My really belated account of First Communion celebration, part doos:
What a day! What a wonderful experience of ministry this was! I actually have some pics from the whole celebration, which can be seen on Fb, though I was limited in my picture taking as I was working during the Mass. It started in Kaboni at 9am. I originally had only 2 or 3 kids on my list who would be receiving First communion there, but in the end, there was 8-9 of them that came, including the lovely Juliana and Deborah Lynn who, are already quite naturally beautiful, were even more so as they were all dressed up like mini brides. When I look back upon it, I’m greatful at how much smaller this service was. It was much more easy to manage 9 kids than it would be to manage 40 of them at Holy Cross. Mind you, some of the kids weren’t getting the concept of First communion, as they put the Host in their pockets after receiving it!! I don’t think any of my students did this..I told them so many times what they needed to do during 1st communion and how to do it!! This was a student from out of town whose parents wanted him to receive the Sacrament in Wiki!
( In case you still doubted that there was some prestige around Wiki, this will prove to you that it’s there. Some actually came from Sudbury, which is a million times bigger -and has more Churches- than Wiki, but it doesn’t have the same special connection to the reserve I guess!!-.)
The one gratifying factor about Kaboni was that I was able to witness first hand the appreciation of the students for the work I put in to making the certificate. One in particular, Juliana came up to me and just quietly stood next to me, pointing at her certificate and smiled…I don’t know why, but THAT made my day.
We of course knew that Holy Cross was going to be a little more…active, to say the least. Holy Cross is the Church next to rectory, and it’s the ‘prestigious’ Church in town. It’s the one everyone wants to get married in, the one most people get their kids baptized in, and the most sought after for funerals -even though some of the other Churches are more convenient for those!-. In fact, it would have made more sense for some of the families to bring their kids to 1st communion at either Kaboni or Buzwah -the two other major Church. There’s a 3rd one that only gets used once in a while in South Bay-.However, most families opted for HC, which was fine by Doug… less work for him!!
Anyways, the drive from Kaboni to HC is usualy close to 25 minutes…I feel Doug did it in less time that Sunday. And it was a good thing too!! By the time we got back home, it was just barely past 10am, and some of the students and their families were already arriving!! Shalayna and Novaleigh -two of students I know a little better…see kids…that’s what you get when you answer my questions in class..I end up remembering your names!!- of course all primped up. I had originally just waved at them and kept on walking to the rectory, assuming they would want to be with their families…but Shalayna came running after me. I tell you, if I ever doubt again how much of an impact I had on some of these children, I’ll have to remember this little detail and many others that have taken place over the past week to remind me how attached some of these kids are to me!! But I digress!
Organizing the kids to enter the Church was interesting, and not half as chaotic as it had been with Confirmation.I gathered them all in the hall across the Church -Jananseau hall..I think that’s how you spell it- and once there, I put on a more playful role, calling up the kids one after the other to line up in a sportscaster’s voice, which amused both kids and parents!! Of course, all that was in vain. I had them line up alphabetically so that I could have no trouble handing out certificates to them in the end (my certificates were organized alphabetically), but they actually were going to be walking in two by two, boy and girl…so my alphabetical thing was all for naught, which meant that handing out the certificates to them would be crazy and was probably the most chaotic experience I had in Wiki. -after mass, they each individually received a blessing from Doug, and came to get a cross, and a certificate from me and one of the teachers- ..but now I’m breaking the perfect chronology of this blog and am talking about an event that happened at the end…
Coming out of the Jananseau hall with the kids was cute. All the girls were dressed in beautiful dresses with short sleeves, and they all complained in unison about the frigidly cold Spring Wiki day the moment they stepped out!! But the rest was smooth. They lined up perfectly. Once in the Church, I had to organize them a little as to where to sit..but it went smoothly. I had asked both teachers to read. One refused to, and the other forgot his glasses, so that didn’t work out…my Friend Cindy read. hmm…I guess the rest was kind of boring and not worth blogging. I mean, it was exciting to me…to be in the moment…to see all my kids lined up perfectly in their beautiful clothes…to see how quickly they responded to me when I asked them to come up and bring the gifts with me -I think half the kids wanted to come up with me for this!!- etc…
At the end of the hour or so that it took to have these boys and girls take their first communion, there was a lovely sense of accomplishment..but also sadness. I originally thought the sadness was mostly due to the fact that I had not been invited to any of the post 1st communion parties as I had half hoped -this is Wiki after all…I was not a member of the community, and I should not even have half hoped for this- but I would soon realize there was a deeper reason for this depression. That will be the subject of my last blog concerning the subject of this beautiful reserve and the crazily beautiful experience I had there.