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Do you remember your First Holy Communion?

My young friend, Patrick Donovan, made his First Communion last weekend.
Not only did I receive an invitation to attend this special occasion but I also was part of the advance team to deliver Pat to church for his class picture and to stake out a pew for the rest of the family.

Young Patrick Donovan receives his First Communion at St. Roch Church in Indianapolis.

Nestled in the pew between his Grandma Rita and his Aunt Paula a FULL hour and a half before the Mass began, I had the perfect view of every white dress and veil, every miniature business suit that came prancing down the aisle.

I could picture my own communion dress perfectly. My godmother took me shopping for that dress, and it was absolutely the most beautiful dress I have EVER worn — really, in my entire life. At least that’s the way I remember it.

And I wondered as I sat there why I had held onto the plastic pouch containing my communion veil for so long. Oh, and I can’t forget the little white First Communion prayer book I had tucked inside.

I also wondered if I really understood what was happening to me that day so long ago when I first received the Body of Christ.

Do I understand now the significance of Jesus coming to us under the guise of food, wishing to nourish us? Have years and years of receiving “Holy Communion” led me to “Love one another as I have loved you?”

Have I become nourishment for others? Is my life an act of communion? Do I act like I believe those lovely words of St. Augustine, “Believe what you see, receive who you are … the Body of Christ?”

On Patrick’s First Communion Day, here was the Body of Christ in the guise of these little people in their beautiful white dresses and serious suits and ties, hands folded in steeple fashion, each ready and eager to become fuller members of the Holy Communion of believers we are all called to be.

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Sister Dawn Tomaszewski

Sister Dawn Tomaszewski was elected General Superior of the Sisters of Providence in 2016. She has been a Sister of Providence since 1975. Previously she ministered as a teacher, as communication and development director for the sisters and their ministries and as a member of elected leadership on the general council of the Sisters of Providence.

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2 Comments

  1. Beth Bell Kyle, Providence Associate/SMWC '00 on May 10, 2012 at 2:50 am

    I remember mine! It was a very special day! Also, it coincided with Race day (Indy 500) which was a big day every year for my entire family to join together. I still have the cards from my extended family. I look forward to my own children having a special day as well!

  2. firstcommuniondresses on May 25, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    I remember my first holy communion like it was yesterday (actually it was 40 yrs ago) times have changed but the sacrament of first holy communion remains the same.

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