April 23, 2023

Dear Parishioners,

Our 11th graders celebrate their ConÞrmation this Wednesday, April 26, at 7:00 p.m. They will now be
fully initiated members of the Catholic Church and ready to serve as godparents and sponsors at
baptisms and conÞrmations. I pray that God will continue to bless and guide their journey of faith as
they Þnish their high school studies. I also offer thanks to their sponsors and our ConÞrmation team
members for their great work.

Our second graders celebrate their First Eucharist at a special 2:00 p.m. Mass on each of the next
two Sundays, April 30 and May 7, 2023. We divided the class in two in order to have room for every-
one in church. Next to Christmas and Easter, the celebration of First Communion is one of the most
cherished moments in the life of a Catholic community. Our second graders Þnally get to join us at
the table of the Lord and receive the wonderful gift of the Eucharist. Their excitement reminds us of
the great privilege which is ours in being able to partake of so great a Sacrament the gift of Christ
himself in his body and blood.

From its earliest days, the Church has taught and believed in the real presence of Christ in the Eu-
charist. The visible signs of bread and wine point to a greater reality which is hidden, namely the sac-
riÞcial love of Christ by which we are saved and made one with God and others. The Eucharist is a
sign of our unity, our oneness with Christ as members of his body. Our reception of Holy Commun-
ion nourishes and strengthens our sense of identity as the Body of Christ. We are called to become
what we receive in the Eucharist.

This is a great mystery which can be difÞcult to understand without the gift of faith. And yet even chil-
dren as young as our second graders can appreciate in their hearts this special gift of Christ to his
Church. Their innocence and trust help all of us to reafÞrm our faith and reawaken a sense of grati-
tude for the Eucharist. Please pray for our second graders and their families.

As a reminder, Catholics are allowed to receive the Eucharist either on the tongue or in the hand, at
the discretion of each communicant. When receiving in the hand, please place the host in your
mouth right away before returning to your pew. There have been occasions when a person has
walked away, perhaps absentmindedly, with the host still in his or her hand, and we dont know
whether there might be some ill intent. A host was discovered in a pew after Mass just last weekend
which was very distressing.

Self-intinction, where a communicant receives the host in the hand and then dips the host in the
chalice containing precious blood, is not allowed in the Catholic Church. The Church maintains a dis-
tinction between the minister and the communicant. Communion should always be received as a
precious gift. I appreciate the reverence I witness each Sunday as you come to Communion.

Football fans get to enjoy a taste of the upcoming season by following the NFL Draft this week.
Round 1 takes place this Thursday night, rounds 2 & 3 are held on Friday, and rounds 4 7 on Sat-
urday. The New Orleans Saints have the 29th pick in the 1st round and most of the mock drafts have
the Saints selecting a defensive lineman. It is unlikely that LSU will have a player chosen in the 1st
round this year.

In Christ,
Father Matt