Dear Friends:

By the time you read these words, the celebrations of First Communion will have concluded for the year in our parish. This year, Precious Blood Parish welcomed one hundred thirty-one children to the Lord’s table for the first time. I wonder how many of us, even after so many years, can still remember the day of our First Communion? We should at least be able to remember some things about it, for the celebration of First Communion is a significant milestone in the life of every Catholic. I myself received First Communion fifty years ago this week, on May 11, 1968 at SS. Peter and Paul Church in Waterbury. I remember it as a sunny warm day and I also remember that almost eighty of us, the second grade class at SS. Peter & Paul School, made our First Communion together. As is often done even today, so then the girls wore white dresses, veils, and gloves and the boys blue trousers, white shirts and white ties. The point of my small trip down memory lane is to stress that we should even now appreciate the wonder that is the Eucharist and that our reception of what is the “Sacrament of sacraments” should fill us with awe as much now, after so many years, as it did that day however many years ago.

This Thursday, May 10, is the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, a holy day of obligation. There will be a Vigil Mass on Wednesday at 7:00 PM at St. Agnes, and on Thursday, Masses at St. Mary’s will be celebrated at 7:00 and 9:00 AM and at 12:05 PM. There will also be a Mass on Thursday morning at 9:00 at St. Agnes.

This week I leave for ten days of vacation in Florida. While I know that the parish is in good hands with Father Sam and Father Deny, I am happy that we will be sponsoring a Parish Mission that runs from Monday to Wednesday, May 14-16, with presentations each evening at 7:00, preceded by the recitation of the Rosary and followed by the opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I am happy to welcome Father William Garrott, OP to our parish for the mission. He will speak at a number of Masses this weekend and help Father Sam and Father Deny with the celebration of Masses as well. Please make every effort to come to the mission presentations next week. A parish mission is a special moment of grace where we can encounter the Living God in new and even surprising ways. May God bless our mission with success!

Have a good week!