An important insight into this process for parents however, is that the Bishop does not control every aspect of the celebration of sacraments in the parish. The proper role of the pastor of a parish is to see that guidelines from the Church are followed in the parish but with respect to the needs of the community being served. For example, the Church says that people need to be properly prepared for the reception of a sacrament and this is acknowledged in diocesan policies. It is the responsibility of the local pastor to decide how this proper preparation is to be carried out.
There are areas in these guidelines where the local pastor has significant ability to make decisions and other areas where there is little discretion at the local parish level.
Understanding that the guidelines you are asked to follow for the reception of sacraments come from two sources may help you decide who you should ask when questions about individual situations arise. Below you will find a link to diocesan policies for the reception of Sacraments. Parishes should have a written list of parish policies that govern the reception of Sacraments. These were compiled when the parish completed its Self-Study and Assessment Process. These policies are often published in the parish Religious Education Handbook that you can obtain from your parish religious education leader.
Click here to see the diocesan policies for the reception of First Penance.
Click here to see the diocesan policies for the reception of First Communion (Eucharist).
Click here to see the diocesan policies for the reception of Confirmation.