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Letter to Catechism Parents May 2020

28 May 2020

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Dear Parents

Restructuring the Catechetical Programmes of the Parish

I’m sure you are wondering what’s going to happen with regards to catechism after the National Lockdown is relaxed. The coordinators have met with the priest-in-charge to discuss the current situation. We recognized that the lockdown restrictions also give us the opportunity to align the parish’s children faith formation programmes with the Archdiocese. Here then is our plan going forward.

For the immediate future, it has been agreed that no further catechism classes will be held this year – except for the small group mentioned in the next paragraph – and no Sacraments will be conferred on children who have been preparing to receive First Reconciliation, First Holy Communion, or Confirmation, giving your children the time and opportunity to concentrate more fully on their schoolwork, and upcoming exams, so that they can be best prepared for next year.

We will however, accommodate a very small group of children (about 11) who are in our First Holy Communion group and who are in Grade 4 or higher at school. We expect to have 4 or 5 lessons for them in October, and have them receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist in November. This is, of course, dependent on the pandemic rulings at the time.

We will then recommence catechism classes in 2021, with the following changes:

  • Children in Grade One will be encouraged to join the ‘Little People’s Group’ on a Sunday morning, in the Hall which runs concurrently with the 09H30 Holy Mass.
  • Children will start formal catechism classes when they are in Grade 2, and then progress through the grades.
  • Children in Grade 3 will be trained for and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
  • Children in Grade 4 will be trained for and receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
  • Children will then progress through grades 5, 6, and 7; the form of which has not yet been decided.
    • e. we will either have formal classes or we will develop a ‘youth group’ to cater for these children to grow in spirituality and community before they begin their preparation for Confirmation.
  • Teenagers in Grade 8 will begin their Confirmation preparation in the first of a three-year program.
    • They will then be confirmed in Grade 10.

This will bring us into line with all the other parishes and Catholic schools in the Archdiocese.

For those teenagers who are currently preparing for Confirmation the following transition will apply:

  • Those in the Confirmation Class with Teachers Lisa and Taso, will continue their preparation next year and be confirmed in 2021.
  • The teenagers who are currently in the ‘Pre-Confirmation’ class with Teachers Robert, Veronica and Francesca, will move into year two of the program in 2021, and on to year three in 2022 when they will be confirmed.
  • Please note that any teenager who is preparing for Confirmation, but has not yet received the sacraments of Reconciliation and/or Holy Communion will receive these Sacraments at the same time as they are confirmed.
  • Children who are currently in Gr 6, and will be in Grade 7 in 2021, will commence their Confirmation preparation in Gr 8, in 2022.

The spiritual welfare of our children is most important to us, and we look forward to welcoming them back to catechism in the new year. The first teachers of the faith are you, parents. We pray through the intercession of St Thérèse, our patron, for the enlightenment that comes from the Spirit that we all may be the best examples of practicing and handing on the precious gift of the Catholic faith.

Yours in Christ

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