First Communion

Sacramental Preparation

Welcome to the First Reconciliation & Holy Communion section of our website. These resources are provided by The Wisdom Group. We want to accompany and support Catechists and families on the Sacramental Programme. Please feel free to use our logo in your parish, which is based on the story of the Road to Emmaus. You can download it here.

Our Guiding Principles

  1. Healing the Domestic Church
  2. Missionary Discipleship
  3. Accompaniment

Dispositions of a Catechist

  1. Be a Joyful Messenger
  2. Be prayerful
  3. Approach tenderly
  4. Be patient
  5. Two-way Conversation

You can read more about Our Dispositions & Guiding Principles here

The Wisdom Group want to support you in your ministry as Catechists in these challenging times. If you want to discuss an idea, ask a question or request further support please get in touch and we will respond as soon as possible. Thank you for all that you do in passing on the Faith.

Please email formation@dioceseofsalford.org.uk or join the ‘Catechists in Salford Diocese’ Facebook group.

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Useful Documents
Shared Resources
Home Celebrations

The Wisdom Group have produced a series of Home Celebrations for children and their families on the Sacramental Programme which can take place in the home. Each Celebration will include a time of prayer, some scripture, discussion, an activity and a symbolic action. Please share these with your families preparing for Reconciliation and Holy Communion. If you have any feedback please email formation@dioceseofsalford.org.uk.

Home Celebration 1 – Remembering Baptism and Continuing the Journey

Home Celebration 2 – The God who speaks to us through His Word

Home Celebration 3 – Easter Triduum – Following Jesus’ Footsteps

Home Celebration 4 – Pentecost – Come Holy Spirit

Home Celebration 5 – Corpus Christi – The Body & Blood of Christ

Online/Family Resources

Heart Speaks to Heart: Reconciliation & Holy Communion

© Diocese of Leeds, 2020 – Text by Tim Swinglehurst and team. Illustrations by Si Smith (Beehive Illustration). Icons of the Holy Spirit and the Last Supper by Charlie Abrahams.

This wonderful First Reconciliation & Holy Communion resource comes highly recommended by the Diocese of Salford Sacramental Preparation working party ‘The Wisdom Group’. This new resource in designed for Family Catechesis so parents/carers can work with their child through the sessions with support from the parish and school catechists. The sessions are based on the virtues and encourages prayer as a family with beautiful artwork. The book includes 5 sessions on reconciliation & 7 sessions on holy communion.

An online interactive PDF workbook & videos for each session are available at the links below. These resources are available free of charge for our parishes, schools and homes.Please direct any feedback or questions about this resource to the Department for Formation.

PDF Workbook
Session Videos
Catechists’ Resources (Please email formation@dioceseofsalford.org.uk for the password).

Printed copies of the young persons workbook are available via the Cathedral Centre Bookshop here. The workbook are £5.00 per copy and parishes/schools can be invoiced for this. These can be delivered or collected from the Cathedral Centre Bookshop. The printed workbooks are a quality product which the young people can keep as a reminder of their journey of faith.

With You Always

Parent’s & Children’s leaflets
Sessions for use at home
Guide to family resources
With You Always Website

The full printed resource can be ordered via The Archdiocese of Liverpool Pastoral Formation Department
T: 0151 522 1040 | E:formation@rcaol.org.uk

Blessed
Online programme

Diocese of Salford PDF materials
Introduction
Prayer
Unit 1
Unit 2
Unit 3
Unit 4
Unit 5
Unit 6
Unit 7
Holy Communion Certificate

The Pastoral Center
Online Resources

Videos
Please note there are also short video talks aimed at parents and catechists available.

Parents Videos
Catechist Videos

Other Resources

We do suggest that you and your coordinators might look, for this year or subsequent years, at the variety of resources that are also available. Examples of these can be found below with observations from one of our experienced Coordinators and Headteachers.

1. ‘Journey Together Towards Reconciliation’ & ‘Journey Together Towards First Holy Communion’   By Paddy Rylands (Kevin Mayhew publication)

The introductions give some very good ideas for preparation of Catechists for accompaniment.

A lot of very useful resources for sessions, including scriptural excerpts with questions and activities to relate to their own lives.

There are work sheets for the sessions which would be very helpful for catechists, parents and children.

There are suggestions for family prayer, lovely poems and prayers to use.

2. ‘We Share in the Eucharist’ (Children’s Workbook) by Francoise Darcy-Berube and Jean Paul Berube (Twenty Third Publications- Novalis)

A detailed set of activities focusing on the Mass. Would probably be too detailed for most parish’s programmes.
The second half of the book is a ‘Family guide’ which would be useful if programme sessions were organised for families together. There are some very nice short prayer liturgies which could be used in the sessions or at home.(Pages 7-12).

There are some activities focused on stories that illustrate themes which reflect the elements of the Mass.

3. ‘I belong’ By Aileen Urquart (Redemptorist publications)

Pupil’s book is attractively presented (hardback).  It would be expensive to buy one for each child and most parish programmes wouldn’t have time to cover all the activities. Some good questions and activities though.

The children’s book has a ‘Family time’ page after each section. These would be useful if sessions were family sessions or for follow up at home. I didn’t have the parents’ book for this programme so it wasn’t clear how the children sessions and adult session fitted together.

4. ‘Making things right’ (for Reconciliation) & ‘Called to His Supper ‘ (For First Holy Communion) By Jeannine Timko Leichner (Our Sunday visitor publication)

Black line drawings and text. Lots of cloze procedure type activities and colouring sheets. Could be used sparingly but would encourage passive activity in the children I think!
Could be used if sessions were for parents and children together, if it encouraged discussion between them.

5. ‘Loved and Forgiven’ (Preparation for Reconciliation (supported by The Parents and Catechists’ companion) By Joan Brown SND (Kevin Mayhew)

This was a very attractively presented workbook, which placed the emphasis on the child being welcomed and loved by God. Some good activities on themes of Welcome, Myself, Listen, Remember and Rejoice.
It was a very positive slant on Reconciliation. Could be used very effectively at home within the family or in Catechist sessions together with parents. It dates from 1999. Hopefully it is still in print!

In the Parents’ and Catechists’ Guide there were lots of good activities for use in Catechists’ session with children accompanied by instructions for parents for Home sessions.

There is also a companion workbook for Holy Communion called “Meet Christ with Joy” but I haven’t had the opportunity to review that. However, the Parents’ and Catechists’ guide mentioned above covers this workbook as well, so it should be of the same quality as “Loved and Forgiven”.

6. “I am preparing for my first Confession” & “I am preparing for my first Holy Communion” by Marie-Paule Mordefroid (McCrimmon Publishing Co Ltd, originally published in France by French publishing company)

Children’s workbooks with black line drawings illustrating text. Straightforwardly written explanations of church teaching on the Sacraments with relevant scripture. The workbooks have pull out sections for Catechists and Parents. I wouldn’t use the workbook as a whole with children but there are parts which might be useful for information for parents and catechists.

It is more useful for reading with children; there aren’t many activities to make the children think more deeply about the Sacraments. It could be used in Sacramental Programme sessions for families together with some guidance from catechists.

7. ‘With you always Sacramental Preparation’ – Family Catechesis programme for First Reconciliation and Eucharist for the Archdiocese of Liverpool

Catechists Book accompanied by Parents’ and Children’s leaflets which relate to the seven catechists sessions planned into the programme.

These resources presuppose that parents and children attend the sessions together.
This resource is well written , very practical and attractively presented. The programme places the emphasis on the parents being the first teachers of their children and aims to equip and strengthen parents’ ability to carry out this task, discovering anew key aspects of their faith.

There are materials for seven sessions throughout the year, as well as other suggested activities, such as holding an Advent Celebration focusing on the nativity and a Stations of the Cross service in Lent to supplement the course.

We have several very positive testimonies from parishes that are using this resource as its effectiveness. There is a website set up by Liverpool with other supplementary ideas and materials and you can obtain the whole programme translated into Polish for families who need that.

Although there are points when catechists would need to give brief input to parents and lead prayer celebrations, they act much more as accompaniers and facilitators than ‘teachers’ or ‘instructors’. Catechists are there to welcome families, organise the sessions and support the families in their activities, questions and discussions and also to be role models and share what they can of their faith where appropriate.

Published by the Archdiocese of Liverpool www.withyoualways.org.uk

These can be viewed as discussion starters at parents’ meetings or by parents at home.

Our Guiding Priciples & Dispositions

Our Guiding Principles

  1. Healing the Domestic Church
  2. Missionary Discipleship
  3. Accompaniment

Dispositions of a Catechist

  1. Be a Joyful Messenger
  2. Be prayerful
  3. Approach tenderly
  4. Be patient
  5. Two-way Conversation

You can read more about Our Dispositions & Guiding Principles here

Essential elements of programmes