The Office of Lifelong Formation is available to support parish leaders with resources and information regarding the sacraments of baptism, first reconciliation, first Eucharist, adult confirmation, and marriage.
For information on the sacrament of marriage, visit this page.
For questions related to the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA), as well as questions regarding specific liturgical rites for the celebration of any of the seven sacraments, contact the Office of Divine Worship.
“Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: ‘Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water and in the word.’” (CCC 1213)
- For general information on the sacrament of baptism, visit the USCCB website.
- For details regarding the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Policies and Procedures for the Sacrament of Baptism, refer to Book IV The Sanctifying Office of the Church §100.
- Regarding children of catechetical age who have not been baptized or are baptized non-Catholic, refer to the Children’s Formation/Religious Education Guidelines for recommendations on appropriate Sacramental Preparation Processes. The Guide to Adapting the RCIA for Children from Liturgy Training Publications will help parish leaders prepare children and their families to celebrate the rites of the Church and the sacraments of initiation.
- For more information on the sacrament of baptism and on the RCIA Adapted for Children contact the Office of Divine Worship.
“Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion.” (CCC 1422)
- For general information on the sacrament of reconciliation, visit the USCCB website.
- For details regarding the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Policies and Procedures for the Sacrament of Penance, refer to Book IV The Sanctifying Office of the Church §300.
- In the Archdiocese of Chicago, first reconciliation is to take place prior to a student’s reception of first Eucharist.
“The Eucharist is the heart and the summit of the Church’s life, for in it Christ associates his Church and all her members with his sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving offered once for all on the cross to his Father; by this sacrifice he pours out the graces of salvation on his Body which is the Church.” (CCC 1407)
- For general information on the sacrament of Holy Eucharist, visit the USCCB website.
- For details regarding the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Policies and Procedures for the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist, refer to Book IV The Sanctifying Office of the Church §100.
First Eucharist Retreat Resource and Planning Assistance
The Office of Lifelong Formation (OLF) has developed a resource to assist parishes in planning first Eucharist retreats given the challenges of the pandemic. This resource is useful for planning first Eucharist retreats in general, as it includes a list of retreat resources with sample retreat formats, along with tips for virtual, in-person, and at-home retreats. This material is meant to assist parishes and is both optional and adaptable for use in parish programs.
“The purpose of the sacraments is to sanctify men, to build up the Body of Christ and, finally, to give worship to God. Because they are signs they also instruct. They not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen, and express it. That is why they are called ‘sacraments of faith.’” (CCC 1123)
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis has developed Sacramental Catechesis: An Online Resource for Dioceses and Eparchies. It provides an overview of some of the challenges to sacramental catechesis in our culture; offers eight principles that should govern all sound catechesis; focuses on the elements for doctrinally and pastorally sound catechesis specific to each sacrament; identifies moments of opportunity when this sacramental catechesis may be particularly fruitful.