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Pastoral Ponderings . . .
Sheri Hanson, Director of Child & Middle Youth Ministry
First Eucharist Weekend
This weekend 49 second graders join us in receiving the Body and Blood of Christ. The first reading today reminds me of how the 2nd graders and their families prepared for the Sacrament of First Eucharist. They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers (Acts 2:42). The children and their families gathered together to reflect on the Gospel and Church teachings, together they prayed and together they ate bread in memory of Jesus. In this way, the children and their families grounded themselves spiritually in preparation for the Eucharist, whether for the first time, in the case of the 2nd graders, or the umpteenth time, as in the case of their parents, older siblings and other family members.
Throughout their preparation, the children and their families reflected on how we are united with God and with each other through Communion. This message was evidenced in the posters parents created to explain the significance of the Eucharist, in the skits the children presented at the retreat and in their discussions throughout the year. Thus, while the children are excited that this weekend they receive Jesus, they also are excited to more fully join our Christian community.
The support that the family members provided the children at home, at church and at our retreat reflects the community at large. We are not a group of isolated individuals who seek the Lord on our own, but a community of believers who pray together, serve together and support one another on our faith journeys. I feel this support whenever someone offers to pray for me, whenever someone volunteers to share their faith with children and youth or when I witness how others gather around someone who is suffering. This community is not limited to our St. Joseph Parish grounds, but extends to our larger community as we interact with each other at school, the grocery store, or at softball games, etc. This weekend this communal support is evidenced as the families walk with the communicants as they receive the Eucharist for the first time.
As we more fully welcome the second graders into our faith community, please join us for hospitality following each Mass this weekend.
Read more about what is happening in our parish in this week’s Bulletin.