Sacramental Preparation Program

First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion

*Our parish children in the Sacramental Preparation program have just received their First Reconciliation in January 2020! The children are currently preparing for First Holy Communion, which they will all receive together, at one Mass, on Saturday, May 2, 2020, at 10:00 a.m., with a reception to follow in our Kaplan Parish Hall. Please continue to pray for all of our children, as they are growing in faith and building their own peronal relationships with the Good Shepherd.

The Diocese of Richmond and Saint Bede Catholic Church welcomes families seeking First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion for their baptized children.  This will be a special year for you and your children as they learn about the Mass and prepare for the sacraments.  Seeing the Mass and the sacraments anew through the eyes of a child can be a meaningful and spiritual experience for the whole family.

Per the Diocese of Richmond, parents/guardians and the parish collaborate in preparing children to receive the sacraments through a combination of parent-led home learning, and a limited number of parish-based, catechist-led sessions for children. Children should also participate regularly with their family in the Sunday Mass.  

Parent-led Learning:

Parents/guardians are provided with a book to work through with their children at home.  This will help to prepare the children for receiving their First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion.  The parish also provides study guide sheets to parents throughout the program.  Parents should work with their children on the “Before the Session” items on the study guide during the 3-4 weeks before the children's sessions.

Parents/guardians must attend an information meeting to receive instructions, session schedules, and their child's book.  This meeting will help parents deepen their understanding of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion and prepare them for their role in the home-based component of the Sacramental Preparation program. The parents/guardians are asked to attend one meeting with our clergy, held in the late summer/early fall to prepare for First Reconciliation and again for a meeting in January to prepare for First Holy Communion. We offer multiple meeting dates for the parents/guardians to choose from.

Catechist-led Sessions:

Children preparing to receive the sacraments will attend a total of eight catechist-led sessions to prepare for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion.  There are four sessions for each sacrament, one evening session per month from September - April.  The catechist-led sessions for the children are designed to reinforce and supplement what the children are learning at home with their first catechists, their parents. The children learn to encounter Jesus in a very personal way, through learning the Word of God in a classroom setting and in the Atrium, a special environment used in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  Two groups are offered on at least three different evenings of the week, to help accommodate busy family schedules. While the children are participating in their sessions, the parents/guardians meet together to learn and discuss topics relevant to the Sacramental Preparation process and form a supportive community.

Sacramental Preparation Enrollment Requirements for the 2020-2021 school year:

  • Children age 7-17, has been Baptized (must be age seven by September 30, 2020) 
  • Baptized children 7-8 years of age are in age-appropriate sessions.
  • Baptized children between 9 and 17 years of age are in age-appropriate sessions, on a specific evening of the Sacramental Preparation week. Their evening sessions are chosen based on the catechists' availability.
  • Enrolled ON-LINE in either: our Friday evening or Sunday morning weekly Children's Faith Formation program OR enrolled in an approved homeschool or family faith formation program OR attend a local private school that provides weekly Catholic faith formation.
  • Copy of children's Baptismal Certificate
    • If your child was not baptized at Saint Bede parish, you need to obtain a new baptismal certificate with the church seal from your child's church of baptism, or from the Military Archdiocese ("keepsake" certificates will not meet our requirements). Submit Baptismal certificates with the enrollment form and fee.
  • Enrolled ON-LINE in our Sacramental Preparation Program, in August 2020.
  • Enrollment fees paid, for both weekly faith formation AND for Sacramental Preparation. INvoices will be sent to each family once they are registered. CAsh and check payments can be made directly to the Parish Office. Electronic payments need to be made through our website link. (Cash, or check to: "Saint Bede Catholic Church"  note: Sacramental Preparation)

All Baptismal certificates and fees can be dropped off at the Reception Desk at Saint Bede Parish Office, once the ON-LINE enrollment has been completed.  You may also mail them to 3686 Ironbound Road, Williamsburg, VA 23188, ATTN: Rita Hipple.

Unbaptized children over the age of seven:

If your child is at least seven years of age but has NOT received the Sacrament of Baptism, contact Michelle Tomshack at (757) 229-3631 ext. 2309 or for more information.



CFF Winter-Spring 2019-2020 Calendar


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Rita Hipple at 

Mailing Address:

Saint Bede Catholic Church 

3686 Ironbound Road

Williamsburg, VA  23188

ATTN: Rita Hipple - Sac. Prep.