A FEW WORDS FROM FR. JOE
A few words from Fr. Joe …
There has been a lot of talk during the week in different media about the whole question of taking sacramental preparation out of schools. A survey in the Dublin Diocese indicated that a lot of schools’ favour change, that parishes are struggling to understand the high level of participation in the special sacramental days when there seems to be very little continued contact with Mass and parish life. Many parents indicated that they are happy enough with the situation as it is.
I have been involved with four First Communions this month and I just have to admire the teachers and school staff who have worked very hard to make the whole experience very positive for all concerned. Great work was done with the children in the classroom, with the school choirs, musicians and with art, various teachers, the school principals and secretaries all gave generously of their time too. It seems to me that schools excel in drawing together the academic, the practical, the spiritual, the needs of individual children, the hopes of parents and they alleviate the pressure on parents and priests. So maybe there is a case for taking the sacramental preparation out of schools, but whatever the gain may be there is also a lot that can be lost. There are already parishioners offering invaluable assistance, parents playing their role in the preparatory Masses and parish staff ensuring that the church is available for practices, well presented for the celebrations. When change comes I hope we don’t lose too much of the work of the unsung heroes. I like the sacraments being supported by the school, I appreciate involvement of parents and others and I always hope that children will grow in faith and be a part of the active faith community drawing closer to our Lord.