Above: SHC rector Fr Paul Lo conducted First Holy Communion Mass for one of the groups of English Sunday Faith formation students in SHPC  Nov 28.

Below: English speaking students are divided into several groups to celebrate the First Communion Mass. Fr Joshua Liew giving Communion in SHPC Nov 28.

By Catherine Wan  

Dec 1 2020

KOTA KINABALU – Sacred Heart Cathedral parish celebrated triple joy recently with over 200 children making their First Holy Communion spread over a few Masses made necessary in the new norm.

During Nov 20 Mass, 70 BM-speaking children from PMG (Pertemuan Minggu Gembira) received their First Communion while 39 Chinese-speaking children made their First Holy Communion during Mass the next day Nov 21. For the English Faith Formation First Communicants, 101 children received their First Communion during Mass on Nov 28 morning.

The Masses were celebrated in the parish hall and attendance was limited to the communicants, their parents and the parish catechists in compliance with SOP.

Preceding each Mass, the communicants were required to make the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession in their respective language, which were administered by parish priest Fr Paul Lo and assisted by his assistants: Fr Russell Lawrine, Fr Sunny Chung, Fr Saimon William and Fr Joshua Liew.

At Mass, the priest cherished the hope that the children really believed that the Communion that they have received was the Real Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, and urged them to live their faith with Jesus’ love, especially in forgiving their enemies. 

The priest added, now that they were able to participate fully in the Mass, they were reminded to grow in their relationship with Jesus through prayer and regular Masses. Parents were urged to take up their responsibility to cultivate their children’s faith by example.

Initially, the First Holy Communion was planned in October this year, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and the various government-imposed Movement Control Orders. With the relaxation of CMCO recently, the Cathedral parish reopened for Mass and decided to celebrate the First Holy Communion with the new norm.

Most of the students from the Faith Formation program had been attending online classes conducted by the parish catechists since the onset of MCO in March. The students adapted to the new norm of learning through online formation classes and were adequately and spiritually prepared.

In spite of the difficulties to adhere to SOP protocols and the necessary postponement, the First Communicants were happy and thankful that they have the opportunity to make their First Confession and First Communion.