Milestones for second grade at Pacelli

Published 11:14 am Sunday, November 13, 2016

By Abby Leif

Pacelli second grade teacher

At Pacelli Catholic Schools religion plays an important role in our daily second grade routine. We make Christ present to us though daily morning and meal time prayers, weekly masses, and though our We Believe curriculum.

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Second grade is also a very important year for the sacraments. Throughout the year, our students will receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion for the first time.

Reconciliation is the sacrament we celebrate first. Reconciliation is received in January, with preparation for a few months before. In preparation, our students come to understand what is expected of them when we gather to celebrate this sacrament. They find out that through Reconciliation God forgives our sins. Once they tell their sins to a priest, they receive God’s forgiveness and grace.

The first step towards Reconciliation is an examination of conscience. To help our students do this, we discuss the difference between right and wrong. We then discuss how we can follow the Ten Commandments every day.  The students learn that we show our love and respect for God and others by obeying these laws.

The second step in the sacrament preparation is understanding the power of free will. God gave us a gift to make our own choices. The students learn that God lets us choose between following the Ten Commandments and not following them. They then come to understand that with free will comes the responsibility for our own actions. Through these discussions the students learn that when we decide not to follow and obey God, we hurt our friendship with Him. They learn that God loves us no matter what, and through Reconciliation we ask for forgiveness and for God’s help in choosing the right path.

Our second graders get the chance to celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion for the first time in the spring. This is the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ. The students receive Jesus Himself in Holy Communion. Through preparation for this sacrament the students learn that in the Eucharist we remember and celebrate what Jesus did at the Last Supper. They will come to understand that through the power of the Holy Spirit and by the words and actions of the priest during Mass, the bread and wine are turned into the Body and Blood of Christ. Together we discuss that when the students receive Holy Communion they will grow in holiness as they remember the sacrifice of Jesus when he died on the cross for our sins.

Pacelli second graders learn about and prepare for these sacraments on a weekly basis at school. They also learn with other second graders in our community through their parish. The Catholic parishes of Austin — St. Edward, St. Augustine and Queens — have informative meetings with sacramental learning centers for the students and their parents to attend. The following are the dates for these events if you attend St. Augustine’s or St. Edward church:

•Nov. 16: Sacramental Registration Forms due

•Jan. 11: First Reconciliation Parent and Student Learning Centers 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

•Jan. 14: First Reconciliation 10 to 11 a.m.

•April 29: First Communion Practice and Learning Centers

•May 7: First Communion

At Pacelli we find these two sacraments very important for our second graders to experience. We hope that their early encounters with Christ will begin their long lasting and loving relationship with him.

Our second graders are very excited for their faith filled journey this year and I feel so lucky to be a part of it. One saying we have at Pacelli that I would like to leave you with is, “God is Good ! All the time!” God Bless.

If you are interested in learning more about Pacelli Catholic Schools visit our website at, email or call 507-437-3278.