First Reconciliation

Children’s Sacramental Preparation

Children's Sacramental preparation is for those who are seven (7) years of age and older who:

  • Are not baptized or were baptized outside the Catholic Church.
  • Are in second grade or older and have not prepared for First Reconciliation (also called Penance or Confession). Children in the diocese of Phoenix receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation no earlier than the second grade.
  • Are in third grade or older and have not made Confirmation and/or First Holy Communion. After completing preparation for First Reconciliation, children in the diocese of Phoenix receive both Confirmation and First Communion no earlier than the third grade, at the same liturgy.

Children younger than age seven should prepare for baptism as part of the infant baptism program.

To get started:

Preparation Components and Requirements:

  • Sunday Mass attendance
  • Catechetical formation, either through:
    • St. Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic School.
    • Wednesday Night Catechesis. Children are expected to attend each Wednesday evening session. Multiple missed sessions may delay reception of sacraments.
    • Non-diocesan school with formation in Catholic doctrine. Subject to the pastor's approval.

If a child has had no previous catechetical formation, it is recommended that they participate in formation for at least one year before preparing for any sacrament.

To help children learn the essentials of each sacrament, please review the following Sacraments Essentials Sheets with them:

Sacrament of Reconciliation Essentials Confirmation/Eucharist Essentials

Confirmation Sponsors

For children's preparing for Confirmation, obtain a sponsor who meets the following requirements:

  • Is at least sixteen years old.
  • Is not the natural or adoptive parents of the Confirmation candidate.
  • Is fully initiated into the Catholic Faith (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist).
  • Is leading a life in harmony with the Catholic Faith.
  • Is in a marriage recognized as valid by the Catholic Church.

What if my child has special needs?

Children with special needs may prepare for and receive Baptism, First Reconciliation, Confirmation and First Communion with their peers as long as they are able to participate in the rites with reverence. Using the student's IEP and other pertinent information provided by a parent, we will collaborate to develop a plan of sacramental preparation consistent with each child's abilities. For more information, contact Director of Parish and School Catechesis.