The Church community celebrates the initiation of new members through the three sacramental moments of Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist. In the case of children, this initiation process is extended over a number of years. The process is accompanied by catechesis and pastoral formation.
Parents are the first educators in faith. A child’s faith comes from the family who nurtures it. The parish and school accompany and support families in this. Most children are baptised as infants and then when old enough prepared for the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist which complete the initiation process. It is customary to prepare children for the first Penance (Reconciliation) before Confirmation.
Participation in the Church’s sacramental life is the means through which people grow in the faith life of the community. Sacramental initiation is therefore parish-oriented. The parish faith community is responsible for and involved in the sacramental preparation and presentation of children.
The Auckland diocese provides supports for parish communities in the responsibilities of sacramental preparation. The Faith Formation team provides resources and workshops for leaders working with parents, and catechists working with children for Sacramental Programmes (Baptism, Confirmation & Eucharist, and Reconciliation).