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Sacrament PreparationAt St. Joseph Church, we are dedicated to helping parents fashion a lively spiritual life for their children especially at the time of sacramental preparation.

We don’t receive a sacrament and then walk away.  We receive a sacrament so we can walk in a different way

The most important component of any sacramental program is for the family to make the practice of the Catholic faith and the reception of the sacraments, especially the Eucharistic sacrifice (Mass) central to their lives.  Parents desiring to present their children for the reception of the sacraments are asked to commit themselves to attending Sunday Mass weekly with their children in keeping with the teaching of the Church and the command of Jesus to celebrate the Eucharist in his memory.

Sacraments are not received according to a grade in school but according to the readiness of the child.

First Penance and First Reception of Holy Communion

Though a majority of children demonstrate a readiness somewhere around 2nd or 3rd grade, the decision to present a child for sacramental preparation is made by the child’s parents in consultation with the pastor.

In keeping with the policy of the Paterson Diocese, children may enroll in our preparation programs after they have completed one full year in a faith formation process.  At St. Joseph Church, our faith formation process is ongoing and inter-generational.  It is known as Generations of Faith.

Preparation sessions for parents are woven into the process so that they are empowered to fulfill the promise they made at the time of their child’s baptism:  to be the primary teachers in the ways of faith and Christian living.

After reception of the sacraments, children are expected to continue to participate in Generations of Faith and participate weekly in the Holy Mass and reception of Holy Communion.  Frequent celebrations of the Sacrament of Penance are encouraged especially during the seasons of Advent and Lent.


The policy of the Paterson Diocese guides our preparation process for the reception of Confirmation.  The sacrament may be celebrated in the high school years; a young person must be at least 15 years of age.

 At St. Joseph Church, all teens in high school are encouraged to participate in youth ministry.  Youth ministry is a way for high school youth and their families to live out their baptismal call with the opportunity to prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation.

 This ministry provides opportunities for prayer and worship, retreats, ongoing faith formation, peer ministry, social activites and service to others.  Participating in youth ministry in the early high school years is a way to understand what the life of a confirmed person entails.  After a teen has actively participated in youth ministry, usually during the second year, immediate preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation is offered as a choice for all who come forward. The personal and spiritual growth of an individual does not end after the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation.  It is LIFE LONG !


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