First Communicants gather for afternoon centered on Eucharist

Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney gathered with first communicants from around the Paterson Diocese, and their families for an afternoon of catechesis, adoration, and celebration on June 2, the Feast of Corpus Christi. The event, held at Corpus Christi Parish in Chatham, packed the church.

The diocesan Office of Catechesis and Faith Formation and the Office of Worship coordinated the event, which was attended by first communicants from around the diocese. They were dressed in their first Holy Communion attire for an afternoon that renewed the joy they experienced on their first Communion day.

Bishop Sweeney offered catechesis on the Eucharist for the children in a question-and-answer format. The exchange produced a dialogue between the bishop and the children.

The day’s goal was to remind the children that receiving Jesus through the Eucharist is a great gift and that the Eucharist is essential in their lives. The event included a procession of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by adoration and Benediction. Many, touched by the solemnity and beauty of the liturgy, experienced a deeper love of the Eucharist.

Bishop Sweeney presented each child with a gift of a rosary to help them meditate on Jesus’ life and develop a relationship with him. In addition, each first communicant received a prayer card for use after Holy Communion.

The event ended with a reception during which the bishop posed for pictures with every first communicant and their families.

At the end of the celebration, Father Yojaneider Garcia, Office of Catechesis and Faith Formation director, thanked all those who helped prepare the children to receive their first Communion, especially their parents. He encouraged parents to continue guiding their children in learning about their Catholic faith.

Father Garcia thanked the staff of St. Paul Inside the Walls in Madison and Corpus Christi, catechetical leaders, catechists, and the many volunteers for helping with the event. He thanked priests, deacons, and seminarians who participated.

Father Garcia told the children, “We hope to continue seeing you and your families at Holy Mass on Sundays. Remember, without Holy Eucharist, we cannot live. Today more than ever, we are called to become Eucharistic missionaries, who are on fire for the Holy Eucharist and who then kindle this fire in those we meet.”



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