Once a child reaches the age of reason, which the church establishes at about 7 or 8 years of age, the child is old enough to understand the significance and importance of the Sacraments and is ready to fully participate in the Mass through receipt of the Eucharist. At San Agustin, children enrolled in our religious education program, celebrate the Eucharist for the first time in 3rd grade after a two year preparation process including preparation and receipt of Reconciliation in 2nd grade and a more focused preparation for Eucharist including a retreat with parents in 3rd grade.
Traci Pisciotta, Asst. DRE
We offer a separate program for children and teens tailored to their age to prepare for and celebrate this and the other Sacraments of Initiation. Adolescents seeking Sacraments are also required to participate in their regular age level religious education classes.
Traci Pisciotta, Asst. DRE
“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)
As the “source and summit of the Christian life,” the Eucharist is central to Catholic belief and practice and is what allows the church to constantly live and grow. Jesus instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper as described in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and the epistles of St. Paul. After Jesus took the bread and said the blessing, he gave it to his disciples and he said, “This is my body which is given for you; do this in memory of me.” (Luke 22:19)
The word Eucharist comes from the Greek and Latin words meaning “thanksgiving.” We give thanks each week when our parish community gathers to celebrate the Eucharistic Liturgy or the Mass. During the Mass, through the words of Jesus and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of the Lord in a way that surpasses human understanding. The Eucharist becomes our spiritual food we need to sustain our spiritual life. Baptized Catholics, having been prepared to celebrate the Eucharist, and who are in a state of Grace, are welcomed to participate fully in the Eucharistic Liturgy.
Eucharist and the other Sacraments of Initiation are received together through the Right of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). This is a process that builds on the spirituality of adults to come to Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist at Easter. By uncovering the relevance of faith in our daily lives, we build a long-term basis for meaning and joy. Those seeking these Sacraments of Initiation will meet on a weekly basis from September to Easter to study our human experiences in the light of the Bible, the teachings of the Catholic Church and the Sacraments we celebrate together.
Janet Gluch, Director Faith Formation