First Holy Communion

Updated 30 January 2022


Letter to First Holy Communion Parents

Dear Parents

Let me begin by wishing God’s blessing on you and your families during this coming year.

One of the joys of this coming year will be the day when your child receives the Body and Blood of Christ for the first time in their life. This will be one of the most sacred moments in their earthly lives and marks a deepening of their friendship with Christ.

As we are just a couple of weeks away from beginning their preparation for meeting Christ in Holy Communion, I am taking this opportunity to invite you to prepare as follows: 

Please register so that we know you wish to be part of the parish family and its mission. Even if you have registered in the past, we ask you to do so again in order that we can ensure that our parish database is up to date. Once you have registered we will be able to keep in contact with you and to inform you of all that is going on in the parish and how you might wish to be involved in our mission.

Please Register your details on the Parish Database

If possible, please set up a standing order to contribute to the running costs, work and mission of your parish family.

Set up Standing Order WITH Gift Aid Set up a Standing Order WITHOUT Gift Aid

N.B. If you have any queries or need any help doing this please contact the parish office.

Once these stages have both been completed, please confirm that you have done so with the parish office.

I would ask you to do both these things before your children’s preparation sessions begin. Once these have both been completed, please confirm that you have done so with the parish office. If you have an queries about this, please do not hesitate to contact me. Please do not contact the volunteer catechists.

For those of you who are not practising your faith, I am asking you to do so, yes, for the sake of your children but, more importantly, for your own spiritual sake and salvation.

What do we mean by “practising your faith”?

When human beings practice something (for example, playing an instrument, kicking a football or learning to drive a car) they do it repeatedly until their abilities develop and it becomes “second nature” to them. Of course, if you only practice occasionally or intermittently, it is unlikely to make much change to your ability or who you are.

Our human relationships, especially our friendships, call for practice. The more time we spend with a person and engage with them in profound ways, physically, emotionally and spiritually, then, the deeper the friendship is likely to be. This is why married couples often describe themselves as “best friends” or “soul mates”. While, the people we spend less time with or are an occasional exchange of a text message are more likely to be described as acquaintances. Those relationships that have been broken by some event or those people we use only when we want something from them cannot be described as authentic friendships.

Our Catholic faith is about our personal friendship with Jesus, the Son of God. We believe that he waits for us weekly at Sunday Mass. It is through this sacred meeting that our friendship with him is nurtured and grows. It is there that Christ speaks to us as friends through his living word, the Sacred Scriptures, and feeds us with his own divine life in Holy Communion. And the reason Catholics call this “the practice of our faith” is because meeting Christ every week in this way, over time, deepens our relationship with him, changes us, and prepares us for that time when we will be with him eternally in heaven.

For those of you who are interested in deepening or re-establishing  your relationship with Christ, there is an opportunity to reflect on your faith through the following five optional meetings:

Saturday 29 Jan 10.00 -11.30 am Cathedral parish hall Who do you say I am?
Saturday 5 Feb 10.00 -11.30 am Cathedral parish hall Who is Jesus?
Saturday 12 Feb 10.00 -11.30 am Cathedral parish hall Hearing Jesus through his living word
Saturday 19 Mar 10.00 -11.30 am Cathedral parish hall Meeting Jesus through the sacraments
Saturday 26 Mar 10.00 -11.30 am Cathedral parish hall Loving Jesus through the life of prayer 

Finally, I would like to thank all our volunteer catechists for giving so generously of their time and sharing their faith with our children. We are all indebted to them and I ask you to afford them the respect they deserve.

I look forward to celebrating the opening Mass with you and your children at 9.15 a.m. on Saturday 22 January, Until then be assured of my prayers for you and your children.

God bless and protect you and your children

Fr Martin

Numbers at First Holy Communion Masses
All the children receiving the Body and Blood of Christ for the first time will sit together. There will be some catechists beside them. The family of each child will be allocated a single row of nine seats for family and friends. In other words, a “rule of nine” will apply at these Masses. This will help our children to focus on their friendship with Christ and how he comes to them for the first time in Holy Communion. Also they will have those who are closest to them celebrating this sacred moment in their lives with them. This will also help to ensure that our celebration of Mass is reverent, prayerful and joyful. If you have any queries about this “rule of nine” please contact Fr Martin