Receiving Jesus For The First Time
This year, forty children will be receiving First Communion in St. Ignatius Church. Sr. Akiko Kageyama, S.A. ( Helpers of the Holy Souls) and a number of Japanese church leaders have been preparing on Saturdays or Sundays thirty Japanese speaking children for catechism classes while I meet another group of ten English- speaking ones on Sundays. The children who attend my group are from different nationalities: England (1), India (2), Japan (2), Philippines((4) and Spain(1). They will receive their First Holy Communion in a joint celebration at the 10:00 a.m. Japanese mass in the Main Chapel on the 28th of April
John de Britto English Center offers Sunday school to prepare children for First Communion only once a year. The children are asked to memorize the basic Catholic prayers, attend the Mass on Sundays and do simple homework to apply what they learn in the catechism classes at home with their families and friends.
The children’s excitement to receive Jesus in Holy Communion is very inspiring as I meet them every Sunday. When asked why they want to receive communion, their endearing answers were:
- I love Jesus and I want to go to heaven.
- God made men and God made me. I like God.
- I want to do altar service like my brother
- My mom told me to study at St. Ignatius so I can receive Jesus.
- Jesus will help me to become a better person because I am not a good boy sometimes.
I also asked the parents why they want their children to partake of the Eucharist. Their reasons were:
- So my child will know the importance of the Holy Mass.
- I want my child to follow Christ and encourage others to do the same.
- To experience the joy I experienced when I had my First Communion.
- I want to receive Communion together with my son
- So my child can partake of the moral and spiritual teachings of the Church and by going to Mass, he can have a sense of belonging in a community.
- As parents, we can help our child to know about Christ and we think that this is a legacy for her Christian formation.
Let us pray that the children’s excitement to receive Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time next month be sustained and afterwards, may their hearts keep burning with the desire to follow Jesus by receiving the other succeeding Sacraments as they continue their journey in life.
First Communion Mass:
Date: April 28 Time: 10:00 a.m. Venue: St. Ignatius Church (main chapel)
Rose Remigio, F.I. Coordinator for First Communion St. Ignatius Church St. John de Britto English Center