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Letter to Parents of Children Preparing for Sacraments

St Fillan’s, Ford Road, Crieff

Catholic Education Week 2021

Dear Parent/Carer

I hope you and your family are well. You have been through a very difficult 18 months or so, and for some of you I know it will have been especially traumatic. Please be assured of my continued prayers for you and the whole parish.

This coming year, your child will celebrate either First Communion, with the Sacrament of Penance (Reconciliation), or Confirmation. This is an occasion of great joy. Hopefully, in 2022, we shall be able to celebrate with you and your family and friends without the restrictions of 2020-21. This also presents an opportunity for you, your family, parish, and school to think about what it is we really want for the next generation. The theme of Catholic Education Week this year is ‘Celebrating and Worshipping’, and what better way to focus on that theme than to consider how we are preparing for and celebrating the sacraments.

You will be well aware that most parents of children who celebrate their sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Communion) have little or no contact with the parish. Generally, especially if they attend St Dominic’s, the school is the only connection with the Catholic Faith that most have. Increasingly, and this was the case before the pandemic, fewer and fewer parents have been attending meetings called by the parish and school to discuss sacramental preparation, and, of course, such meetings have been impossible more recently.

The pandemic, for sure, has been a struggle for all of us, but it does offer us a chance to reset our relationships, as we have been forced to do in so many of our social interactions. Pope Francis has also called for the Church to realise its true nature as a synodal Church, a Church which journeys together as a community. He has asked us to listen to what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell us, to the Word of God, and to each other.

I believe that by God’s grace there has opened up for us a whole new prospect for the way we live our lives as Catholics. As part of the process of re-imagining the relationship between home, parish, and school, I want to embark on a ‘listening project’ (to borrow a phrase from the BBC). I want to meet with you between now and next March to discuss where you are in your journey of faith, how you see your faith and that of your children developing, and what the parish can do for you in realising this.

To enable this conversation to take place, I am asking every individual set of parents or carers to register their interest in putting forward their child for the sacraments with me, not with the school. In other words, it is not enough that your child attends St Dominic’s and is in the relevant class for First Communion or Confirmation, they must be registered with the parish. I am also asking that parents do this before the schools break for their Christmas holidays on Wednesday 22nd December. Registration can be done in person, through email, or by writing to me at St Fillan’s.

The dates for the celebration of the sacraments for school children are as follows:

Tuesday 29th March Celebration of the Sacrament of Penance (First Reconciliation)

Wednesday 25th May Celebration of Confirmations

Sunday 5th June Celebration of First Communions

We want to support you in your role as first educators of your children in the ways of Faith. We can only do this if we know who you are! Please assist this project by registering your child with the parish and taking part in a pastoral conversation in which we listen to what God wants for us all.

Yours Faithfully

Canon Tom

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