Dear Parents/Guardians of St. Basil the Great Parish 6th Grade Students:
I am writing today to provide you with information regarding the Sacrament of Confirmation, for which your child will soon begin preparing.
As you may recall, the four local parishes in our Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning Area (St. Mary of the Assumption, St. Ann, St. Basil the Great, and St. Joseph) have been working together to ensure that all of our children receive the same religious instruction and receive certain sacraments on the same schedule. As a result, we have established common PREP practices which have enabled our children to attend PREP at any of the four local parishes. St. Basil’s is also currently transitioning from 6th to 7th grade for reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation in order to align with the other three parishes in our Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning Area (APPA 210). As part of this process, we have also been working with these other parishes to establish a common approach to sacramental preparation for First Reconciliation, First Communion, and Confirmation. While our children may attend PREP classes at any of the four parishes in APPA 210 or receive religious instruction in a Catholic school, all sacramental preparation (which is separate and apart from religious instruction) and receipt of sacraments must still occur at the child’s home parish -- which is your parish of registration. Despite what you may be hearing, this is true for all of the parishes in APPA 210. We are happy to let you know that all St. Basil the Great Parish 6th graders will begin Confirmation preparation in the Fall of 2014 and will be confirmed at a time set by our Bishop, which we currently anticipate to be some time in the Spring of 2015.
Right now we are working to create a sacramental preparation program for Confirmation that will offer improved materials, more opportunities for community building, and in-depth preparation and will, as a result, help our children to be better prepared to receive this important sacrament. Our improved program will also enable parents to be more involved in the sacramental preparation process, which we believe is essential to the success of both the program and the preparation of each child. We plan to hold an informational meeting this Spring to provide you with more information about the Confirmation preparation program, including dates for preparation sessions and possible retreats and rehearsals.
We are very excited about this new program and look forward to working with you to ensure your children are ready to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation next year. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-935-1261. If not, please stay tuned for more information in the coming months.
Thank you and God Bless!
Mrs. Erin K. Gauntner, DRE
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