“From the Eucharist comes strength to live the Christian life and zeal to share that life with others.” – Pope John Paul II
Like most parishes, due to COVID-19, the Sacraments at St. Rocco in Avondale have been delayed until the end of the quarantine. However, now that the quarantine has been lifted a bit, we have the opportunity to finish preparing the children for the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
Since catechism classes had to stop before the year actually finished, and all of the retreats were canceled, it was important to refresh the children in their knowledge of the Faith before they would receive Jesus in the Eucharist. So, we decided to have a marathon of retreats for all of the children, and give them an intensive course on all the things they missed in class. We were limited to only 30 children together at a time, and since we have 200 children preparing for their First Communion, we split the children up and made mini retreats for three consecutive weekends in order for all the children to participate. In each retreat we had three workshops that the children rotated to participate in. In one workshop they made a craft that serves as a reminder of their special day; in the second workshop they practiced receiving the Holy Eucharist piously and they also wrote a letter to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament; and the last workshop, they had to take an exam on all the important things they should know in order to receive their First Holy Communion. It was a good and helpful review of everything they learned throughout the year. The children were very receptive and enthusiastic about participating.
Now that the retreats and preparations are finished, we will have First Communion Masses and celebrations throughout the months of July and August. Every weekend for two months there will be new Tabernacles in the world. Our Spiritual Father, St. John Paul II, said in one of his homilies:
“Each time we are reunited in the Eucharist, we are strengthened in holiness and renewed in happiness, for happiness and holiness are the inevitable consequences of being with God. When we are nourished by the Living Bread …we become more like Our Resurrected Savior, who is the fountain of our joy… May happiness and holiness always abound in your life and flourish in your homes. And may the Eucharist… be the center of our life, the source of our happiness and holiness.”
And this is exactly what we pray for now as the King of kings and Lord of lords is entering into so many little souls, who are hungry and thirsty for the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.!
We ask you to continue to pray for the fruits of these retreats and for the children receiving Jesus for the first time in the next two months, for their growth in love of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament and for their final perseverance. We entrust all of these souls into the care of our Blessed Mother.
May God bless you all! Viva la Mision!!!
In Christ and His Mother Mary,
Sr. Mary Faithful Virgin SSVM
Missionary in Avondale Pa, St. Rocco Parish