Sacramental Preparation Program

First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion

*The majority of our parish children in the current Sacramental Preparation program for 2020-2021 received their First Reconciliation this weekend (Jan. 8 & 9, 2021).  

Thank you to Father Joe, Father John, Ryall Dobrota, Beth Sanford, Audrey Sanford, Elizabeth Berquist, Patricia Riggleman, Erin Forys, Aaron Renninger, Carina Sturdy and our two volunteer cantors, for helping to make this weekend happy and blessed!

Please continue to pray for all of our young parishoners, that they are able to stay close to Jesus and continue to receive Him in the Holy Eucharist, this Spring when they receive their First Holy Communion.


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.  

COVID UPDATE:-We have completed our First Reconcilaition prep, with the majority of the parish children, in our current Sacramenrtal Prepattion program for the 2020-2021 school year.

We continue on with our parish children to prepare for their First Holy Communion. The prep sessions start the week of Jan. 10, 2021.

Due to the current Covid restrictions, the start time of each session and how many children we are allowed to have in a session, for social distancing and sanitizing is not flexible as it has been in past years. We must comply with all social distancing, masks and temperature requirements. We appreciate your patience and understanding with the new guidelines this year. We are all in this together!

Dates for Sacramental Preparation sessions for First Holy Communion are listed below. 

Parent session are held at the same time as the children's sessions for all the sessions.

Mondays: Jan. 11, Feb. 8, March 15 and April 12

Tuesdays: Jan. 12, Feb. 9, March 16 and April 13

Thursdays: Jan. 14, Feb. 11, March 18 and April 15

Congratualtions to all of our parish children who received their First Reconciliation in January 2021. We are all so very happy for you! We will continue to pray for you, as you continue on your journey to bring the Light of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, closer to your heart!


Sacramental Preparation is two parts:

1. Parent-led learning (home based component):

Parents/guardians attend an orientation meeting in September, with a member of our clergy,  to receive information on the preparation program, session schedules, guidance as to how we as church can assist you through this year and receive their child's book.  This meeting will help parents deepen their understanding of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and prepare them for their role in the home-based component of the Sacramental Preparation program. 

2. In person 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 the Good Shepherd,  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 and our current Covid restrictions. While the children are participating in their sessions, the parents/guardians meet together (with Covid restrictions in place) to learn and discuss topics relevant to the Sacramental Preparation process and form a supportive community.

  • 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 current Children's Faith Formation program OR enrolled in an approved homeschool/family faith formation program OR attend a local Catholic school that provides weekly Catholic faith formation. There is no cost for the CFF program for the 2020-2021 school year, only for the cost of the supplies used for Sacramental Preparation ($45.00 for the year)
  • 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. You enroll for this at the same time you enroll for the CFF program.
  • Enrollment fees paid for ONLY Sacramental Preparation, for the 2020-2021 school year. Invoices will be sent to only Sacramental Preparation families  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). If you have a concern about this, please reach out to me in the church office, 757-229-3631, ext. 2303 or at

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 bring them to either the September or October Sacramental Preparation sessions. 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.




Rita Hipple at 

Mailing Address:

Saint Bede Catholic Church 

3686 Ironbound Road

Williamsburg, VA  23188

ATTN: Rita Hipple - Sac. Prep.