in the life of your child and trust that you will enter into this joyful time with enthusiasm and give us and your child your support. If you wish to involve your child in this programme, please join us for one of the meetings on the 15th November 2017 or one of the enrolment Masses on Sunday 19th November 2017.

If you are unable to attend on this day then please contact me to make other arrangements. My phone number is at the top of of the weekly Parish newsletters. Please remember that arrangements for your child to receive the Sacraments are made directly with our Parish here in Darwen, through the priest and the church and not through school, although we very much value the contribution of the schools in teaching and encouraging the children.

Thank you and God bless,

Fr. Brian

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