OCIA: Children and Teens

The Children's Catechumenate is a form of the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults intended for children, not baptized as infants, who have attained the use of reason and are of catechetical age (deemed to be about the age of 7). "The Christian initiation of these children requires both a conversion that is personal and developed in proportion to their age, and the assistance of the education they need. The process of initiation must be adapted both to their spiritual progress, that is, to the children’s growth in faith, and to the catechetical instruction they receive. Accordingly, as with adults, their initiation is to be extended over several years, if need be, before they receive the sacraments.” (RCIA #253) This formation follows the general pattern of the OCIA, with those in the Children’s Catechumenate receiving the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil, together with the older catechumens. (National Statutes for the Catechumenate #18) The sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and the Most Holy Eucharist are interrelated in such a way that they are required for full Christian initiation. (Code of Canon Law 842.2) This is a two year process, with a gradual formation and preparation for initiation into the church community, and it will involve the whole family. Parents are to be involved in the Christian Initiation of their children, and their permission is required to participate and to receive any of the sacraments.

Parents and Godparents must attend a Baptism Preparation class. The child’s name is not to be foreign to Christian sentiment. (Canon 855) At least one parent must be a registered parishioner, active, and practicing with the hope that the parent(s) will bring the child up in the Catholic Religion. (Canon 868.1.2) If not, the parent(s) must have some family connection or history with the parish. There must be at least one godparent (sponsor); however, there may be two. They must be active, practicing Catholics. The sponsor(s) must be fully initiated (received their First Holy Communion and Confirmation) and not less than 16 years of age – unless there is a just reason for the age. There is to be only one male sponsor, or one female sponsor, or one of each. In the case of only one godparent (sponsor), a baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community is not to participate except together with a Catholic sponsor and then only as a witness of the baptism. (Canon 874)

Classes are held at St. Patrick's School on Tuesday's, 4:00-5:15. All necessary paperwork is available in the forms section of our website. Parents please make sure to submit a registration form, as well as a permision waiver in order to complete your child's registration.


Stacy Huck

Director of Religious Education

Office (805) 489-2680 ext. 33

Email: stacy.huck@stpatsag.org