The Our Lady of Fatima RC Church, Curepe held their First Communion ceremony on November 22 at the Assumption Church, Maraval. The arrangement made it possible to accommodate the 140 attendees – 24 communicants, their sponsors and families, as well as the catechists. Two communicants share their experience.
My First Communion made me feel special
I was happy to attend my First Communion class even though I did not know what to expect. In the first few sessions, we had Bible readings and learned how to say the rosary. I enjoyed learning about the rosary especially because when I said it, I felt like I was honouring Mary.
When we started there were only about nine students, but this eventually got larger and we had a class of 24.
I was a bit nervous in the beginning since I did not know anyone there. My first friends were Azariya and Keira. We played together when we had breaks and shared our snacks.
Another fun experience was when we went to a retreat to Emmaus Centre to meet the nuns. The sisters helped us learn how to pray and we participated in colouring activities and treasure hunts. It was a lot of fun.
Our class teachers were very kind and loving. They helped us learn about Jesus and how He wants us to live our lives. They planned activities like watching movies, colouring, storytelling, and a puppet show. I loved learning the hymns and songs because I like singing.
Everything changed when COVID struck and we did not meet for a while. However, I realised that what I learned is important, because when sad things happen God can help you feel better.
My Aunty Anita who lived in England died in April 2020 due to COVID-19 and I was very sad. I got a chance to pray for her during the wake and even though I miss her, I know that she is in Heaven with Jesus.
I did not think we would have classes anymore, but then we resumed virtually, even before regular school did. I was happy to meet my friends and teachers again.
We continued to learn about Jesus, Mary, the Sacraments, and the saints. All the students got a chance to present what we learned through, poetry, pictures, stories, and videos. We did not do this when we were meeting at church, but I think that this helped me to become closer to God because I actually read the story of Noah from the Bible. I was amazed by what he did by saving the animals because he believed in God’s Word and chose to listen to Him. I have to try to follow God’s plan like Noah did.
I started saying the Lord’s Prayer with my family every night before going to bed. My mom, dad and brother take turns saying a line and this has become a tradition in our family.
One memorable experience was confession. It was hard for me to tell Father the bad things that I did. I felt nervous because I did not want anyone to know about them. My mom explained that it’s important to ask for forgiveness and not to feel ashamed because we all make mistakes. When I met Father that day and confessed, it was not as bad as I thought it would be since I know that God loves me even if I make the wrong choices sometimes.
Finally, the day for us to receive Jesus through Holy Communion was here. I wore all white, even my mask was white, and stood with my friends, socially distanced of course.
I couldn’t believe that I started this journey when I was eight years old and I had just turned ten. I felt proud and accomplished that I finally finished the second sacrament. I got a chance to say part of the Prayer of the Faithful and I am looking forward to reading in church in the future.
I felt close to God when I prayed with all the children on that day.
What I remember most is what Fr Francis said about the light and how we have to keep the light shining. “This is your light and light the world with peace, with friendship, goodness and hospitality.” He continued, “Light up the world with Jesus”.
My First Communion made me feel special because I was actually receiving Jesus and making a promise to live the way that He did with love and goodness.
— Svara Baptiste
I had fun learning about God
It all began in September 2019. I was registered by my parents for First Communion. “What is First Communion, Mummy? Is there going to be test? Who will be there? What is this all about? Would I have to wake up early every Saturday?”
“Tenille, calm down,” said my parents. “First Communion is going to be fun. There are going to be many children, great teachers and you will get to learn more about God and make new friends. It is considered one of the holiest and most important occasions in your life. Once completed it means that you would have received the Sacrament of the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.”
“Ok mummy. I will see how it goes.”
On the first day, I was a bit nervous but as time went by, I began to enjoy it. I did not have a problem waking up early to go to class. I looked forward to seeing everyone and learning about many different things such as how to pray the rosary, the Liturgical Cycle, what the cross represents, the Ten Commandments, the importance of forgiveness and much more.
I had some awesome teachers named Aunty Sonia, Aunty Cherylann, Aunty Carmen and Aunty Marylin who made me look forward to every Saturday class.
The many art and craft activities and lessons learnt were amazing. It felt like I had a new family on weekends.
Learning about the importance of having a relationship with God and having respect for each other, taught me to be kind towards others and have respect for the elderly and my parents.
Everything was going great until COVID-19 decided to visit the country. I was sad. I could not see my weekend family again.
I wondered if this was going to be the end of class until I was told one day we were going to have First Communion on Zoom. I was happy because despite all the sadness around with COVID-19, I was going to see everyone again.
We continued our classes and completed our workbooks while having fun playing games and doing fun activities. Our aunties made it interesting. I looked forward to class every Saturday at 2 p.m. I loved it so much I hardly missed my dance class that I use to attend before I started First Communion.
While completing the workbook I learnt a lot about being a Roman Catholic and the importance of knowing God. We were given an assignment to build an altar to pray to God and I really enjoyed the project.
Finally, it was time for reconciliation and although I was nervous, I knew it was important and had to be done. I was relieved after I saw Father and looked forward to my special day. I was excited to buy my dress and veil. I wanted so much to look beautiful for Christ on that day. I was so excited when I heard the date was set for First Communion.
I will always remember how much fun I had learning about God and the importance of serving Him. How much effort all the aunties made to ensure the classes was a success and how aunty reminded us of the importance of prayer.
I finally received communion on November 22, and it was great! Everyone looked so wonderful! The service was so awesome! Father spoke about God returning as a shepherd and how everyone is expected to live their life pleasing to God and to love one another. I am happy to have been a part of this class. It was amazing.
— Tennille James