First Reconciliation

We at Nativity are grateful for your partnership in the vocation of educating our children in the Catholic faith, as the religious formation of your child moves toward these two very significant events, First Penance and First Eucharist, and a more visible membership in the church.

Preparing children

  • At home - to adequately prepare your child for first Reconciliation, your child must attend Mass regularly, participate in religious instruction, learn their prayers, and have knowledge of how to go to confession.

  • Sacramental Preparation - In addition to your child’s enrollment in Catholic School or Religious Education class, there will be three Parent/Child sessions each for Reconciliation and Eucharist. In these sessions, parent and child will be working together in groups, experiencing activities that assist the family in gaining an understanding of the background necessary for celebration of the Sacraments. Follow-up activities from the Family Activity book will be assigned for completion at home. For more information please call the Faith Formation Office at 813.689.9101.

  • How do I know my child is ready to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation?

    They are ready when they possess: 1. The ability to reflect on his/her attitudes and actions. 2. The ability to make appropriate choices. 3. The ability to understand the effect of his/her actions on others. 4. Willingness to receive the sacrament.

    How does a child demonstrate conscience formation?

    The child will possess: 1. The ability to know the difference between right and wrong. 2. The ability to take pride in or to regret his/her actions. 3. The ability to begin to distinguish between “wrong” and sin. 4. The ability to make amends.

    How can I know my child understands the sacrament?

    Readiness is shown by their: 1. Ability to understand Church affiliation. When they are aware of their belonging to the Catholic community through Baptism, and to understand, at least to some degree, that we are responsible for the welfare of others. 2. Ability to know and reflect on Gospel stories of Jesus, that He is the one who loves, forgives and teaches us how to live in love. Understanding parables like: the Good Samaritan, Prodigal Son, and the Lost Sheep are good examples.

    How do I know my child is "liturgically" ready?

    They will show their ability to pray and worship. They will respond in praise and thanks to a loving Creator who wants them to be happy, and participate with as much reverence and understanding as possible during Mass. Children will also begin to understand the rite of the sacrament, the meaning of the event, and will participate in the celebration according to his/her age and ability.

First Reconciliation Service

  • Children are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time.
  • Children will be given a nametag to wear, which will serve as a recommendation as to which priest he or she will go to for confession.
  • A number of priests will be available to hear confessions face-to-face throughout the church.
  • Each penitent and their family is asked to go to the confessor with the same color or number station as their nametag. (More detailed directives will be given at First Penance.)  A screen for anonymous confession is available in the confessional for your convenience.

After children make their first Reconciliation, he/she should go to a quiet place in the church, kneel and pray the Penance prayers Father asks them to pray.

They will then go to the banner as instructed, remove their nametag and place it picture-side-up on the banner.  The banner will remain up throughout the week as a reminder to our parish family to pray for these children and their families.  Please remember to pick up your child’s Reconciliation Certificate in the main entry of the Church before exiting.

Teaching the principles and actions of forgiveness and reconciliation does not start in the religious education class, but rather in the home – the family, where all faith understanding begins.  Families are where faith is first taught by word and example. And it is in the home where children first learn about sin, forgiveness and reconciliation.  It is in the relationships with parents, siblings and extended family that children develop their relationship with God. They build their first understanding of right and wrong, learning acceptable ways to deal with anger and frustration. They learn the importance of saying you’re sorry when you’ve hurt someone. It is where you learn how to ask forgiveness and how to know when you are forgiven.

God calls us to be examples for our children to share in the sacrament of penance and reconciliation.


Confession Times at Nativity:
Saturdays, 3-4pm & 5-5:30pm
Or by appointment: 813.681.4608.







For questions and information call Pam Emery, Director of Faith Formation-RE at (813) 689-9101 or E-mail her at

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