Sacramental Preparation/Formation

"The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1131) 

If you would like to learn more about the Catholic Sacraments, which make Christ present and help us grow in grace and relationship with God, click here.

The Roman Catholic Church recognizes seven Sacraments:  Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation (Confession), Sacrament of the Sick, Marriage, and Holy Orders.  Sacramental preparation is required for children and/or adults prior to receiving the Sacraments.  St. Athanasius Parish offers the following Sacramental Preparation programs.

Eucharist and Reconciliation Preparation For Second Graders

In the Diocese of Pittsburgh, children normally prepare for the Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation during second grade. Our parish program provides parent meetings about the Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation, and also equips parents with a simple workbook that they complete together with their children. Children also learn about the sacraments in our Weekly Faith Formation Classes or in their Family Program textbooks - and they participate in First Eucharist and First Reconciliation Retreats. First Reconciliation is normally celebrated on a Saturday during Lent and First Eucharist celebrations are scheduled during regular Saturday and Sunday Mass times in the Easter Season.

Confirmation Preparation for Eighth Graders

In the Diocese of Pittsburgh the Sacrament of Confirmation is normally celebrated in the Spring of the Eighth grade, or in the Fall of Ninth Grade. At St. A's, Confirmation takes place in the Spring of Eighth grade. Preparation includes a meeting for parents and candidates, a service experience, a stewardship experience, a saint report, a letter to the Pastor, two Diocesan-required informational classes featuring a DVD with Bishop David Zubic, and an exciting overnight retreat. Click below for any Confirmation Forms you need:

Marriage Preparation

Couples must meet with a priest at least six months prior to their wedding date. Also couples are required to attend an approved marriage preparation program. The parish offers a very personalized and effective Mentor Couple approach to Marriage Preparation. Or couples may choose from a variety of programs offered elsewhere in the Diocese. Call the Parish Center Main Office for details.

Baptism Preparation For Baptism of Infants/Young Childre, Ages 0 -4

Infants and young children are Baptized based on the faith of their parents, who then have the honor and solemn responsibility of passing on their faith in Jesus Christ to the child through their own teaching and practice of the faith. Baptism preparation for infants and young children is directed toward preparation of the parents. Our Baptism preparation process begins with a personal meeting with one of our Deacons to answer questions and set dates.  Then the parish offers a parent preparation class (classes are offered once every three months). Parents are also supported by Baptism Coordinators at the Baptism and follow-up mailings with helpful tips for Faith Formation with infants and toddlers.  Baptisms are normally celebrated on the third Sunday of each month at 1:00 PM. Please call the Parish Center Main Office for details.

Sacramental Preparation for Older Children (ages 4 - 14)

St. Athanasius Parish understands that due to the many challenges of life, sometimes children may not receive their Sacraments at the "normal" time. Children and teenagers who may have missed the normal time for sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist (First Communion), Reconciliation, and/or Confirmation are welcome to prepare for and receive the Sacraments at any time. Parents are asked to call the Faith Formation office, and a sacramental preparation program will be devised to suit their needs, based upon the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation) model adapted for children.

Sacramental Preparation for Adults (age 15 and up)- Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, and the RCIA (Rite of Christian Intitation for Adults) 

For details on the RCIA process, which prepares adults (Catholic and Non-Catholic) for initiation into the Catholic faith through Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist, click here to be taken to our RCIA page.


Faith Formation