The initiation of children into the sacramental life of the Church is primarily the responsibiity and concern of parents (CIC 890, RC 3). Although the child has reached the age of reason at the time of preparation for First Eucharist, they have not yet been fully initiated. They joyfully await to receive the nourishment of Jesus' Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist. As parents are called to assist their child in the life of holiness, we are here to support your efforts in every way possible.
In accordance with the teachings of the Church, we believe that parents are the first and primary teachers of their children in the ways of the faith. In Baptism, parents accept the responsibility of training their children in the practice of the Faith and to make it "their constant care." As stated in the Rite of Baptism (n. 120), parents are to see that the "divine life which God gives them [their children] is kept safe from the poison of sin, to grow always stronger in their hearts."
The Archdiocese of Washington requires a two year preparation in anticipation of receiving the sacrament of First Eucharist. Typically, students begin their religious education in first grade and conclude with the celebration of First Eucharist in May of the second grade year. If your child is older and has not received First Eucharist, please contact Therese Recinella, Director of Religious Education, as soon as possible to enroll your son or daughter in our Special Sacramental Classes for older students. To share in Communion for the first time children must have “sufficient knowledge and careful preparation so as to understand the mystery of Christ according to their capacity” (Code of Canon Law 913).
If your child is in need of School of Religion classes (i.e. is not enrolled in a Catholic school) for First Eucharist and First Reconciliation, please contact Michelle Balch, Director of Religious Education, at 202.449.3989 or .