Preparation for First Communion
Valerie, who is in charge of parish catechesis, asked us if we would be willing to have the children come and talk to them about our consecrated life. We accepted with joy, and on the 11th of May, the children arrived with their parents who accompanied them, and their catechits.. The community was able to meet the parents and join in the welcome with prayer and songs led by Fr Dominique.
We then moved to our community room where we had re-arranged table and chairs to seat the children on the floor. There were 26 of them plus 5 catechists. After the introduction of the sisters in the Thones community, Sr Monique showed on the world map where the Sisters of St. Jospeh of Annecy live and work, indicated by red pins. She then made a connection with all the different Congregations of Sisters of St Joseph from the same founde,r with a pin in the countries where there are varoius communitie of these Sisters.
Sr Raymonde spoke about the Spirit and the charism of the Congregation with the tilte: "We are called to live love and communion by looking to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, and in all our relationships.
The children were divided into groups, after the presentation, with different sisters and children in each group:
1st group: Sr Jain, Sr Louise Maria and a catechist with the children
2nd group: Sr Monique, Sr Marie Armande, a catechist and the children
3rd group: Sr Raymonde, Sr Anne, Sr Cecile, a catechist and the children
In the groups, each sister was invited to speak about her vocation, her ministry and to share a moment which had touched her life. Then they answered the various questions from the children and the catechists.
After a moment of relaxation we all went to our chapel where we sang songs, and then a child from each group shared something of their group's experience. The catechist read the text of Martha and Mary and made a comment on the aspect of Mary's listening to God and Martha's service and connected it with our life as religious. We finished with the prayer of the consecration to the "two Trinities", which was made simpler for the children.
The meal was taken from the backpacks on the grass with few sisters and Father Dominique, who came to join us. At the end of the meal, there was a ball game with Father Dominique, and then Srs Jain, Monique and Raymonde went to the Calvary statue with them.
They were divided into 4 groups and took part in the following :refelcted on the following :
1) A refelction on the connection and the meaning of the word communion. How does it engage us?
2) The chidren were asked to write – in acircel – the names of people thye were very close to and those they were not so close to, putting themslevs in the centre. Then they were aksed wher they would put Jesus ?
3) Tell a story in which one could say if the people lived in communion or not.
4) The text of Martha and Mary was read.
5) The text of the washing of the feet: When did Jesus do this? What is the meaning of this gesture and what are Jesus' words?
6) Then we finished with the text of the words of the consecration
After a small snack and a group photo, the children and the catechists went to the church to join Father Dominique in order to prepare the celebration of their first communion, which will be on the 5th of June.