Where has the last month gone? Between the Passion Play, Easter, and three out of four Wexford Teach Bhríde families visiting, I’m not really sure what happened to April.
However, one thing has become quite evident since our return from the Easter holidays – it’s Sacrament Season!
All of our First Communicants from Kennedy Park, Scoil Mhuire, and Educate Together have made their First Reconciliation over the last two weeks. I have a soft spot in my heart for the Kennedy Park children, as I am the coordinator of the parish’s end of their First Communion catechesis this school year. The way the confessions were set up, the parents went up with the child, introduced the child to the priest, and then stepped back as the child made their sacrament. At the end, the child came down, gave their parents a little hug, and headed back to their seats.
To see these children interact with their parents and guardians after making their confessions absolutely melted my heart. Some kids gave such fierce hugs that I thought someone was going to fall over. The look of radiant joy on each and every one of their faces proved to me that Christ was there that night, and that He’s certainly always there in what’s, (my opinion,) one of the most difficult sacraments to make.
Just last week, we celebrated Confirmations with all of our students. The preparation put into both ceremonies was incredible. The teachers had the kids well rehearsed, and they knew all of their prayers off by heart. (Which was good, since our poor projector turned off 4-6 times in each mass.) I was particularly proud to see the Kennedy Park kids, again, since I knew them all fairly well as fifth class students last year. To witness how they’ve each grown, particularly in their faith, over the last two years has been very rewarding for me.
That’s not to say each Teach Bhríder isn’t proud of the students in their own way. Every year, we spread seed for a harvest that we seldom get to see. We trust that, when next year’s crew come in, they will continue to tend to the crops and, eventually, they will come to fruition. The school sacraments are an exception to this. Though the students are always preparing in the classroom, the parish really only does their bit with them during the school year in which they’re making their sacrament. Therefore, each Teach Bhríde group gets to see, from start to finish, the results of many months of hard work and prayer that goes into a child preparing for one of the Sacraments of Initiation.
This, indeed, may be the richest harvest of all.