What are Proximate Preparation Classes?
According to the Diocese of Brooklyn and the document published, Revised Norms Governing the First Sacraments for Children and Youth: Penance, Eucharist, Confirmation, (Aug. 2011), states,
“It is the clear expectation that all children will return to the parish where they regularly worship with their families for the celebration of the First Sacraments.
To this end, every parish must sponsor a “proximate” preparation program (between four to six sessions that can be arranged throughout the year) for all children who will receive the sacraments of First Penance and First Eucharist.
Each parish is free to design its own “proximate” preparation program or follow the suggested model provided by the Office of Faith Formation. In either case, every program must be marked by three characteristics.
First, it must be family-centered, involving both the children and their parents in some experience of intergenerational faith formation. While the majority of the planned sessions should involve the parents with their children, some may be planned only for parents or only for children. As such, if at all possible, this preparation should not be a classroom experience of instruction.
Second, the program must be connected in a meaningful way to the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist. The program should invite the families whose children are receiving the First Sacraments to join together as a community at Sunday Mass for prayer.
Third, this preparation program will bring together children who are attending religious instruction in Catholic schools/academies and religious education programs as a sign of the unity that marks every parish family.
Such “proximate” preparation is meant to complement the catechetical formation that each child is receiving in religion classes in either Catholic school or in the parish’s religious education program.
This proximate preparation catechetical experience is not meant to add an undue burden, financial or otherwise, to families or parishes and therefore should be planned in such a way that it is both effective and uncomplicated. Fees should not normally be required for these preparatory activities.”
Parents, legal guardians, and disciples, other siblings are invited as well, enrolled in the St. Kevin Faith Formation Program, St. Kevin Catholic Academy, or another Catholic institution, are obligated to attend ALL of the Proximate Preparation Classes. These classes are only for families whose children will be receiving the Sacraments of First Reconciliation, First Eucharist, and Confirmation this year. If a family fails to attend these classes, this may result in a delay in promotion to the next level of religious formation.