Bishop urges First Communicants to always ‘stay this holy’

Photo Caption: Bishop Jenky blesses recent First Communicants from around the Diocese of Peoria as he enters St. Mary’s Cathedral for the diocesan Mass in their honor on June 6.

Those who received their First Communion in parishes around the Diocese of Peoria this spring were encouraged by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, to always “stay this holy, this good, this centered on our Lord” during a Mass that drew many of them to St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria on June 6.

Bishop Jenky welcomed the 2015 First Communicants — who again wore their special dresses and suits — on the weekend the church observed the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

In his homily, the bishop asked them to talk to Jesus each time they receive Holy Communion, and remember they are truly in his presence.

Describing how he has many photographs of family and loved ones in his office, the bishop said while the photos mean a lot to him “a picture isn’t the same as being with them.”

“After he ascended, Jesus didn’t want to leave us alone, so he gave us the Eucharist,” said Bishop Jenky. “He loves us so much he wants to be a part of our lives, and wants us to be a part of his life.”

The bishop challenged parents, godparents, and grandparents of the children to make sure they get to Mass every Sunday.

“Your greatest responsibility is for their eternal life,” said Bishop Jenky. “If in your lives you don’t miss Mass on Sunday, your children — who are always watching — will learn.”

The celebration took place as St. Mary’s Cathedral continues to undergo renovation work. Several of the stained glass windows were already removed, as were side pews. Scaffolding went high up the walls.

Bishop Jenky stayed long after the Mass to pose for photos and visit with the First Communicants in the cathedral sanctuary.

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