During the elementary school years in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Catholic children receive the sacraments of First Reconciliation, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation. Norwood-Fontbonne Academy supports children and their families for the reception of these Sacraments as cherished and grace-filled experiences.
Preparation for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion is incorporated into the Norwood-Fontbonne Academy religion curriculum for students in Grades 2. Each year, a theme is selected to guide the students and parents along their path of formation. Prayer, lessons, music, stories and a retreat day are all elements of the preparation for the children. They then receive the Sacraments within a family-oriented celebration at Norwood-Fontbonne Academy which includes the opportunity for the participation of the students’ parish priests.
As with all NFA liturgies and prayer services, students have special and meaningful roles in the preparation for and celebration of the Sacraments. Non-Catholics are invited to participate in the preparation and the rituals if they so desire. Those children who opt not to receive the actual Sacrament are always welcome to receive a blessing from the priest. While the Sacrament of Confirmation is received in the students’ parish, NFA offers a formal preparation program for fifth and sixth grade students. Along with this preparation, our students are encouraged to participate fully in their parish Confirmation events such as retreats, information sessions, etc.
The Office of Campus Ministry leads these preparation processes in concert with the teachers in Grades 2, 5 and 6. Parents closely participate in the preparation process and the Sacrament experience. The NFA Campus Minister supports parents through prayer and informational meetings, literature, and regular communication. Together teachers, parents, and children then journey as one being graced by God in the experience of the Sacraments with their class and faith community at NFA.