Occasionally, for many different reasons, there are children who have not celebrated Sacraments in the usual order. Arrangements will be made for any child who has not previously celebrated the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, and Reconciliation. Parents need to inform the Director of Faith Formation if they have a child who has not already celebrated these Sacraments. Children should, however, be registered for their appropriate grade level class in the Saint Thomas the Apostle School or Religious Education Program. If your child is transferring from another program, please submit a letter from your previous parish, verifying what preparation your child has completed for the Sacraments. If you have any questions, please call Tim Horst in the Parish Office, (616) 459-4662 ext. 1209 or email timhorst@stthomasgr.org.

Saint Thomas the Apostle Children’s RCIA Policy

Christian Initiation of Children of Catechetical age are children who seek Christian initiation either at the direction of their parents or, with parental permission, on their own initiative. These children are capable of receiving and nurturing a personal faith and of recognizing an obligation of conscience.

The Christian initiation of these children requires both a conversion that is personal and somewhat developed in proportion to their age.

The children’s progress in the formation they receive depends on the help and example of their companions and on the influence of their parents.

Before the children are admitted to the Sacraments at Easter, it should be established that they are ready for the Sacraments.

Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish is committed to following the order for the Christian Initiation of Children as mandated by the Church.

  1. The Director of Faith Formation is to meet with the parents and explain the procedure available to them for the initiation of their child/ren. He/She will explain that this is what we have to offer. The parents decide if they are interested. If they are not interested we can suggest that they wait. We will not baptize an older child as an infant unless there are grave circumstances/pastoral reasons which would require it.
  2. Children who are 7 years old or older are eligible for the children’s Catechumenate process.
  3. The children should participate in the process for one full liturgical year culminating in reception of all three Sacraments at the Easter Vigil (or within the Easter season).
  4. Catechesis will take place directly after the Liturgy of the Word for Children during the 9 am Mass.
  5. The process is to be punctuated with the appropriate liturgical rites taking place within a community of peers.
  6. The child, catechists, parent(s) and the Director of Faith Formation will discern readiness together.

This process of initiation of children is a gift which the Church gives to the child and indeed the whole family. It nourishes the child in Scripture and a sense of the Church as a loving, caring community. The child is enabled to know what it is they are joining and what it means for their life.