First Communion Program 2021

Letter from Fr Carlos dated 13 May 2021

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

There has been much chatter in our community of Our Lady of the Angels, Rouse Hill about the upcoming First Holy Communion for our children. I am deeply saddened by the knowledge that many of our faithful parishioners may have been confronted with learning about this issue.

Thank you to our parents, carers, and sacramental coordinators for helping us prepare and bring these children to this most significant day. This is a very important day in the faith journey of our children and is the main focus of my care and concern.

I’m sure you all look back on your own Holy Communion with fond memories and just how special that day was. Not only is it receiving Our Lord, but also a deep welcoming into our faith community. A community we voluntarily enter.

Unfortunately, this chatter has taken away from the focus of that day and the solemnity of the occasion. I acknowledge that what was supposed to bring our community together has instead caused some division.

I also acknowledge there has been confusing and misleading information concerning this matter.

How did we get here?

Things have been said about myself and my comments have been misrepresented. There have been unfair allegations made againts me. This is regrettable.

It should never have come to this point.

If we are serious about loving our children and sincere about supporting them, then our approach must come in the form of using discretion, using patience, and trying to listen.

Our role is not to hyper-sensationalise what is happening by using various loudspearkers to make allegations. How is this ever in the best interest of our children?

So that I am clear on this matter, I affirm the Catholic teaching that in matters of faith and education, parents are the primary educators of their children.

The Catholic Church recognises that parents are their child’s primary educator. I fully support this.

Respecting the solemnity of the occasion of First Holy Communion, I trust that parents and carers will make good judgements concerning the attire of their children. I am happy to speak with parents who would like advice on appropriate attire of this important day.

Generally, we as Catholics are urged to remember that each Mass is the same sacrifice as Calvary. It is the closest we will be to Our Lord here on earth every time we attend Mass as we are able to be in the Real Presence of Our Lord, the ultimate judge.

All that we have tried to encourage is that Our Lord be given the reverence, respect and gratitude He deserves as the most miraculous and sacred moment as we receive Communion.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26 “23For I received from the LORD what I also passed on to you: The LORD Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the LORD’s death until he comes.”

I welcome and encourage any of our parishioners to talk with me should they wish to discuss and develop their knowledge about the Real Presence or any other aspect of our faith.

I ask you all, as parishioners, to refrain from entering into further discussion on this issue, and deal with this confronting issue as Jesus has taught us.

I ask you pray for members of our faith community and for the continuing wisdom of parents as they look after their children.

Yours in Christ,

Fr Carlos Walker
Parish Priest
Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church