Preparation for the Sacrament of First Reconciliation

A candidate must be at the age of discretion for sacramental preparation, seven years of age or above, and must meet the following requirements:

  • Be baptized
  • Be Catholic (children baptized in another denomination must make a Profession of Faith)
  • Have the ability to recognize the difference between right and wrong
  • Have the capacity for sincere sorrow
  • Be properly instructed

“Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time.”  Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1457
“In the Latin Church, children must receive the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation for the first time prior to their first reception of the Eucharist.”

General Catechetical Directory, Addendum 5 Participation in the sacrament must be a free response of faith.

The child who is to receive his/her First Reconciliation must attend their scheduled Family Formation sessions.
Candidates will be allowed 1 absence for the year. If they miss more, then the family will be responsible for make up sessions.
The child is required to attend the scheduled reconciliation retreat during the year.
Must bring in a signed weekly bulletin from a priest or deacon from the weekend masses and turn them in
at the next scheduled Family Faith Formation session.  (If you visit another parish from out of town, please have the priest or deacon sign that bulletin.)


Parents have a right and a responsibility to be intimately involved in preparing their children for sacraments and are to be models for them in the life of Faith.

Parents discern the readiness of their children to prepare for and receive the Sacrament of Penance in consultation with their pastor or his delegate.

This policy deals with children clearly dependent on their families. By focusing first and with considerable attention on parents, this policy honors the principle that parents hold the primary responsibility of forming their children in faith--in partnership with their pastor and the parish community. This affirms the promises made at Baptism that parents, sponsors and the faith community support and nurture the faith formation of the child in the love of God. Parents, who due to extraordinary circumstances cannot assume their role in preparation of their child for the sacraments, may designate another adult to fulfill this responsibility (Discerned in dialogue with pastor or designate.)


“According to their respective offices in the Church, both pastors of souls and all other members of Christ’s faithful have a duty to ensure that those who ask for the sacraments are prepared for their reception. This should be done through proper evangelization and catechetical instruction, in accordance with the norms laid down by the competent authority.” Code of Canon Law 843 § 2.