Preparing to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion for the first time can be one of the most memorable experiences parents share with their children.
Celebration of the Eucharist is never a private devotion but rather a weekly communal gathering much like a family meal. Communion is a joining together of the members of the community, not only with their God but also with each other. Preparation for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion is about helping families to become more actively integrated into the community of faith.
Families who regularly worship at St Joseph’s, St Mary’s, St Pius X or St Edward the Confessor can enrol their children for the parish preparation for Reconciliation and Holy Communion if they will be in School Year 3 and above in September. Please read below carefully details of the programme on offer in the Catholic Parish of Guildford, as well as the timetable. We look forward to your application.
The Children, Youth and Families team
TO REGISTER FOR THE 2018/2019 FHC PROGRAMME
PLEASE FIRST REGISTER YOUR WHOLE FAMILY ON THE PARISH DATABASE.
PLEASE CLICK "FIRST COMMUNION PREPARATION", UNDER AREAS OF INTEREST.
YOU WILL THEN BE SENT AN EMAIL WITH A LINK TO REGISTER ONTO THE PROGRAMME. PLEASE DO NOT FORWARD THIS LINK TO OTHER FAMILIES AS THEY MUST FIRST REGISTER ON THE PARISH DATABASE.
CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS IS 1ST OCTOBER 2018.
What the programme involves
Parents are the first and best teachers in the Faith and they are guided through the preparation by the Children, Youth and Families Team to give them the tools and confidence to pass on the faith to their children. There are special activities for the children to prepare them too:
Just for Children
Children in Year 3 and above are encouraged to join our weekly youth formation group GYM-Jams, held during term time at St Joseph's Church Hall, Mondays 5.30-7.15 pm. It aims to provide a safe space for young people of a similar age to make friends, have fun, share food and explore and grow their faith together. We ask for a donation of £2 towards the evening meal.
We found that children preparing for First Holy Communion particularly benefit from joining GYM-jams as it really helps to grow their faith.
Once a month we will be looking specifically at what the children have been reflecting on at home through the family handouts.
FHC Family Mass
Especially for Children
Families are asked to attend any of the 8 Saturday evening/Sunday Masses on offer across the parish. Once a month, during Mass the Priest or Deacon will specifically address the children preparing for First Holy Communion in his homily and the families may be encouraged to get involved in the Mass too. Families are welcome to join the community for tea and coffee after Mass.
It’s so important that the family go to Mass every weekend because that’s where people receive Christ who saves, forgives and unites everyone to the father, the Church and each other.” Pope Francis
Bring the whole Family
We will be running 4 themed Family Days. These are fun ways to dig a bit deeper in faith and teaching of the church. The hall is decorated beautifully and families explore the different interactive stations together in their own time. The activities run all day so families can book a time that suits them and stay for as long or as little as they like. We even have a café offering good coffee, tea, milkshakes and yummy homemade cakes.
The family days cemented the themes we had worked through and really provided a focus for the whole FHC programme. It was lovely to be able to involve the whole family."
For parents and children to use together
Parents will collect a colourful, engaging handout each month to work through with their child at home. The content on the handouts is covered at the previous parents’ session. The handouts are a great way to begin conversations about faith in the family and to prepare for Holy Communion together.
My daughter loved completing the worksheets and enjoyed us learning together. She was allowed to express her opinions about a number of things that perhaps she had never been asked about before."
Just for Parents'
We ask parents to join us once a month for parents’ evenings. At these evenings we will explore and rediscover the Catholic faith. We believe that parents are the first and best teachers in the Faith and the Catholic Parish of Guildford are committed to provide the best support for parents in this irreplaceable role.
Parents have flexibility to choose one of two evenings, on a Wednesday or Thursday evening, at St Joseph’s Church Hall, 7.30pm-9.15pm. A morning session is also on offer on a Thursday at St Joseph's Church Hall, 10am-11.45am. Refreshments will be provided.
The first session will be an opportunity for parents to find out more about the programme and to 'opt in'. It is essential that a parent or guardian for each child attends this meeting.
It was refreshing to have a couple of hours each month to really think about my faith and discuss it with other people."
Dates of the programme