Faith Formation

My First Holy Communion
My sister Norma’s First Holy Communion, Mom and Me

I was baptized, along with my sisters Jo and Norma. I remember this because we were older, and my parents gave us a big party. My father had many rolls of quarters and tossed them in the air. As children we dove after them like candy from a Piñata, this is a Mexican tradition in celebrating Baptisms. I had my First Holy Communion when I was in fifth grade and Confirmation in the eight grade. At Confirmation we are to adopt a saint that we are to carry the rest of our lives, but I do not recall the name of the saint I chose. Now that it matters, I need to investigate my saints name.

My First Holy Communion dress was beautiful. There were only two department stores in our small town of Brawley, so my white dress either came from JC Penney’s or McDonalds. McDonalds was the more upscale store and only on very special occasions did we get shop there. My mother made sure I had everything, including a small jeweled  purse, and white gloves. I wanted a blue St. Christopher medal for my necklace but that was too extravagant, so I never bothered to ask. My only regret is that all my certificates were lost in one of our family’s moves.

After confirmation I was sporadically catechized. My walk with God was the object of serious threats brought on by our mother, and I can still hear them. “Remember God can see everything you do!” Our mother instilled the fear of God, humility, and respect almost as if we were in training for a monastery. She did this because attending church on Sunday was nearly impossible. Our brothers had cars, but our mother never learned to drive, and we lived in an unincorporated part of town. We attended Mass on special occasions like Christmas and Easter.

I knew early on of my calling to serve God. It started, at about seven years-old. Our mother had purchased the most beautiful Bible. I loved perusing through these magnificent pages. The pictures of the Pope, Rome, and the Vatican. Rome was a lifetime away but I’d imagine myself there with the masses. The Bible that my mother purchased was only read to us by her because it was too elegant and big for common use. It was put away for safekeeping on a shelf. Every chance I got I would pull it out and run my fingers through the fancy red bold lettering at the start of every chapter. I guess all of us kids were doing the same thing because the ornate gold  cover finally fell apart.

Jacob, Will, Lucas, Maddie, Me, and Mike

Life was less complicated, as I never knew we lacked anything, and our mother made sure of that. We had food and clothing and the rest of the stuff was only left to the imagination, so at times we went without.

Lucas First Holy Communion

It is our Christian responsibility to instill the great values of God into our children. I was all over the board with this, first being Catholic,  then becoming Born-Agian, and finally retuning to my Catholic roots. Both Mikos and Sonja, along with Mike were dragged into my ambiguous walk and thankfully, both are serving the Lord and teaching their children to serve God as well.

Will’s first Bible

Our grandson Lucas made his First Holy Communion this Saturday and we were all there to witness the blessed event. Maddie is part of youth group at Calvery Chapel, and recently returned from a retreat. It makes my heart sing a silent hallelujah to see her posting Bible verses on social media.  My grandson Will choosing his first Bible added another hallelujah. I know deep down in their little souls they are receiving the lessons to love the Lord.

Deuteronomy 11:19 New International Version (NIV)

19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

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