I am a Catholic – not a very good one at that – but what I would like to know is if there is an age limit on getting your First Holy Communion. I have three grandchildren that I will be getting custody of, and they haven’t had any training or catechism. They include one preteen and two teenagers. Please advise this old grandma on how to get them started, and in the process get me back into following my faith.
Ellie, via e-mail
Fr. Rocky: Dear Grandma: Join the club! I am a Catholic, and not a very good one at that, too! Bully for you! You’ll do a great job leading your grandchildren to Christ. There’s no upper-age limit for First Communion, but there’s a lower age limit – the age of reason, generally considered to be about age 7 in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church.
Next time you stop by your parish, get those youngsters signed up for CCD in their parish. The instructors will know what to do. But you can augment their instruction by your own example, and your personal one-on-one conversations with them, and by teaching them the seven basic prayers: 1. Sign of the Cross; 2. Our Father; 3. Hail Mary; 4. Glory Be; 5: Act of Contrition; 6. St. Michael Prayer; 7. Memorare; and, for extra credit, the Apostles’ Creed.