By Debra Vermeer
The Parish Priest, Monsignor John Boyle, said it was a special occasion not only for the students, but for their families and the parish.
“It’s a great honour and privilege for us to have pupils from St Gabriel’s receiving their First Holy Communion in the context of this Mass at St Bernadette’s,” he said.
“We hope that the children making their First Holy Communion today will understand that Jesus loves them and that their parents will always feel the love of God.”
One of the students, Dominic Harper, and his siblings Ella-Louise and Joseph, presented the gifts during the Mass.
At the end of Mass and after receiving their First Holy Communion, the students were presented with certificates to mark the special occasion.
“It must be a very proud day to see your beautiful children come forward with such assurance and confidence to receive their certificates and, of course, to receive Jesus in Holy Communion,” Mons Boyle said to the parents.
“And we, as a parish, are very proud to be a part of this special day too.”
Following Mass, family and friends of the first communicants gathered for a celebration and cutting of the cake.
Also present were the Principal of St Gabriel’s School, Jon Franzin, Head of School Dianne Hooke, and Religious Education Coordinator Melissa Djurichkovic.
Mr Franzin congratulated all involved and thanked Mons Boyle for his warm welcome to the children, their families and the St Gabriel’s school community.
“As a Catholic school, this is what we’re all about – bringing our community to church,” he said. “Thank you for being so welcoming of our children. We’re so lucky to have you.”
The students who received their First Holy Communion were Keira Madison, Alexander Dolores, May Ng, Dominic Harper, Giesuppe Piperata, and Aaron Calvi. Aaron’s older sister Tayla-Belle Calvi also made her First Holy Communion on the day.
St Gabriel’s is a special school catering for primary aged children with disabilities such as sensory impairment, intellectual disability in the mild to moderate range, and autism.
A Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition, St Gabriel’s is administered by the Christian Brothers through Edmund Rice Education Australia.
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