At All Saints Academy Catholic Grade School, the primary prayer focus of the 8th grade year is on the sacrament of Confirmation. Confirmation is a sacrament of initiation, wherein our 8th grade students become full-fledged members of the Catholic faith. It is called Confirmation because the faith given in Baptism by their parents and ConfirmationGodparents is now confirmed and made strong by the students themselves. Confirmation focuses on the Holy Spirit, whom Catholics believe confirmed the apostles on Pentecost, giving them the courage to practice their faith, and believing this same Holy Spirit confirms us during the Sacrament of Confirmation and sends them forth to share their faith as well.
To prepare for Confirmation at All Saints Academy, the students begin service projects in 7th grade and continue these projects throughout their 8th grade year, with a minimum of 24 hours service to family, community, school and church. Group service projects include the annual toy drive benefiting our local BCMW, and Christmas caroling to the nursing and retirement homes in Breese during the holiday season. Additional projects are offered to the students throughout the year by the P.A.T., Jr. Women’s Club, the Altar Sodalities, and committees on our local church councils, and various other organizations in our area.
The students attend a Confirmation Rally in the fall at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, and a Confirmation retreat is attended by all students in the spring. Additionally, they attend the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral during Easter week. These events prepare them spiritually for their upcoming Confirmation.
In Religion class, our focus is on Morality, the Catechism, the Mass, the Creed and various aspects of character education. Students also do extensive research and prepare a research paper on the saint they choose as their role model for Confirmation. The students also plan their Confirmation mass, including the readings, petitions and songs.
Confirmation is always held in the spring between Easter and Pentecost, focusing on the Easter season. The sacrament of Confirmation is ministered by the Bishop of the Belleville Diocese, Bishop Michael McGovern.
Students will make their First Communion at their own parish, unless other arrangements are made between the parents and priests. The changing date of Easter can affect the schedule, but ordinarily the dates for First Communion are as follows:
St. Dominic – first Sunday after Easter
St. Anthony – second Saturday after Easter
St. Augustine – second Sunday after Easter
St. Mary, Carlyle – first Sunday in May
For other parishes, it is important to make contact with the parish priest for dates and requirements.
Details and information on the sacraments and the students’ preparation are provided to parents throughout the school year.
Second grade is a year of prayer and reflection as students prepare for and celebrate the Sacraments of Penance and First Holy Communion. Throughout the school year, each 2nd grader at All Saints Academy learns about the truths of the Catholic faith found in Sacred Scripture and Tradition through age appropriate activities and lessons. Prayer and celebration in Masses are also guiding factors in the child’s spiritual development as teachers and parents strive to help the child to become more united to Jesus and increase their love for God and for neighbor. They are called to live out their discipleship among their peers, families, and school and parish communities.
All Saints Academy serves students of many parishes. While we learn and celebrate together throughout our school year, students are encouraged to receive the sacraments with their own parish families.
The three core parishes – St. Dominic, St. Augustine, and St. Anthony – celebrate Reconciliation together. Students of other parishes need to check with their parish priest for a date and any meeting/practice they may be required to attend.
A.S.A. second graders will lead the Primary Students and any others attending in praying the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. Girls will be dressed in their First Communion attire and place flowers for each prayer. Following the Rosary, one of the girls will place a floral crown on Mary for the May Crowning. It will take place in the Grotto north of St. Augustine Church (inside church if raining).