Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Special Privilege

Fr. John with Daniel
 It is difficult not to become depressed when reading the headlines of the day, headlines ranging from violence in our cities to terrorism all over the world.  Certainly these things demand our attention, and I have delved into them in my recent blog posts, but it is good to occasionally wander into an oasis of love and hope. I experienced that hope and love over the past weekend when I participated in the First Communion Mass at St. Thomas the apostle church in Smyrna, GA.

Fr. John giving Communion to Danny
   The reason for my participation was my long time friendship with the family of Danny (pictured to the left).  I first met his mother and grandmother when they were parishioners at SS. Rita and Patrick in Buffalo, NY where I served from 1979-1982.  It was a joy to look into Danny's eyes as I said, "Danny, the Body of Christ," and he received the Eucharist for the first time.  Beside me was Fr. Brian Sheridan, the pastor at St. Thomas, who then stepped aside and let me give First Communion to the entire group of youngsters and their parents. Not being a parish priest at the present time I generally don't have the opportunity to participate in First Communion Masses.  To have experienced the youthful innocence of these children as they received the Lord truly touched my heart.  It also gave me hope.  Each child was accompanied to the altar by a parent, a parent who has chosen to pass the faith on to the next generation

   Now I have no naive illusion that all of these kids will turn out to be saints. That has never been the case. On the other hand perhaps some of them will be saints, or at least faithful Catholic Christians who love others and make a difference in the world.  They will become good spouses and parents and, who knows, some may become priests or religious.  Most importantly they carry the hope that the world can be a different place because they not only received the Body of Christ, but are indeed part of the Body of Christ in the world.

After Mass with Fr. John


  1. What a wonderful opportunity and experience for you Father John. I can relate a bit as I had the privilege of baptizing my granddaughter Lynlee this past weekend. Still riding high!