FIRST HOLY COMMUNION (The Eucharist)
You are the most influential person in your child's life, and The reverence you model for the Holy Eucharist is the reverence they will learn to imitate.
"As Catholics, we know that the Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith: it is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ".
Preparation for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist is a two-year program at Holy Spirit Church. Children can begin their pre-sacramental preparation in the First Grade (information about sacramental preparation classes for older children and teens is listed below). Pre-sacramental and sacramental preparation includes learning the foundations of the Catholic faith, the Church and Prayer.
Children no younger than grades 2-3 who have completed their pre-sacramental year with good attendance will advance to the sacramental year program. This year builds on what the child learned in the pre-sacramental class, and prepares them for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. In keeping with Diocesan guidelines, children must have reached the age of reason (7 years of age or older) before they are able to make their First Reconciliation or First Communion.
*Children who are older than seven years of age or in junior/senior high are placed in a preparation program with their peers. Please call the Religious Education Office for specific class days and times.
For more information please contact the Religious Education Office (559) 434-3522.
The Eucharist Encyclical Letter of Pope John Paul II
Communion of Children Catholic Encyclopedia
It’s tempting to rely on your child’s religious educators to teach them the importance of receiving the Eucharist, especially when you have so much to do to prepare for the occasion. However, the truth of the matter is that your child’s preparation for this Sacrament begins and ends with you, the parent.
Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to heaven.
~Pope Pius X
“Upon receiving Holy Communion, the Adorable Blood of Jesus Christ really flows in our veins and His Flesh is really blended with ours.”
"With all the strength of my soul I urge you young people to approach the Communion table as often as you can. Feed on this bread of angels whence you will draw all the energy you need to fight inner battles. Because true happiness, dear friends, does not consist in the pleasures of the world or in earthly things, but in peace of conscience, which we have only if we are pure in heart and mind."
--Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
"When you approach the tabernacle remember that he has been waiting for you for twenty centuries."
--St. Josemaria Escriva
"When we receive Holy Communion, we experience something extraordinary - a joy, a fragrance, a well-being that thrills the whole body and causes it to exalt."
"What wonderful majesty! What stupendous condescension! O sublime humility! That the Lord of the whole universe, God and the Son of God, should humble Himself like this under the form of a little bread, for our salvation"
"...In this world I cannot see the Most High Son of God with my own eyes, except for His Most Holy Body and Blood."
--St. Francis of Assisi
"If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason:
~ Maximilian Kolbe
Prayer at a Child's First Communion
Lord Jesus Christ, in the Sacrament of the Eucharist You left us the outstanding manifestation of your limitless love for us.
Thank You for giving our child the opportunity to experience this love in receiving the Sacrament for the first time.
May your Eucharist presence keep him/her ever free from sin,
fortified in faith, pervaded by love for God and neighbor, and fruitful in virtue, that he/she may continue to receive You throughout life and attain final union with You at death.
(Soul of Christ)
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds, hide me.
Let me never be separated from you.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
In the hour of my death, call me,
And bid me come to you,
That with your saints I may praise you
Forever and ever. Amen.