Any child of school age who has not been baptized must receive private religious education classes for at least two years before being baptized. Parents of children under the age of five must contact the parish priest.
Most baptized children receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Communion after a minimum of two years of faithful attendance at Religious Education, or Catholic private school instruction no matter what their age.
During their second year of religious education for public school children (or after the second year of private school) the children are prepared to receive their first Reconciliation or Confession. Parents are required to attend a specialized evening meeting before their child receives this sacrament.
Confession takes place during class time in the church.
Children in the program who have already received their First Holy Communion are brought during class time to receive Reconciliation at least once a year.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
After First Reconciliation, the catechist begin to prepare the children for First Holy Communion which takes place in the spring of their second year of Religious Education. Dates for the First Holy Communion are released in the fall of the second year. Children are assigned First Communion dates by classes.
Parents are required to attend a First Holy Communion meeting and bring the children to two practices and continue to support what they are learning at home. (See handbook for more information.)
CONFIRMATION (see special events for Confirmation retreat)
All children who have studied all seven years of required curriculum, and done required assignments will be eligible for Confirmation in fall of eighth grade.
Eighth graders and high school children who register for Religious Education for the first time, or after a long absence will be assigned classes on an individual basis.
Confirmation for eligible elementary school age children is celebrated by the Bishop in fall of eighth grade. High school children receive at the Easter Vigil. (See handbook for more information).
PRIVATE SCHOOL CHILDREN
Parishioners of St. Joseph-St. Thomas who attend one of the Catholic elementary schools on Staten Island (St. Joseph Hill Academy, Academy of St. Dorothy, St. John Villa and Notre Dame Academy) are required to return to their home parish to receive the sacraments. Those who have who have a year of Catholic school, must register for the sacraments in Spring of First/Sixth Grade or Fall of Second/Seventh Grade. (See new registration)