St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church -- 271 Winchester St. Warrenton, VA 20186
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First Penance &
First Holy Communion

Our Preparation for First Penance and First Holy Communion  consists of a two-year program.  Children receive First Penance and First Communion in Second  grade, but begin their instruction with First grade. They must be enrolled in both 1st and 2nd  to receive these sacraments.  If your child attended the first year at another parish or Catholic school, a letter from the Director of Religious Ed or principal must accompany the registration. The letter should state for how long the child has had religious education.

If your child has missed making an important sacrament, please contact the Parish Office.  Our RCIC PROGRAM (RCIA for children) is also a two-year program.

If any of your children were baptized outside of this parish, and you have not already supplied us with a copy of each child's baptismal record, you will need to supply a copy for us.

Due to Covid-19, our First Penance Parent Meeting is cancelled at this time. First Penance Packets will be sent/mailed home in early January to the parents of all 2nd graders registered at St. John School or with St. John's Religious Ed, and to all 2nd year RCIC students preparing for the Sacrament.

We will not be holding a First Penance Retreat on campus at this time, but we will include activities and info in the packet to be sent home.

Please check back for updates. Thank you!


First Penance

January  - First Penance Retreat - this year we will have an "At Home Retreat"  (packets will be sent home with info and activities)

Please check out these links for help with the Activities and to prepare for the Sacrament:

"How do I go to Confession?"

"First Penance and First Communion"

"The Ten Commandment Song"
  (to go along with one of the retreat activities)

"Brother Francis - FORMED" (follow the directions to log in to FORMED - our parish has a paid subscription)

To help your child prepare for this sacrament, please make sure that they are comfortable in saying their prayers by themselves and practice the steps by using a copy of the following aides which may be found by clicking on their titles:

V  Making a First Confession"

V  "Child's Examination of Conscience"

drop off your children by 9am in the School's Trinity Hall. The Retreat will last about two and a half hours.

February date tbd* - First Penance
                   in St. John's church
*Check back soon             

This is our First Penance / First Reconciliation for all children who are currently registered with St. John's Religious Ed program to receive this Sacrament.  All attending should wear masks.

An email inviting parents to sign up for a time slot will be sent out a couple of weeks prior with our guidelines.  Parents should  bring their child(ren) to the vestibule of the church at the time they have reserved through SignUpGenius. 

Everyone should:

U dress appropriately for this auspicious occasion!!

U remember that we will be in a sacred place and that quiet, reverent behavior is expected by all

U remember that this is a joyous occasion!!

First Holy Communion


February 21 - First Communion Parent Meeting
               9:30 am
OR 11:15 am in
               St. John's School Trinity Hall
(Snow date February 28)

You can pick the meeting time that best fits your schedule and attend that one (the meeting should last 30-45 minutes).  Please try to attend as there is much to discuss.  All parents who were unable to attend these Parent meetings should notify us soon after so that we can mail out our VIP packet.   Packets include the First Holy Communion dress code, an info sheet about the upcoming retreat and the big day, and a Quilt Square for our First Communion Banners which will be displayed at First Communion. 


March 6 - First Holy Communion Retreat
             9 am - 2 pm in St. John's School
             Trinity Hall
(Snow date March 13)

The First Communicants and their parent(s) (a grandparent is asked to attend if a parent cannot) will spend most of the time together at this retreat. Each should pack a lunch with a drink and dress appropriately:  we will spend some time in the church and they should dress comfortably for the weather. Each child is asked to bring a donation to our St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank.

Before the retreat, parents are asked to write a letter to their child expressing the following: your hopes and desires for your child as he/she prepares for this Sacrament and how their lives will be forever changed. Please don't forget to bring your letter to the retreat where you will have a chance to share this letter with your child.

During the retreat we will practice receiving the Eucharist and we will have a Scapular Enrollment ceremony.

All Quilt Squares given out at the Parent Meeting are due by this date for our First Communion Quilt. Please turn them in ASAP. Thank you!


May 6 - First Holy Communion Practice 
             6 pm - 7 pm in the church. 

(1)         All First Communicants must attend

(2)         The rehearsals last about 1 hour, and we need to start right on time. We will try to get through the practice as soon as possible.


May 8 - First Holy Communion - 11 am
(All children must be "signed-in" by 10 am in Mercy Hall)

Only children who are currently registered in a St. John's Religious Ed program (including St. John School and "registered" home school) and are to receive this Sacrament at St. John's on that day.

Arrive no earlier than 1 hour before the ceremony is scheduled to begin.

Drop off your child(ren) in Mercy Hall and then go into the church.

When entering the church, remember that you are in the House of God and that Jesus is present in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.  There must be complete silence in the church.  Catholic Churches are places for conversations with God not places for conversations with people.  If you must speak, please leave the church to do so.  Please remind your family and friends!

Saving seats is not permitted.

Picture taking from your seats before Mass has started is allowed when the children are entering the church.

Picture taking during Mass is prohibited.  The reason being, that we do not want the sacredness of the Mass destroyed.

First Communion Dress Code

Reminder: No extra prayer books or rosaries should be brought to Mass. Special clothes highlight a special occasion; however, the coming of Jesus is the most important part of the day. Please keep your child and family focused on the fact that the Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross is the “Perfect Sacrifice” and thus it is perpetuated with the Mass and Jesus’ giving of His Flesh for the life of the world in Holy Communion. Girls dress like a bride and boys dress like a groom. This reminds them that when they receive their First Holy Communion, their soul is united to Christ like a bride and groom are united in matrimony.


that there are dresses with sleeves available.


White Dress with back and shoulders covered

No spaghetti straps

At least capped sleeves

Neckline should come close to covering the collar bone

Length: below the knee

Must wear a white veil

No purses or gloves, please

Dress shoes required (No sneakers)



Suit or dress pants with a dress shirt

Tie is required

Dress shoes required (No sneakers)

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271 Winchester Street
Warrenton, VA 20186-2819

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