On Sunday, November 13, at the Minor Basilica of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 67 students from Sacred Heart Girls’ RC School received the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist for the first time.
The chief celebrant for the Mass was Vicar General and Cathedral Administrator Fr Martin Sirju. The concelebrant was Fr Wilfred John; Deacon Lennox Toussaint assisted.
The beautifully decorated church quickly filled as family members, friends, teachers, and parishioners joined in celebrating this memorable occasion. Three catechists prepared the girls: Principal Vanessa Yearwood and teachers, Anushca Francis and Candice Sylvester.
Fr Sirju in his interactive homily highlighted that the sacrament was a reminder of God’s love for us. He allowed the candidates to visualise Jesus with His hands outstretched in a gesture of love.
Fr Sirju told the girls that in the Sanctuary there is a representation of this loving gesture, namely Jesus on the Cross. He stated that for their sake, Jesus died with opened arms on the cross.
Additionally, he stressed the following salient points. In the Eucharist, God is giving us a gift, something precious that will last, the gift of His Son, Jesus. Jesus comes to us in the form of bread and wine. He comes as nourishment, something that is good for us to eat. He comes to make us strong, so that we can resist evil. When we partake of the gift of the Eucharist, we can become more like Jesus.
He said God wants us to live a good life, but we need to be humble and have a contrite heart, when we do wrong.
Fr Sirju added that in life bad things are going to happen, however we must not give up. Instead, we must read the scriptures, pray, and receive Holy Communion. These strengthen our faith and make us resilient.
He had a special reminder to parents: Jesus continues to give Himself; His arms are always open. Parents should not say ‘No’, to receiving the gift of the Eucharist. They should do whatever they have to, to make their lives right with God, so that they can receive the Eucharist with their children.
Approximately two hours later, nourished and equipped, having joyfully accepted the gift, the girls departed with their families, committed to be a sign of God’s love.
We pray that parents will keep on nurturing their children’s spiritual growth by facilitating regular Mass attendance, so their children can be nourished by the Eucharist.
—Mechelle Edwards, teacher