Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
Following on from Baptism, the nurturing and development of our young children on their spiritual journey is very important to us. In support of this, in each of the three parish churches children of school age may take part in their own liturgy during Sunday Mass.
At Christmas, children at all the three churches take part in short Nativity celebrations before the Christmas masses, this gives pleasure to young and old alike and is a delightful beginning to the Christmas liturgical season. Christmas is a time for celebration and our annual children’s Christmas party is a very lively example of this!
Following Baptism, the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion are the next milestones in the development of their Catholic faith. The preparation for these sacraments takes place over nine months through a combination of desk based learning, activities and services which children can participate in. There are also a series of sessions for parents designed to help answer any questions a child may have in order to support them through the preparation process.
All classes take place on a Saturday morning for an hour and are held at Our Lady of Lourdes. Programme materials are provided and if possible parents are asked to contribute towards these resources. First Communion masses take place at all three churches of the Parish in early May and are a joyful celebration for the children and their families.
The expectation is, that as our young people mature into young adults they will further their commitment as active followers of Christ through receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Each year the parish sponsors several young people to accompany the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes as helpers. They have found this a very enriching experience and have, on their return, shared with the parish some of the events most important to them and their reflections on what the experience has given to them personally.