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Sacramental Programme - 2016 - 2017

The initial letter to parents for the Sacramental Programme 2016/2017 is 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 from church and then in September please collect 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 2016/2017. 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 Enrollment 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 enrollment on the programme, please collect a REGISTRATION CARD from church. These cards will be made available in church in September 2016. Please complete this card and bring it to a meeting for parents on Thursday 17th November 2016. 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 the Darwen Catholic Parishes Sacramental Programme.  There will be two Enrollment Masses.

At St. Joseph’s Church, the enrollment Mass will be at 9.00am on Sunday 20th November.

At St. Edward’s Church, the enrollment Mass will be at 11.00am on Sunday 20th 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.

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:

11th December 2016,

8th January 2017,

12th February 2017,

9th April 2017

and 14th May 2017.

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 2017.

3.         The child will make his/her First Confession.

On Tuesday 14th March 2017 the children on the programme will all make their First Confession in Sacred Heart and St. Edward’s Church at a service at 6.30pm. This will be the only First Confession celebration for Darwen Catholic Parishes.

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.

At some time in 2017, a list will be placed on the notice board in each church 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 2017.

5.         Other meetings for children and for parents.

There will 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. At the moment we do not know what age this will be at.

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, it will be necessary for at least one parent of your child to attend one of the meetings on the 17th November 2016. If you are unable to attend on this day then you must contact me to make other arrangements. My phone number is at the top of this letter. Please remember that arrangements for your child to receive the Sacraments are made directly with Darwen Catholic Parishes, 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. Peter

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