‘A big deal’: Diocese hosts a second celebration for First Communicants

Ivany Cisneros of St. Mary Cathedral Parish in Peoria poses for a photo taken by her mother, Maria, outside the cathedral following the June 10 Diocesan Mass for First Communicants. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

While there is only one “first,” the Diocese of Peoria considers a child’s first holy Communion important enough for a second celebration — this time with the diocesan family.

Bishop Jenky and Zuzu O’Donaghue of St. Mary Parish in Bloomington smile for a photo following the Diocesan Mass for First Communicants. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

And even the Diocesan Mass for First Communicants, celebrated last Saturday by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, and during which the children once again donned their special dresses and suits, is just the beginning.

“We make such a big deal about first holy Communion because you are beginning what should be a part of your lives till the day you die,” said Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, in his homily at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

Speaking to the children, the bishop said that sharing a meal — whether a lunch with schoolmates, a Thanksgiving dinner with extended family, or a pizza with parents while watching a favorite movie — is basic to our humanity.

“I think that is the reason that God chose to put the sacrament of our salvation, the Most Holy Eucharist, in the context of a meal,” said the bishop. And during the Mass, he said, the entire church family is with us — including not only Jesus and our family and neighbors but “all the saints and angels.”

Just as if we go without food our bodies will suffer, if we go without the Eucharist, “our Christian faith with die,” said Bishop Jenky. He urged the children to always remember their First Communion, and

First Communicants Lucas Meints and Madalin Filzen Etzel led the sung Responsorial Psalm. Assisting is cathedral cantor and Madalin’s mother, Laurel Filzen Etzel. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

encouraged their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to “encourage these young people to keep that holiness and fervor they have today all their lives long.”

Following the Mass, Bishop Jenky posed for photos with the First Communicants and their families.

Editor’s note: More photos from the Mass will be posted to The Catholic Post’s site on Facebook.


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