First Holy Communion 

The Holy Eucharist is the greatest treasure we have as Catholics!  
One cannot underestimate theimportance of the Eucharist. The Second Vatican Council even declared "the Eucharistic the fount and apex of the whole Christian life" (DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON THE CHURCH, No. 11). The Eucharist is so important precisely because it truly is Christ Himself under the veil of bread and wine.

The preparation to receive Christ in the Eucharist is a sacred time in a child's life. It is essential for parents to communicate the beauty of the faith to their children and prepare them for this sacred encounter with the risen Christ. How parents live their faith and what they teach their children will directly affect how open their children are to receive Christ into their hearts.

Requirements to receive First Holy Communion
To receive First Holy Communion, students must ...
  • Be in Second Grade (or older*).
  • Have been baptized.
  • Have received the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
  • Be attending Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation (more on that below).
  • Be receiving ongoing religious instruction (through St. Mary School, our Parish School of Religion, or some other appropriate program).
  • NEW POLICY: Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, any student wishing to receive the Sacrament of First Holy Communion or the Sacrament of Confirmation MUST participate in 2 YEARS of religious education prior to receiving the sacrament. If a student wishes to receive First Holy Communion or Confirmation during the 2017-2018 school year, that student must have participated in religious education during the 2016-2017 school year. If the student has not participated in religious education the prior year, he or she must register and begin religious instruction so that he or she can receive the Sacrament the following year. (Religious instruction can be received through St. Mary Catholic School, Parkersburg Catholic School, St. Mary Basilica CCD Program, or through another Catholic School or Parish Religious Education Program. Homeschoolers who are registered with the local superintendent of schools may complete this program by using an approved Catholic Religion Curriculum.)
Also, the parents of these students are required to attend a parent meeting for each sacrament. 

The Importance of Sunday Mass
In recent years, there has been a lot of talk about the importance of attending Sunday Mass each week. SUNDAY MASS IS THE CENTERPIECE OF CATHOLIC LIFE. The Church teaches that we have a very serious obligation to attend Mass every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation. This obligation is so serious, that it is a grave (i.e., mortal) sin to miss Mass on these days without a serious reason. Please keep in mind that children who are not attending Sunday Mass are not adequately prepared to receive the sacraments. Therefore, children who do not attend Sunday Mass will NOT receive First Holy Communion.

Questions can be addressed to Joe Schmidt ( or 373-3643).

*Parents of a student older than second grade who have not yet received First Communion should contact Joe Schmidt and work out a plan to prepare the student to receive the Sacrament.