In both our parishes initial meetings have or are taking place to begin the preparations for next years First Holy Communion celebrations. A considerable number of families are involved in both parishes and we want you all to feel welcome – this is an important year for you and your child.
Unfortunately now that preparations have begun any other families who have not registered their child by now will have to wait and take part in following years preparations. For those families taking part this year, it is important to recognise that this will be a journey of faith for you and your child. Father Stephen (St Vincents parish) and Fr Dominic (Cathedral parish) and the assisting catechists and teachers are committed and willing to give a great deal of time in helping your children to understand and prepare for this wonderful gift of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and the importance of the celebration of mass which is the fullest expression of our catholic faith. The preparation process is designed to supplement rather than replace the responsibility that parents accepted at baptism ‘to be the first teachers of their child in the ways of faith by word and example’. There are many simple and practical ways that parents can support their child which are suggested during the course of the preparations – simple prayers that can be said with the child at home, the occasional visit to church to light a candle and praying for a family need or for some tragedy that has taken place, gospel stories to narrate and ways of talking about our faith with children. The one commitment that we do expect from our families from the outset is that they accept the responsibility of bringing their child to mass. If we are teaching our children that Holy Communion is a special gift they will very quickly see through any inconsistency if we don’t show that by our actions and they learn best by example. I hope this journey of preparation will be a joyful journey of love and faith for both children and parents.
On Tuesday evening, Aid to the Church in Need have organised a talk in the Gibberd Room from 7.30pm by Fr Martin Banni of the Diocese of Erbil in Iraq. He will be describing plans to try and rebuild and encourage resettlement of Christians in the region and the effects of the conflict in Syria and Iraq on the Christian community. On Wednesday there will be a Careers Fayre taking place in the Crypt Halls therefore the 12.15pm mass will be celebrated in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel instead of the Crypt Chapel.
Next Saturday there will be a mass at 4pm in the Crypt Chapel for the Brazilian Community on Merseyside – the mass will be celebrated in the Portuguese language. Next Sunday the School Community from St Edwards College will join us at the Solemn Mass for the celebration of the Feast of St Edward the Confessor.
Canon Anthony O’Brien