Record First Holy Communion numbers

First holy communion children at grotto of Our Lady

With baptisms occurring almost weekly it is perhaps no surprise that the Easter season at Corpus Christi Jesuit parish in Boscombe saw a record 81 young hearts meet Christ in the sacrament of the Eucharist. There were four First Holy Communion masses over the past two weekends to accommodate all the candidates and their families.

Numbers for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion programmes were up 25% on last year.  Parish priest Fr Adrian Howell SJ puts the increase down to the popular family Sunday service which draws in people from across parish boundaries, as well as the proximity of the church to the Corpus Christi primary school, for whom Fr Adrian says mass every week.

“The vibrancy of our sacramental programmes is boosted by the continuing influx of devout Polish families, who have been a great gift to our parish,” observed Fr Adrian. “We also have a friendly and flourishing toddler group.”

Fr Adrian with catechists Cathy Barnes and Sr Janet Andrade ACI Engagement with the life of the church continues with older families: 25 young people from the parish worked with a strong team of leaders and volunteers to prepare and receive the sacrament of confirmation in Portsmouth Cathedral in May. Our continued connection with St Peter’s Secondary school, where Fr Adrian regularly says early morning mass for staff and pupils, is essential and vibrant. Fr Adrian paid tribute to the team who help to prepare young people for all the sacraments:

“We have a handful of heroic catechists, including the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart sisters, and parent helpers enlisted each year. We respond to our ever-changing needs and resources with confi-dence in the Holy Spirit to provide!”