Goulburn’s First Holy Communicants relish the Sacrament

Photo: First Holy Communion was a special occasion for these Year 4 students.

Making her First Holy Communion was a significant moment for St Joseph’s Primary School Goulburn North student Ella-Rose Gerstener.

The Year 4 student was one of 40 candidates from St Joseph’s, St Peter and Paul’s Primary School in Goulburn and St Mary’s Primary School in Crookwell.

“I felt like I was getting closer to Jesus,” Ella-Rose said.

“It was fun because my whole family was involved.”

Fellow student Gracie Croker agreed.

“Going up there to have communion, you felt like a new person once you got it,” she said.

St Joseph’s Religious Education Coordinator Sasha Cady said the students had been learning about the sacrament outside of school hours on behalf of the parish.

“I think for the children, they really see it as now they are an active part of the church,” she explained.

“When we have a mass, they are coming up to receive Jesus and be part of it. Instead of just being a witness, they are engaged and celebrating it.”

Before making the sacrament, students attended a reflection day with youth ministers from Trinity Catholic College.

“They have reconciliation and learn more of the theological traditions of the church,” Mrs Cady said.

“The children learn about the elements of the mass – that the father says these words and that is what consecrates the host, for example.”

Student Elijah Sheekey said he had enjoyed the reflection day.

“I learned a new word and what it means – transubstantiation,” he said.

“I feel more grown up when I’m in church now, because I can go up and have communion with the adults.”

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Mrs Cady said First Holy Communion was a chance for children to plant a seed for their faith.

“As a child, they are excited about it and engaged with it,” she explained.

“But also, as an adult, they can really process the deep theology of it.

“It is always a gift that is there to keep giving to them.”