On All Saints Day, as the parishioners of St Joseph in Sentul came together to celebrate our triumphant Saints in their heavenly glory, we also congratulate all the standard 3 children who received their First Holy Communion on Sunday 1st of November 2015. Thirteen boys and six girls received the Sacrament of First Holy Communion at the 8.30am mass celebrated by Fr George Packiasamy. The children made their parents and teachers proud by the way they were prepared and the way they participated in the ceremony. It was indeed a joyful feeling witnessing these children walking in faith to receive this great gift from God. As it is written in scripture “He calls them all by name because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one of them is missing,” Isaiah 40:26
In preparation for their First holy communion, an in-house Communion Camp was held in our respected church’s Formation Hall on 24th & 25th October 2015. The First Holy Communicants prepared themselves to receive Jesus by attending this one night camp which was themed “Jesus Is the Heart of the Family”. A group of 19 (nineteen) children from both the English and Tamil language groups participated in this camp. This wonderful camp was conducted by Sister Mary David of the Canossian Daughters of Charity (FDCC) in Jinjang. Sister Mary and her team did a beautiful job covering three main topics which were God is love, Holy Eucharist and Forgiveness. It was fabulously conducted and we could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in such a wonderful way that day.
In addition to that, the camp was also filled with spiritual fun having had activities and workshop on team building, and some time spent sharing to ensure that the children truly understood what receiving the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Jesus is all about. Sister Mary also taught the children a few action songs, which they absolutely loved. At the end of the camp, the children from both language groups gathered for Taize Prayer which was conducted by two young gentlemen of the parish – Nicholas and Nelson. It was such a beautiful, peaceful experience that left not only our Communicants with a sense of contentment, but also all the teachers present. During the prayer, each child including the adults came forward and placed a lighted candle near the altar. This simple gesture meant that we make a commitment to put the prayer into practice daily.
It was so appropriate that the 19 Communicants received the Body and Blood of Christ for the first time on the Feast of All Saints Day, as they all looked so saintly dressed in white and after all, every one of us are Saints in the making. In his exciting homily, Fr George called out to all parents and urged them to inspire their children with the life of the Saints and to live the Beatitudes which brings about good and godly changes in one’s attitude. Thus, children should be exposed as much as possible to learning about the life of Saints and be inspired as they learn and get to know more about their favorite Saints. He concluded by saying that our children will somehow be able to acknowledge and understand God’s love through the story of an ordinary person we now call Saint and that these children themselves are saints in the making.
The Sunday School team gladly credits all the Communicants’ parents who gave their support and helped throughout the school year especially by ensuring their children’s attendance in preparation of the Sacrament. It was a big and great success indeed and both children and adults involved gained so much from this journey. A special thank you to the Parents Group who arranged and prepared food & drinks throughout the camp as the parish appreciates the hard work put into catering for the children, teachers and facilitators. This is what being Catholic and being church means – working together, supporting one another, with love and care, just like Christ would want us to be!
Contributed By Amanda Pumala