Unbaptized Children 8 Years Old and Older

Unbaptized Children 8 Years Old and Older


Children, who are of the “age of reason”, are considered to be of catechetical age.   A child of catechetical age is one who is capable of receiving instruction, of growing in a personal faith and forming a conscience.  According to Canon Law (97.2) “the age of reason” is considered to be the completion of the 7th year.  For the purpose of Christian initiation once a child has reached “the age of reason” (8 years old) his/her formation should follow the same general pattern as found in the adult process, using the appropriate adaptions.


According to Canon Law (852.1) children who are of the “age of reason” are considered, for the purposes of Christian initiation, to be adults.  The use of reason can be defined as the ability of human beings to know and understand truth.  They are thus able to profess faith and undergo catechumenal formation.  Children, who are of the “age of reason” also, have the ability to enter into a relationship with Jesus.  


Children who are of “the age of reason,” catechetical age, who have never been baptized and children of catechetical age who are baptized in a church other than the Catholic Church who wish to become Catholic are to be included in a catechumenal process called RCIA (rite of Christian initiation of adults).


*The catechumenal process (RCIA) for children is similar to that for adults.

  • The Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens

  • The choosing of a Catholic sponsor

  • Learning about the sacrament of reconciliation

  • Preparation Rites on Holy Saturday morning

  • The Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Eucharist & Confirmation) will take place in the spring during a Saturday 4:30 p.m. liturgy.


What will that process look like at St. Mary?

For unbaptized children of catechetical age:

  • Children will participate in the Sunday Children’s Liturgy of the Word during the 11:00 a.m. liturgy (please check the schedule for dates).

  • Children will participate in either the Catholic school catechetical sessions or the Tuesday evening faith formation sessions with their peers where they will learn doctrines of our faith, to develop a prayer life, and acquire an introduction to worship.  Their studies will last until the child is fully prepared.

  • The children and their parents will participate in any extra sacramental preparation classes outside of their regular faith formation session as deemed necessary by the Faith Formation Director in order to effectively prepare for their sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, Communion and Confirmation.

  • The children, their sponsor and their families are required to participate in the *catechumenal process as outlined above.

  • After the celebration of receiving their sacraments of initiation, the children will continue with their faith formation sessions through grade 8 and also into high school by participating in the parish Youth Group.    It is so important that they continue their spiritual studies as they continue to grow in understanding of who they are, who Jesus is for them, learning how to trust in God and to comfortably pray with Jesus and come to appreciate what the sacraments will mean to them as they grow in life’s experiences.

Please call Donna Trudell in the Faith Formation Office at (248) 547-1810 X207 to make arrangements for your child’s the Catechumenate Program.