First Reconciliation and First Eucharist
The Diocese of Charlotte requires at least one full year of formal religious education (Catholic school or faith formation) prior to receiving the Sacrament of First Reconciliation, and at least two full years of formal religious education prior to receiving the Sacrament of First Holy Eucharist. Therefore, if your child is in public or private (not Catholic) school, your child must be registered in first grade faith formation in order to receive the sacraments in second grade. Catholic school children must also register with the St. Matthew Office of Faith Formation when they are in second grade to prepare to receive the sacraments.
If your child is older than second grade and has not received the sacraments, St. Matthew offers a program called Special Sacraments to prepare them. This program is a two-year commitment as well, and will include one year of religious education in the grade level equal to their school grade, followed by a year in Special Sacraments to receive both First Reconciliation and First Holy Eucharist.
Outside of formal religious education, St. Matthew provides families with a sacramental preparation book designed to be completed by parent and child. It is also required that a parent attend a Parent Learning Opportunity in September for preparation of First Reconciliation and in January for preparation of First Holy Eucharist. These opportunities are offered to comply with diocesan guidelines and to support parents as the primary educators of their child in the Catholic faith. The final step of preparing is a Sacramental Parent-Child Retreat held in November for First Reconciliation and in April for First Eucharist.
A copy of the child’s baptismal certificate must be on file with the Office of Faith Formation prior to reception of the sacraments.
The Sacrament of First Reconciliation
Information for 2015-2016 school year will be posted in the summer.
The Sacrament of First Eucharist: 2014-2015 School Year
2015 Parent-Child First Eucharist Retreat
Saturday, April 18
Retreat times are assigned following attendance at Parent Learning Opportunity.
Please arrive at the church 10 to 15 minutes before assigned retreat start time (8 am, 11 am or 2 pm).
Make sure you and your child have eaten as food will not be served at the retreat. The retreat will last the full 2½ hours; please plan accordingly.
2015 Celebration of First Holy Eucharist
Friday, May 1, and Saturday, May 2
Parents will indicate their preference for Mass selection at the Parent Learning Opportunity in January. You will be notified in February of your assigned Mass.
Children will be expected at the church one hour prior to the start of the Mass.
A professional photographer will capture your child’s sacred and special moment of reception of the sacrament. Information will be provided at the Parent-Child Retreat in April.
Sacramental Coordinator: Diane Kiradjieff 704-541-8362 x 5