A vital part of our Catholic Christian experience is the sharing in the Sacraments. According to the Catholic Church’s teachings, a Catholic parent, has an obligation to provide religious education for their children. The church teaches that religious education begins at home and is the responsibility of the parent to provide moral education and spiritual formation. The church expects us to teach our children about God, angels, saints and Catholic traditions. According to the church, as a Catholic parent, we have an awesome responsible to educate and train our child in the Catholic faith, worship and morality which should begin in the earliest years.
In addition to providing a religious education, as a Catholic parent we are also expected to prepare him/her to receive the church’s sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation. According to Canon Law, infants are to be baptized during the first few weeks of life. When a child reaches second grade, or 7 years of age, it is time to prepare him/her for the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist. This preparation usually takes place at a Catholic school or religious education program, and sometimes through home schooling. If a child attends a non-Catholic school, parents are encouraged to enroll their child in religious education classes for this preparation. The sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated in the fifth grade in the parishes in Steubenville and Wintersville
Parents, through word and example, are the primary faith educators of their children. The religious education program helps parents by teaching our rich Catholic heritage and provides a basis for faith formation.
This process is carried out not only by classroom discussion and teaching, but also through participation in prayer, special celebrations and worship opportunities, and service to others. In this way, the child is led to a closer relationship with God, other children, and the total Christian faith community.
The Diocese of Steubenville requires participation in a religious education program for a minimum of two consecutive years for sacramental preparation prior to receiving a sacrament. Therefore, the students in Grade 1 begin the preparation for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Eucharist and complete the preparation in Grade 2 at which time the sacraments are received. The students in Grade 3 and 4 begin the preparation for Confirmation and complete the preparation in Grade 5 at which time the sacrament is received.
Sacraments are Parish celebrations, and therefore, are celebrated in the Parish Faith Community.