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Parish based programs for the Sacraments of Confirmation, First Eucharist and Penance are held each year. Confirmation is offered to children who are in Year 3 and up to/including Year 6 in the Queensland Education System. First Eucharist is offered to children who are in Year 4 and up to/including Year 6 in the Queensland Education System who have received the Sacrament of Confirmation. Penance is offered to children in Year 5 and above who have received the Sacraments of Confirmation and First Eucharist. The children journeying toward full initiation into the Catholic faith are prepared for these Sacraments within the family and supported by the worshipping Catholic Community.

The programs are designed for the family with their child to gain knowledge about the Catholic faith and to immerse themselves into the practice of the Catholic faith. The family and child will be encouraged to develop a close relationship with Jesus Christ and to connect with his message. The Sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated by our Bishops. First Holy Communion is celebrated during Sunday Mass. The family will be introduced to the Sacrament of Penance through the rite of reconciliation which provides an experience of the love and the forgiveness that God has for us.

The post sacramental program provides the young person with opportunities for assisting at the Altar as an Altar Server, participation in the Children’s Liturgy of the Word at the 9am Sunday Mass.

There are three forms of the celebration of penance.

  1. Reconciliation for Individual Penitents (Rite I)
    This form is celebrated by an individual person in the presence of the priest. The place where this happens is usually a Reconciliation Room (what used to be called a “Confessional’). A bible, a crucifix and candle are placed on a table in the centre of the space. The person may choose to sit facing the priest or to sit behind a screen and remain anonymous. The Rite begins with a greeting, followed by words of encouragement from the priest. After short reading from scripture, the person reflects on his/her circumstances and confesses his/her sins and seeks reconciliation. The priest offers advice and gives a penance that is meant to help in starting a new life and to remedy any weakness. The priest pronounces absolution and the rite concludes with a short thanksgiving.
  2. Reconciliation for Several Penitents with individual confession and absolution (Rite II)
    This form of the Rite begins with a celebration of the Word – readings from scripture, hymns, prayers, a homily and an examination of conscience, followed by a call to repentance. Private confession and reconciliation follow. The Rite concludes with a short thanksgiving, and a blessing and dismissal of the gathered assembly.
  3. Reconciliation for Several Penitents with general confession and absolution (Rite III)
    This form of the Rite follows the same pattern as Rite II, but does not include individual confession and reconciliation. It includes a communal prayer of confession and general absolution. The use of this form is restricted to emergencies and other special circumstances.

Individual Reconciliation (Rite I) is usually celebrated at set times during the week in parishes (often on Saturday afternoon) and may be arranged at other times by appointment.

This Rite is meant to give people the opportunity for personal prayer and individual spiritual direction to enable them to ‘set their lives on track’!

Communal Reconciliation (Rite II) is usually celebrated in parish communities during Advent and Lent and at other appropriate times during the year.

Baptised members of the Roman Catholic Church who feel called to be reconciled with God and with the faith community can take part in the sacrament of penance.

This call to conversion and reconciliation occurs when one considers, judges and changes one’s life in the light of God’s love revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. Prayer and participating in the Eucharist are the regular means of asking for forgiveness and being reconciled with God and the community. However, there are times when the faithful need the sacrament of penance/reconciliation in their struggle to be forgiven and forgiving, to discover anew the gift of God’s saving action in their lives and to be strengthened to continue living as disciples of Jesus.

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