[quote=SAHmommy]I am a revert to the faith with children. My younger son isn’t an issue because he’s only 3. My older son is almost 7. The CCD program at the church states that the First Communion program is a 2 year program. Assuming we get him baptized ASAP, he still cant’ enroll until the next school year. The director wasn’t sure he’d be able to enroll in the 2nd year of the two year program. She suggested that sometimes older children are baptized, have first confession and first communion at the same time, like an adult convert, but not confirmation because he would then be able to enroll in CCD with other kids his age. I’ve left a message for the pastor, but he hasn’t gotten back to me yet. Does anyone have experience with bringing children into the church?
An adult or child of canonical age, (about age 7, or the age of reason) must be admitted to the Church, after due preparation and with proper dispostion, with full initiation, that is the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and Eucharist (first communion). That practice is not always followed but that is the law according the the new (since 1970) Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. The recommended period of preparation varies, but should not be less than a year, beginning right after Easter and going year-round, two years is usual if the parish follows a “school year” schedule.
A child below that age is considered an infant and should be baptized as soon as possible, and then prepared for first communion and Confirmation at the age recommended by the bishop of the diocese. These are the practices of the Latin Rite, so unless the parents belong to one of the Eastern Rites we won’t go off the track by discussing their practices.
If you came to me my strong recommendation would be for you to baptize both children immediately, since neither is yet 7, and then enroll them in RE at the usual age for the other sacraments. The usual preparation of school age children is at least two years, no law says they must receive first communion in 2nd grade. Most parishes have children of varying ages in these programs.
If parents of another Christian denomination enter the Church, and their children have already been baptized, they are admitted to the Church at the same time, and prepare for first communion and/or confirmation at the same time, usually in a class with their peers. If the children are smaller (below age 7, already baptized) they are entered in the register with their parents, and prepare for the other sacraments at the usual age.