Skip to content

Parents, parishes should have greater role in sacrament prep, Dublin survey says

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

5/17/2019 (1 month ago)
Catholic Online (

 A survey in the Archdiocese of Dublin suggests that parents and educators are interested in changing the model of sacramental preparation for children.


Catholic Online (
5/17/2019 (1 month ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Parents, parishes, Dublin survey

Dublin, Ireland, (CNA) - "Ireland is unique in its dependence on schools in preparing for and celebrating the sacraments," said a spokeswoman for the Dublin Archdiocese, according to the Irish Times.

"Parishes are becoming more involved and there are some efforts to involve parents more. But in the survey, all express dissatisfaction that it is still largely a school event. Schools themselves feel that they are still working in a vacuum," she said.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin created the Sacraments Review Group in September 2018. It was established to listen to the people most involved with sacrament formation, including parents, clergy, and pastoral workers.

This week, Archdiocese of Dublin released results of a survey conducted of 1800 religious, clergy, parents, parishioners, and teachers. The participants expressed a desire for a transition from the school-led sacrament preparation to more formation based in the family and church.

"The survey asked about future practice in relation to the preparation and celebration of the sacraments. The responses seem to register a strong desire among schools for the home and parish to step up to the plate," read a May 15 statement from the archdiocese.

Some programs have already been put into place to boost parental and parish involvement, such as Do This In Memory Of Me and Grow in Love.

In the nine months prior to a child's First Communion, Do This In Memory Of Me encourages more Mass participation as a family, including special Masses held once a month. The program also has First Communion resources to help parents educate their children.

Grow in Love began in 2015 to introduce more parish and priest engagement with the spiritual formation of students at Catholic Primary Schools. Among other things, the program includes prayer services, priestly visits to the school, and a 10-theme curriculum.

The next step of the survey is to meet with its participants and brainstorm about future options. Among the considerations that will be discussed is the best way to engage parents of different backgrounds, Catholics and non-Catholics.

Currently, Catholic schools have 30 minutes a day set aside for sacrament preparation. The archdiocese has considered creating an "opt in" approach, in which more initiative is required to participate, and much of the preparation would be outside of normal school hours.

Teachers and religious leaders have expressed concern that sacramental preparation in schools currently treats the sacraments as more of a social event rather than something spiritually important.

Archbishop Martin issued a video in February encouraging Catholics to participate in the survey. He pointed to a change in the Irish culture and a need to reassess the Church's engagement with the sacraments of initiation: baptism, confirmation, and holy communion.

"Ireland is changing and Ireland religious culture is changing, and we have to see how in the developing the Irish religious culture, we prepare people for the sacraments," he said.

"The sacraments are not conveyor belts. Sacraments are moments of faith, not just social occasions."


More Europe

Vatican draws attention to sacrifice of seafarers, requests prayers Watch

Image of

The prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development urged prayers Sunday for seafarers, fishermen, and maritime workers, ... continue reading

Pope Francis: Judge your own heart first - not that of those in need

Image of

Helping a person in need requires compassion toward their situation, Pope Francis said Sunday, encouraging Catholics to think first about ... continue reading

Italian Cardinal Paolo Sardi dies at age 84 Watch

Image of

Cardinal Paolo Sardi, who served under five popes, died Saturday at Gemelli Hospital in Rome after a short illness. Vatican City, (CNA) - ... continue reading

Vatican will open two ossuaries next week in continued cemetery investigation Watch

Image of

The Vatican has found two ossuaries believed to maybe belong to the German noblewomen whose tombs were found empty earlier this week. ... continue reading

Forced abortion judge ignored family, human rights, appeal court finds Watch

Image of

Courts in the United Kingdom have released the text of judicial decisions in the case of a disabled woman orginally ordered to undergo a ... continue reading

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.