I’m curious about how your parish handles sacraments for homeschoolers. Do the children receive their First Confession, Communion and Confirmation with your parish school, the public school children or on their own? Thanks!
At our parish, our pastor is very open to home schoolers and allows the kids to join with the Catholic School group. They do not have to do any other training, he trust the home school mom’s to train them well.
homeschoolers teach religion along with the other subjects and as long as their text is approved by the bishop there is no problem. We provide a book for no charge if requested. parents and candidates are expected to participate in the same parent/candidate/sponsor meetings as the other families in CCD. This is a requirement of the diocese–3 meetings, 2 hours each, for each sacrament, covering set topics. The bishop sets the date for Confirmation of youth in each parish.
After participating in the Penance meetings, it is the responsibility of the parents to give the child the opportunity to confess before first communion. They are welcome to come at the time set aside for the CCD children, when we have extra priests on hand, or at the regular times for confession at this or any parish. No proof, certificate, signed card etc. is required, nor are we allowed to require such proof.
The few schools we have are territorial, not parochial. The new rules say that children attending Catholic schools should make first communion in their parish, not with their school group, but my bet is nobody will obey that rule, and the schools will continue to have their own first communion Masses. The rules also state the preferred time for first communion is during regular Sunday celebrations in the parish, with their families, and separate or private Masses are discouraged. The only other thing the parents have to do is connect with me so the sacrament is recorded in the parish register, they can choose any Sunday Mass, usually in the Easter Season.
Confirmation prep is two years. Children in Catholic high schools (we only have 2, a third is in the planning stage) attend year one in their school, year 2 in their parish with others of their age and are confirmed at the parish celebration. this is what the rules state. I never had any parent mention homeschooling in reference to confirmation. since those programs are so much about entering into the community life of the parish, it would be hard to accomplish those goals outside. I have offered to make special arrangements for homeschooling, internet study, or other options for students with problems due to school schedule, travel etc. but no family has ever followed through with this. We have 4 parent/sponsor/candidate meetings during each year of prep which are required, also the retreat is required, and one parish service project. these are requirements of the diocese for all candidates.
the rules state that the pastor (or the person he delegates, usually the DRE) must ascertain that the child receives adequate preparation and is properly disposed to receive the sacrament. to that end we interview every candidate for first communion and confirmation (with parents and sponsors ideally). I have never “turned any body down” although I have on occassion referred families for an appointment with the pastor to discuss concerns.
homeschooling for RE should be the norm as parents are the primary educators in the faith of their children. CCD is a means of assisting parents in this task, but an hour of CCD each week for half a year is no substitute for a family where the faith is lived and modeled 24/7.
As a graduate of CCD and a homeschool parent I say, AMEN
With our oldest, the pastor didn’t care. They didn’t have to be in religious ed, he didn’t ask to see any materials. Nothing. Just bring them to church and get the sacraments.
With our youngest, the DRE wanted to know that the materials we used were comparable to what he used. We attended the parent meetings and our dd was expected to attend the group activities - retreat day etc. She’s now preparing for Confirmation and attends all the meetings expected of candidates. --KCT
My DD1 is going to be studying to receive her 1st Comm in Feb. She’s homeschooled and in the 1st Grade however, by the time she makes her 1st Communion, she’ll be in 2nd Grade and will be starting 3rd Grade next fall. The DRE and the priest had to talk to each other but the priest pretty much gave me the option for my child. The DRE was put offish about the whole thing so my DD is in the 1st Grade CCD class but she’s doing the same studying as the 2nd Graders (he didn’t want parents to complain that my child was only in the 1st Grade and making her 1st Communion… let’s ignore that my child is being homeschooled…:rolleyes: )
Anyway… I’m praying that she’s able to do her 1st Comm with her father as he receives his 1st (He’s studing to come into the Church and will be Baptized and Confirmed when he returns from Iraq.)
From what I’ve experienced in the past three years, homeschoolers tend to be more prepared adequately for understanding exactly what they are doing with 1st Communion instead of behaving like it’s a “check the block” social event. kwim?