From Families for Families!
Day for Families with Children Preparing for First Holy Communion
(Elfriede and Hans-Joachim Etzold) The Schoenstatt Family Movement of the Eichstaett Diocese, Germany, on March 10 and 11, 2001, organized two days for families with children preparing for first Holy Communion in the Schoenstatt Center Canisiushof near Ingolstadt. From families for families, these days are meant as a support and as a complement for the preparation taking place in the parishes.
The Schoenstatt families intended to share ideas of how to accompany the child on the way to First Holy Communion, how to organize the feastday, how to use the time of preparation as a family, to think about reconciliation and communion, to the end of preparing for a real feast of the whole family. Of course, the day was also intended to provide some hours of family joy and sharing for all.
The Rainbow: God Wants to Be Our Friend
Many young families from the diocese joined in these days in the Schoenstatt Center. The children preparing for their first Holy Communion broke into three groups. With songs, games and crafts, they worked on the subject: "The rainbow – God wants to be our friend and always close to us." Their siblings were cared for by kindergarten teachers at that time, and the adults listened to a talk given by Schoenstatt Father Bernhard Schneider, Munich, on Holy Communion.
Closing with a Family Mass
Schoenstatt families led discussion groups on the following items:
After lunch, parents and children joined for a crafts and music project. All decorated a family candle, which was blessed in the closing Family Mass, along with the children's "ribbons of friendship". The day ended with coffee and cake later in the afternoon.
Schoenstatt Family Movement Supporting Project of the Diocese.
With these "First Holy Communion Days" as well as with several retreats for young couples and families, the Schoenstatt Family Movement in the Eichstätt Diocese wants to support a project of the diocese regarding marriage and family life, focusing on the involvement of both mothers and fathers in the religious education. To do so, the Schoenstatt Family Movement did not re-invent the wheel. For years, they have focused on the fathers' involvement in religious family life as well as on communication within the family and creating and fostering family relationships.
English edition: Joan Biemert, New Franken, Wisconsin, USA
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