May 24, 2016
As the First Holy Communion “season” comes to a close for another year, it’s time to say a great, big thank-you to the parish directors and coordinators of religious who prepared thousands of children, saw to all the details for the Masses, dealt with hundreds of questions and worries from thousands of parents, grandparents and guardians, and made each Holy Communion Mass something that every child will remember. Sr. Joan Curtin, CND, director of the Archdiocesan Catechetical Office, offered her own thanks in our
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Preparing for First Holy Communion is no small task because in many cases, our directors, coordinators and catechists are teaching the families as well as the First Communicants. Often, parents are not very well catechized, many through no fault of their own. In addition, they frequently are under pressure to make the party, not the Eucharist, the centerpiece of the day. Sometimes parents are divorced and there are hard feelings, not to mention other spouses who want to come. You can imagine the complications there. Sometimes there are economic problems. A parent might not have the money for a child’s First Communion outfit and the director or coordinator feels honor-bound to find a discreet way for the family to obtain an outfit.
In more than a few of our parishes, there are hundreds of First Communicants in the parish religious education program. That means four or five or six or even more First Communion Masses. Every one of these liturgies has to be perfect. The next week, the director or coordinator and the catechists are back at work, continuing the children’s faith formation.
So if your parish religious educator director or coordinator (not to mention the pastor) is looking a little wan right now, you can chalk up that up to exhaustion. Yet, these dedicated women and men wouldn’t give this ministry up for the world. We are so grateful to them.