On Sunday the 6th was a very important day for Bahtjak Natalie, Chihotski Lucas, D’Amore Isabella, Dudij Alexander, Dudij Nicholas, Duma Matthew, Fedcesen Liljana, Figurek Damian, Figurek Olivia, Herczaniwski Talya, Kekoc Anton, Kekoc Stefan, Kavalko Victoria, Kavalko William, Kogut Maksym, Kotowskyj Michael, Kopistinskij Katherine, McKerrell Odessa, Palancaji David, Pjekni Andrew, Rossetto Theodore, Seymour Ashlyn, Schneeberger Abingail Anita.

Today 23 young people celebrated a day to remember for the rest of their lives. This day of course began at the convent of the Basilian sisters where they began their preparation. The preparation program for First Confession and First Solemn Holy Communion, is a very inclusive one. The sisters included the parents, priests and even the rest of the family. This is done to emphasise the community nature of the celebration. The whole process had this emphasis. “It takes a whole village to educate a child”. Here the whole program revolves around the community aspect of the bringing the child to the point of understanding what is the reason of the sacrament of confession, and making this to be an important day in the life of the parish. As a parish community celebration, the day was as usual a huge success. The church was full. An important aspect to be noted was that the church was full of families. This is to say, the church was full of people of all generations. These people came to support and pray with a group of young people whose faith life and involvement in the parish community changes. It has been a long standing tradition in the parish that children become encouraged to serve the Divine Liturgy on Sundays after they receive these sacraments. This is important as well. The follow up program for the children after they have received the sacraments is important as well. They need to have a responsibility in the parish community. When the young people begin serving the Divine Liturgy, both boys and girls alike, develop a sense of pride and ownership of the Sunday Liturgy, as they see they are not passive observers but important participants in the process of community worship. It is then that all the time the sisters put into the children begins to show results. This tremendous day was certainly a day to remember for the rest of their lives, but it was also the beginning of a life-long commitment to pray with and support the people of God.

Right Rev. Olexander Kenez

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