posted May 18, 2014, 8:07 PM by St. Kevin Religious Education   [ updated May 18, 2014, 8:09 PM ]

As we wrap up the 2013-2014 Catechetical Year, we would like to congratulate all the 127 students in our Religious Education Program who celebrated their First Holy Communion on May 3rd and May 17th.  It is a blessing to be able to share this special step in your child's faith formation.  All of them have learned much about the Mass and the Eucharist this year, and we know they were very excited to finally receive Jesus in Holy Communion.

While this is indeed a joyous occasion to celebrate, it is also one that reminds us that this is NOT and NEVER the first and the last Communion.  We call it "First Communion" because it is the very first time they partake of the Body and Blood of Christ during the Mass.  However, they are now called to come every Sunday to Mass to celebrate and receive Jesus in the Eucharist again and again.  As Fr. Saldaña mentioned during the homily, we are called to be the bowl that keeps Jesus alive in our hearts and lives.  We should try not to be the basket and allow Jesus to "leak" away from the lives of our children and families.  You are encouraged to continue to help nurture the faith of your child by continually maintaining that relationship with Christ through participation in Religious Education and the reception of Holy Communion at EVERY SUNDAY MASS.

Also, Fr. Saldaña emphasized one of the most important points that we work to make known to you: that YOU, the PARENTS, are the FIRST CATECHISTS of your children and that you are called to continue to bring your child back in order to receive formation in the faith.  This formation NEVER ENDS with the celebration of one of the sacraments.  It is a stepping stone to continue to gain more knowledge of our faith.

This past Tuesday and Wednesday, in the First Communion classes, we watched a First Communion movie that helped to especially tie together this second year of preparation.  As the movie mentioned, Jesus in the Eucharist is the greatest treasure we have, and He is constantly there for us, waiting for us to come to him present in the tabernacle. 

In addition, after the movie, one of the students from the Tuesday class shared a story that I thought drives the message home.  He explained how the story went that a man kept trying to fill a hole in some sand with water, but the water kept being soaked in by the sand.  He then said that it represented the fact that there is always so much more to learn about God and that we will never fill our knowledge completely of Him and our faith.  This story is indeed one that we should all take to heart.  As we explained to your children on the last day of class, even us, as Catechists and the coordinators, are constantly learning more about our faith, whether it is in the classroom, through our students' questions (amazing ones at that, as well, on many occasions), at Mass, through personal reflection, Catechetical courses, etc.  Just as the sand soaks in the water and never causes that hole in the sand to the filled with water, so it is the same with our faith.  There is always something that we can "soak in."  Taking the idea of this story, we invite you to continue to bring your child to receive Religious Education classes, even after celebrating First Communion, as there is so much to learn about our Catholic faith.  And those who have continued can testify that their children are growing in their faith in coming to a better relationship with Christ in a fruitful, Christian environment.

We hope to see all of you back here next year as your child continues to grow in his/her faith and as we assist you in your role as the first Catechist of your child and in guiding them on the path of Christ on their journey of faith.

God bless you,

Daniel Mercado