From The Pastors Desk
 Last Updated  08-May-2005 10:37 PM




Sunday :8th of May 2005

Fr. Teddy…

Last week I was saying that May is the month of Mary. It is also the month of First Holy Communion. Yesterday, at Cloughduv, 28 boys and girls from Cloughduv and Kilbonane National Schools received their First Holy Communion. It was a great occasion for the children, their parents, grandparents and extended families. We congratulate them and wish them well. Next Saturday it will be the turn of 7 children from Canovee N.S. A week from Saturday the children of Second Class from Kilmurry N.S. will receive the Lord for the first time.

The occasion of First Holy Communion is a truly special one. It is a landmark in the personal history of all of us. I made my own on a Saturday morning in May 1960 in Kealkil Church. I can remember it as well as if it were only yesterday.

I hope that the children of this parish who receive their Communion in May 2005 will cherish the memory throughout their lives. They will remember that they got their Communion the month after Pope John Paul II passed away and some weeks after the election of Pope Benedict XVI.

It is an appropriate year also in which to receive the Bread of Life for the first time since it is The Year of the Eucharist. The late Pope wished this year to be a year of special devotion to the Eucharist, to the Mass. In a special letter that he wrote to the whole Church for the occasion he says, "amid our questions and difficulties, and even our bitter disappointments, the divine Wayfarer continues to walk at our side, opening to us the Scriptures and leading us to a deeper understanding of the mysteries of God. When we meet him fully, we will pass from the light of the Word to the light streaming from the 'Bread of Life', the supreme fulfilment of his promise to' be with us always, to the end of the age'" (cf. Mt.28: 20).

It would be a great pity if the children who receive First Holy Communion did not get every support and encouragement at home to develop their spiritual side. There is a huge risk these days that all the emphasis will be on the material side of the occasion i.e. fashion, style, money etc.. We must appreciate that children in their innocence and openness have enormous potential for spiritual development. At our peril do we ignore this. If we do ignore this, we could be said to be guilty of grave negligence. Children have a right to know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. How will they get to know Him? Firstly, from the good example at home of prayer and Christian living. Secondly, from regular attendance at Mass and the Sacraments. We are blessed with superb teachers in this Parish who do great work for catechetics. However, it is the parents who are the primary educators in the ways of faith, not the teachers. Teachers are finding it increasingly difficult these days to teach Religion because of the lack of back-up from the home.

It would be very, very sad if these beautiful children who receive First Communion these days were not to be given every encouragement and example to get to know Christ and form a relationship with Him. It would be an aberration if they were not brought to Sunday Mass regularly.


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