On a sunny February afternoon a group of nervous and excited candidates (and catechists) gathered in the School Hall to celebrate the sacrament of First Forgiveness. The candidates were joined by their family and friends and the dedicated catechists who had helped them prepare for the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. Fr Pat led the service and he was joined by Cannon Loughlin, Canon Robinson, Fr Keogh and Fr Lawrence.
Throughout the service Mrs Alexander-Sowa and the school choir added to the atmosphere of the event with some beautiful music, indeed some of the choir members had an extremely busy time as not only were they performing in the choir they were also celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time.
The candidates from St Therese of Lisieux parish read out bidding prayers describing how Christ is an ever present force in our lives and that wherever you can imagine whether it be above, below or within ourselves Christ will be there.
The Candidates from St Mary and St Romuald parish read out some reflections of times when they had moved away from Christ whether they had been unfair to others or neglected their relationship with God.
Then the time came for the candidates to have their confession heard for the first time. Although there was a sense of nervousness and anticipation all candidates returned from their confession looking relieved and refreshed in the knowledge that their sins had been forgiven. Fr Pat closed the service congratulating the candidates and reminding us of the importance of sacraments as a way of helping us to grow closer to Christ.
All those I spoke to talked of how moving the ceremony was and how well the Candidates read and contributed to this special day.
Fr Pat would like to thank all those who gave their time and effort to enable the event to go as well as it did. In particular he would like to thank the Catechists, The School, Mrs Alexander-Sowa and the choir and his fellow priests. We now look forward to the Sacrament of the Eucharist.