Pope plans personal instruction for First Communicants

Pope Benedict XVI plans to meet in October with young Italian children who are preparing for their First Communion, to give them some personal instruction on the Eucharist.

At his Angelus audience on Sunday, June 12, the Pope announced his plans for this session, to take place on October 15. The catechesis for children, he pointed out, will take place during the meeting of the Synod of Bishops, which will be dedicated to the discussion of the Eucharist; and shortly before the close of the Year of the Eucharist. The Holy Father observed: "This will be a fitting and beautiful occasion to repeat the essential role that the sacrament of the Eucharist plays in the formation and spiritual growth of children."

According to Catholic World News, about 40,000 people were gathered in St. Peter's Square as the Pontiff announced that the October session would be arranged primarily for children from Rome and the surrounding Lazio region. It will be a "festive" occasion, he said, at which he will remind the young people of the importance of attending Mass with their families.

"We Christians cannot live without Sundays," the Pope continued, telling his audience that "participation in Sunday Mass must never be felt as an imposition or burden, but rather as a need and a joy." He said that Pope John Paul II (bio - news) had hoped to "reawaken the conscience of believers" on that score by proclaiming the Year of the Eucharist.

The Year of the Eucharist will conclude with the end of the Synod meeting in October. Pope John Paul II had chosen the Eucharist as the topic for this 11th ordinary assembly of the Synod; Pope Benedict officially confirmed that theme (since a Synod topic must be approved by the reigning Pontiff) on May 12.

As he concluded his remarks, the Pope offered his greetings to the various groups in St. Peter's Square, making a special notice of those who were attending the World Day for Blood Donors. "May Christ, who saved us with his Blood, always be a model for your volunteer work," he said.

Pope plans personal instruction for First Communicants (Catholic World News 13/6/05)

On Importance of Sunday Mass (Full Text of Benedict XVI's Address
Year of the Eucharist | Official Vatican Website

Jewish leaders say pope's past cause for optimism, not concern (Catholic Newa Agency 13/6/05)
Pope Plans Meeting With Children on Eucharist (Catholic Online 12/6/05)
Holy Father Points to a Model Donor (Catholic Online 12/6/05)
Pope asks parents to help their children discover importance of Sunday Mass (Catholic News Agency 13/6/05)
Jewish leaders say pope's past cause for optimism, not concern (Catholic Newa Agency 13/6/05)
Sunday Mass Should Be Seen as a Joy, Says Pope
(Zenit 12/6/05)

Eucharist in the Pontificate of Benedict XVI (Zenit 12/6/05)
Benedict XVI to Meet World Council of Churches Officials (Catholic Online 12/6/05)
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14 Jun 2005