FAQ


I’ve enrolled my child. What do I have to do now?

We ask that you provide us a copy of the baptismal certificate and fill out a registration form and pay our annual fee. Outside of class, try to help your child grow in faith. We suggest that you talk about your faith as a family, and, of course, attend mass together.

What if we attend mass other than the main parish mass at 11:30? What if we go to mass at another parish?

We ask that you commit to regular mass attendance. It does not need to be at Notre Dame or at any specific mass at Notre Dame (aside from required masses noted in the calendar). However, we urge you to strive to be a part of the Notre Dame community.

What does it cost?

We ask parents to pay a fee of $55 to cover materials and other expenses. No one will be turned away due to inability to pay.

What do we have to do?

Bring your child to class regularly and on time. There are two family catechetical events as well. Outside of class, make sure you are bringing your child to mass every week. Take the time to explain your practice and understanding of your faith with your child. .

What must my child learn for First Communion?

Every year the catechist, pastor and coordinator assess each candidate’s readiness for First Communion. We look for maturity and understanding of what the sacrament entails. We want the students to be familiar with the Ten Commandments, the Sacraments and common prayers, especially the Our Father and Hail Mary.

Please note that the First Communion program is a two-year commitment.

Will my child have homework?

Some classes assign work to be done at home. It will be age-appropriate. Please try to ensure that you child keeps track of any materials or assignments.

What if my child can’t read?

Most 1st graders cannot read well. Some older children also struggle with reading. We do not expect children to read until they are ready.

What about the snack?

We provide a short snack at about 10 a.m. We welcome your contributions and assistance in serving the students. Please let us know if your child has any allergies. Some years we have asked parents to rotate in providing snacks for the children.

What if we have to miss class for a birthday party or soccer game?

Let the catechist and coordinator know about any occasional absence. Regular classes should not be scheduled to conflict with religious education classes. More than five absences may delay First Communion or Confirmation.

What if my child is sick?

Please let the coordinator and the catechist know if your child is sick.
What happens if I’m late picking up my child?

Please make every effort not to be late picking up your child! Someone must stay with any child who is not picked up. This has sometimes meant that a catechist has waited with a child after class or has taken the child to mass so that she did not miss attending mass.

We would suggest having a buddy system with another parent if you anticipate issues. Calling us at the rectory is not practical as no one is answering the church phones on Sunday mornings. We only have limited cell phone service in the rectory as well.

You should give us written permission if you intend to have someone else pick up your child. Children will not be released to strangers or allowed walk home alone without your expressed written consent.

Do classes at another program count toward the two years of instruction for First Communion (or three years for Confirmation)?

Yes, but we may ask for a letter from the previous program to confirm attendance.

When is the First Communion?

We hold First Communion in June. In May we have students participate in a crowning of the statue of the Virgin Mary in the garden, with a student from the First Communion class placing the crown.

What if my child asks me about something that I can’t explain?

Thoughtful young people often come up with questions designed to stump their parents! If your child asks about something that you either need to know more about or want guidance in exploring, please use us as a sounding board. Ask the catechist, the coordinator, or the pastor for help. We might have a simple explanation, or be able to guide you to a resource.

What if I disagree with something the catechist says?

Please talk to the coordinator or the pastor about this type of concern.

What happens if something happens that I am not happy about?

Please alert the coordinator or the pastor immediately if you are concerned about anything that happens during the program. We take everyone’s safety and self-respect very seriously.

Anything that concerns child-child interactions should be addressed with the coordinator. Bullying, for example, is never acceptable. Please let the catechist and coordinator know of any incidents you witness or hear about.

If it concerns adult behavior during class, let the pastor and coordinator know. Don’t be afraid to bring up something that seems minor.


Refer to parent handbook for more information: