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Guidelines and Policies

Policy for First Eucharist

  1. The reception of the Most Holy Eucharist takes place after the reception of the Sacrament of Penance. (c. 914)
  2. It is the primary duty of parents or those who take the task of parents, as well as the duty of pastors, to take care that children who have reached the age of reason are properly prepared to receive the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. (c. 914)
  3. The administration of the Most Holy Eucharist to children requires that they have sufficient knowledge and careful preparation so that they understand the mystery of Christ according to their capacity and are able to receive the body of Christ with faith and devotion. (c. 913)
  4. 4. The pastor must exercise vigilance so that the children who have not attained the use of reason or whom he judges are not sufficiently disposed do not approach Holy Communion. (c. 914)

Recommended Diocesan Policy:

For Children

  1. The age of reason is around the age of seven years old. The child should be admitted to the sacrament of Holy Eucharist at the end of his/her second grade. If a child is older than seven years old, they should be admitted to the Eucharist after a two-year preparation period.
  2. Parents should be actively involved in the preparation of their children.
  3. Parents begin to prepare their child for the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist as the child enters the first grade.
  4. The parish teaches the parent to teach their child about the sacrament of Holy Eucharist.
  5. A diocesan standardized test will be administered to the child by the pastor or his delegate when the parents believe that their child is ready to receive the Most Holy Eucharist.
  6. The parents present the child to the pastor or his representative for Holy Eucharist when the child has passed the diocesan standardized test.
  7. The Sacrament of Holy Eucharist is received after the child has received the Sacrament of Penance. 
  8. The child receives the sacrament of Holy Eucharist at a date determined by the pastor.
  9. Special pastoral care should be given to a child with developmental disabilities.

For Adults

  1. Adults who are not baptized should go through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.
  2. Adults who are baptized should go through the RCIA as candidates who are baptized but not catechized. All previous diocesan policies or norms concerning the reception of the Holy Eucharist contrary to the above policy are hereby abrogated and these are effective as of January 1, 2003

Policy for the Sacrament of Penance

  1. The participation of the Sacrament of Penance takes place before the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist (c. 914)
  2. After reaching the age of discretion, each member of the faithful is obligated to confess faithfully his or her sins at least once a year. (c. 989)
  3. The Christian faithful must be disposed in such a way that rejecting sins committed and having a purpose of amendment, the person is turned back to God. (c 987)
  4. The Christian faithful are obliged to confess in kind and number all grave sins committed after baptism after a diligent examination of conscience. (c. 988§ 2) 5. It is also recommended that the faithful confess venial sins. (c. 988 § 2)

For Children

  1. The age of discretion is around the age of seven years old. The child should be admitted to the Sacrament of Penance at the end of his second grade. If a child is older than seven years, he/she should be admitted to the Sacrament of Penance after a two-year preparation period.
  2. Parents should be actively involved in the preparation of their children.
  3. Parents should begin to prepare their children for the Sacrament of Penance as the child enters first grade.
  4. The parish teaches the parent to teach their children about the Sacrament of Penance.
  5. A diocesan standardized test with emphasis on how to make an examination of conscience will be administered to the child by the pastor or his delegate, when the parent believes that their child is ready to receive the Sacrament of Penance.
  6. The parent presents the child to the pastor for the Sacrament of First Penance at a date determined by the pastor.
  7. Special pastoral care should be given to children with developmental disabilities.

For Adults

  1. Adults who are not baptized should go through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.
  2. Adults who are baptized should go through the RCIA as candidates who are baptized but not catechized.

All previous diocesan policies or norms concerning the Sacrament of Penance contrary to the above policy are hereby abrogated and the above are effective as of January 1, 2003


Policy for the Reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation

  1.  Only persons who have not been confirmed can recieve the Sacrament of Confirmation. (c.8891§1)
  2. To receive Confirmation licitly outside of the danger of death, a candidate for Confirmation must have the use of reason, must be suitably instructed, properly disposed and able to renew the promises of baptism. (c. 889§2)
  3. Parents and pastors are to take care that the candidate for Confirmation is properly instructed. (c. 890)
  4. The age of Confirmation in the United States is established by the local ordinary within the range established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. (c. 891)
  5. Each candidate is to have a sponsor as explained below. There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each. (c. 873)
  6. The sponsor is to take care that the confirmed person be a true witness of Christ and faithfully fulfill the obligations inherent in this sacrament. (c. 892)
  7. It is desirable to choose as sponsor the one who undertook the same function in baptism. (c. 893,§2)
  8. The function of sponsor:
    • The sponsor is chosen by the one to e confirmed, parents or person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor. 
    • A sponsor must have completed sixteen years of age. 
    • A sponsor must be a Catholic who has been confirmed, who has received the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist and who leads a life of faith.
    • A sponsor cannot be the father or mother of the candidate for Confirmation. (c. 874)

Diocesan Policy

  1. The adolescent who has reached the age of 14 by September 1st begins their preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Fall of that year, and receives it in the Easter Season of the year in which he or she turns 16.
  2. A person who is older than 16 receives Confirmation through the RCIA process or after a suitable periode of preparation.
  3. Special pastoral care should be given to a candidate for Confirmation who has developmental disabilities. 

All previous diocesan policies or norms regarding the Sacrament of Confirmation which are contrary to the above policy are hereby abrogated and these are effective as of August 1, 2015.