8th Grade Beginning of the Year Retreat: October 7, 8:30 -12:00
2nd Grade Reconciliation Retreat: February 27 – 10:00 – 2:00
3rd Grade First Communion Retreat: April 6 – 10:00 -2:00
5th Grade Retreat (transition into Middle School Retreat): May 5 – 10:00 – 2:00
8th Grade Graduation Retreat: Tuesday, June 6 – 8:30 -12:00
SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION (CONFESSION)
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the most beautiful spiritual experiences and graces of Catholicism.
It is called the sacrament of Reconciliation, because it imparts to the sinner the love of God who reconciles: “Be reconciled to God.” He who lives by God’s merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord’s call: “Go; first be reconciled to your brother.”
Jesus Christ in His abundant love and mercy established the Sacrament of Confession/Reconciliation so that we may obtain forgiveness for our sins and reconcile with God and the Church. The sacrament “washes us clean,” and renews us in Christ.
“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’” (John 20:21-23)
Instruction regarding the Sacrament of Reconciliation takes place during the year in the 2nd Grade religion program. A more immediate preparation for the Sacrament is a day-long retreat. The Sacrament of Confession/Reconciliation is not a one-time event. The child is diligently prepared to understand the nature of the Sacrament as he/she receives it for the first time. A parent evening retreat is also mandatory since the child cannot continue to take advantage of this special opportunity as a Catholic with the support of his parents. The celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation takes place in the school theater with the collaboration of several priests from surrounding parishes.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Mt 26:26-28; cf. Mk 14:22-24, Lk 22:17-20, 1 Cor 11:23-25)
Recalling these words of Jesus, the Catholic Church professes that, in the celebration of the Eucharist, bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit and the instrumentality of the priest. Jesus said: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world. . . . For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink” (Jn 6:51-55). The whole Christ is truly present, body, blood, soul, and divinity, under the appearances of bread and wine—the glorified Christ who rose from the dead after dying for our sins. This is what the Church means when she speaks of the “Real Presence” of Christ in the Eucharist.
At Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac School the 3rd Grade students are prepared throughout the year to receive their First Eucharist. This is the focus of their religion classes. They also make a class retreat at Vina de Lestonnac Retreat Center. Parents of First Communicants are required to attend an evening reflection on the Sacrament of the Eucharist. The children celebrate their First Communion at their local parishes