Sacrament Most Holy

In our parish of St. Teresa, 2nd grade is a big year.  These children spend their first 6 months of school preparing for the sacrament of Reconciliation and then continue to prepare for the sacrament of Holy Communion.  It is beautiful.  Most of them received the sacrament of Baptism as infants an obviously can't remember, but they will certainly remember this year.  The excitement they posses is an amazing reminder to us adult that what is going on is so important.  We tend to get to that place as we get older where these sacraments may become routine and we momentarily forget just how rich and important they are.  I love being able to see that child-lik faith that we must all strive to posses.

First Confession/Pennance

Mathilda spent days practicing for her first confession.  It must be uplifting as a priest to hear these little confessions.  I often wonder what they could really be...likely small offenses against family members or friends.  The nervous looks on their faces before are quickly transformed into beautiful smiles when they are done and they are "squeaky clean".

  I heard a story once that compared confession to a car wash.  How wonderful it feels to pull out and drive a clean car...washed on the outside, vacuumed on the inside.  We drive slowly through the puddles, take care to remove our trash, and wipe our feet before getting in, but then slowly we let our guard down and let the mud splash up, toss the fast food bag in the back to be taken out later, and don't take the time to wipe our feet.  Eventually, our car is a pit again and it feels yucky, until it is cleaned up again.  It is much the same with our soul, and what a gift God has given us in His Son, that our sins can be forgiven and that we have this outward sign of His sanctifying grace.

Mathilda's second grade teacher Sr. Marie Caritas

 First Holy Communion

I'm not sure if Mathilda was so nervous that she couldn't smile?  It was all business!

Another amazing day that is filled with excitement, for this is the day that these eager children will receive Our Lord. Again, their excitement is such a testimony to the importance of what is happening. The girls are all dressed in beautiful white dress with veils--white symolizing purity and the veil keeping in long standing tradition of women wearing veils to Mass as a symbol of reverence.

 Mathilda's dress was made from my mom's wedding dress.  I have to say that it was very strange to make that first cut in something that was so important...not that material things are SOOO important, but a wedding dress just seems to be.  My mom was generous to suggest that her's be transformed into another important dress.  It meant so much to Mathilda!  She was excited to share her grandma's dress.
My mom in her wedding dress in 1970.  I know...she looks like she is 12!  :)
Everything about the day was magnificent.  The reverence, the traditions, the participation from family members as altar servers, greeters, lector (Tim), acolytes, choir members (Jakob and Joshua)...

Mathilda and her godmother Shannon.

I have many more pictures to add later that I am waiting to receive from friends and family members that I didn't have on my own camera. We gathered for a reception hosted by the School Family and 3rd graders, and then family gathered at our home afterwards for lunch and continued celebration.  It was a special day indeed.

Congratulations Mathilda!  We are very proud of you!!