From our pastor, Father Neil Herlihy
These are truly exciting times for our universal and local Church. Last Sunday, on the great feast of Divine Mercy, we celebrated the canonization of two great Popes of our Church, Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II as saints of our Church. Our Church rejoices as they are crowned with the glory of Sainthood. The crowds and the television coverage were extraordinary.
Next Saturday, approximately two hundred children will be making their first Holy Communion at Saint Brigid. Our Catechism teaches that when we receive the Lord in the Eucharist, it is an act of thanksgiving to God. It recalls the Lord’s Supper with his Apostles. When receiving the Eucharist, we can also give thanks for the teachers, parents, relatives, and friends of these children.
These children have been looking forward to this day for a long time and are excited. They have prepared their hearts to meet Jesus. They have recently made their first Confession. This will also be a special day for their parents. Their children take a new step in faith, as parents present them to share with all of us in the fullness of the Lord’s Supper for the first time. It is fitting that their parents should lead them forward in this way because their parents are their first teachers in the ways of faith. It is through them more than anyone else that these children have come to know about the Lord. The children will continue to depend on their parents for many years to come. Their parents will help them grow in their response to God’s love in their lives. Priests, Deacons, and religious education teachers can only do so much. Unless the children sense the faith of their parents, they will have great difficulty embracing the faith. This is also a time of great joy …. for relatives, friends, and teachers who have helped in various ways to lead these children to this special day. They also can assist these children in their future growth in the faith.
Next Saturday, these children will set a great example for us. They will be receiving Jesus in Holy Communion for the first time. They will be receiving Jesus into their hearts. We can do the same for them by welcoming Jesus, the Good Shepherd, into our lives, and by doing our best to embrace the faith we cherish, the faith we truly love, the faith that Jesus himself has given to us.