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This weekend we rejoice with our children who are receiving their First Eucharist, one of the Sacraments of Initiation along with Baptism and Confirmation. These three sacraments get the Christian life started for us all, making us children of God and welcoming us into the Body of Christ, strengthening us in the Holy Spirit, and finally drawing us toward the fullness of Christian holiness that is perfect communion with God and each other. The past year of catechesis has been very eventful for these younger members of our parish family. One of the biggest highlights, second only to today, was their first participation in the Sacrament of Penance (Reconciliation). With the help and guidance of the late “Mrs. Vicki” and their catechists (Mrs. Sanchez and Mrs. Jasper), both parents and children went to “night school” in January to prepare for this first encounter with God’s mercy in the confessional.

Since they have met Jesus in Confession, they have been looking forward to receiving Him in the Eucharist. We have had some more “night school” over the past month to be ready for this day, and in their homes the children prepared the banners that you see on the cover of the bulletin and which hang over their pews to reserve their family’s pew at the 9:30 a.m. Mass. Please keep these children in your prayers as they become living tabernacles for the first time, bearing the Eucharist within their own bodies and souls. May we join them in looking upon this gift with fresh eyes, with the faith of a child.

Please pray also for the teenagers in our parish who will be receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation next weekend, Saturday, at Saint Matthew’s Cathedral, along with other parishes in the area. I believe all are welcome to join this liturgy, which will be beautiful. I’m sure I will be thanking Brian Garland and other parish instrumentalists for organizing the beautiful music we will be singing.

These “Confirmandi” (“to be confirmed”) have also had some special preparation this year, and I express my gratitude to their catechist, Lori Richards. Besides the Sunday religious education, they have been doing service work and participated in day retreats both with the diocese and last weekend here at our parish. These young men and women were encouraged to “drop their nets” and give everything over to the Lord Jesus, following Him with total trust. We all know that this is very difficult and very rewarding. Let us pray that the Lord continues to draw them to that fulness of life that we are given in the Holy Spirit and in the Blessed Sacrament.

I am also grateful for the parish support for the “Whatsoever You Do” outreach program through our Cinco de Mayo party (held on May 4th). Many thanks to Bill Odell for doing much of the organizing work as well as the many hands that went into preparing the dishes, including the yummy desserts. This was truly another good opportunity for the parish to celebrate our fellowship in the Lord, and at the same time to offer support to the poor around us. God is so good!

Saint Thérèse, the little flower, pray for us!