The Sacrament of Baptism for Older Children
What is the Children’s Catechumenate
Similar to RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults), the Children’s Catechumenate is a program for children between the ages of 7 and 14 who have not been baptized, or who are baptized but have not received their 1st Holy Communion. This process is open to both parishioners and non-parishioners who are in need of preparation for these Sacraments and for reception into the Roman Catholic Church during the Easter Season. Whether your family is just entering the church, is returning after time away, have decided as a family to delay the children’s sacramental preparation, or any other circumstance, all are welcome.
While this may seem a wide age range to have in one class, accommodations will be made depending on the make-up of the class. For example, with large classes, general instruction will be given to the entire class, then children will be broken up into 2-4 small groups with group activities tailored to their age and sacraments.
When do classes meet and what is covered?
Classes meet on Tuesday of the second week of the month at 6:00 PM. We will focus on the sacraments, faith, community, service, prayer, and basic beliefs and practices during class meetings.
What materials are used?
Our main resource will be a book published by Sadlier. Other resources will be used as supplemental materials to this main source.
When will children receive the sacraments?
All students who are ready will receive the sacraments during the Easter Season. Those who have already been baptized either Catholic or in another religion (Candidates) enter the Catholic Church by making a Profession of Faith and receiving the sacrament(s) of Communion (Eucharist) and, when applicable, Confirmation. The sacrament of Confession (Penance, Reconciliation) is celebrated before Easter.
Those who have not yet been baptized (the Elect) enter the Catholic Church by receiving the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and when applicable, Confirmation. The sacrament of Confession (Penance, Reconciliation) is celebrated after Easter.
How do I enroll my child?
Enrollment for the Children’s Catechumenate occurs simultaneously with enrollment for parents. Parents may register new students by phoning the Religious Education Center, completing this form or registering online. All new students are asked to supply a copy of their baptismal certificates if they have been baptized.
What is required of a child in the Children’s Catechumenate?
Regular attendance at mass and Sunday classes, as well as active participation in class discussions and activities. There will also be some activities, such as community service, that will need to be completed outside of class.
All children will need a sponsor who is an active member in the Catholic Church, who will be able to be present at the various Rites. There will be various activities for the sponsor and child to complete together throughout the year. If the family is unable to find a sponsor for the child, we will help find a good match in the parish.
Can more than one child from the same family be enrolled in the process?
Yes. In many cases when a family is joining the church together, there is more than one child involved. It is highly encouraged to enroll all children at the same time.