On my travels I had the opportunity to visit several times one of the great Catholic pilgrimage sites of the world, Lourdes. This is indeed a holy place. Our guide there reminded us of an incident in the life of St Bernadette. Many years after the apparitions of our Lady, when Bernadette has entered religious life, she was asked to reflect back on the period of the apparitions. ‘What was the most significant event of those times?’, she was asked. Her answer surprised many, because despite the great privilege she had in encountering the Virgin Mary many times, Bernadette said that it was her First Holy Communion which she treasured the most.
This weekend and next is a joyful one for our parish as another group of our young parishioners come to the Lord’s table for the first time. Please join me in praying for them, that their first Holy Communion will be the beginning of a long and profound relationship with Jesus, who nourishes us in a special way each time we receive the Holy Eucharist.