The sacramental preparation process is full of grace throughout the entire year of preparation. We become a parish family by bringing the parents and children of the St. Benedict School and Religious Education together for parent meetings and a retreat for the children. First Holy Communion is a blessed day for the Church and the community. One of my favorite days of the year!
Denise Contino, coordinator of religious education, St Benedict Parish, Holmdel
I would say that the experience was amazing. I taught five different grades and this grade was the most inspiring. I felt very blessed to have the honor of teaching these children two very important sacraments. Trying to explain that they are actually receiving Jesus' body was a challenge, but definitely worth all the effort it took! Inspiring year!
Janice Davies, Grade 2 catechist, religious education
As principal, I am not directly involved with the children's preparation for First Holy Communion thanks to the care that our teachers and coordinator of religious education take with the students. However, my rank gives me the happy privilege of sitting immediately behind the First Communicants at the Mass. To witness the expressions on their faces as they return to their seats after receiving the Sacrament – outright joy, quiet solemnity, bursting-at-the-seams pride – inevitably renews my own appreciation for the gift of this Sacrament. How could it not?
Mary Ellen Lilly, principal, St. Benedict Catholic Church and School
We consider it one of the many privileges of being second grade teachers to be an integral part of the preparation as our students receive both the sacrament of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. The students enjoy the special events and projects throughout the year. This includes Gathering Day, making banners, interviews with friends or family members who have already received, and making paper hosts to practice with. It is a year filled with many opportunities for us as educators to enlighten and inspire them to be active members of their church community since they are now able to fully participate in the Mass.
Kelly Reid, Second grade teacher, and Lynn Connors, classroom aide, St Benedict School