THERE are approximately 300 children expected to take their First Holy Communion this year with the numbers taking the sacrament described as huge by Portlaoise Parish.
“I assume the figure is around 300 and this is indictative of the community”, Fr Paddy Byrne told the Leinster Express. “The numbers are rising and there are challenges for us. What are we about? A big day or connecting to whatever faith means for us”. A meeting will be held for parents on Wednesday October 24 at 7.30pm in the Portlaoise Parish Centre.
“This is an information meeting for parents on the practical side of dates and what is expected of children taking communion”. There will be a number of schools in the parish engaging in this year’s communion, including Scoil Bhride, Scoill Mhuire, St Paul’s NS, St Francis, Gaelscoil Phortlaoise, Sacred Heart, Ratheniska NS, and The Heath NS.
Fr Paddy said that he hopes that communion is a “way to offer a positive invitation to partake as a parish community. There will be big crowds there for the day but we may see very little outside of that. We want it to be an authentic celebration and a warm and positive experience”. he added that he would be emphasising this to parents at the meeting.