A spiritually nourishing seminar for AGS parents
10 Dec 2022 | Elza Bernal (Chair, Grade 4 Parenting Council)
In preparation for their sons receiving their First Holy Communion at Ateneo de Manila Grade School, the parents of the boys were invited to a seminar organized by the Ateneo Grade School Parents’ Auxiliary Council (AGSPAC). Dubbed “Parents’ Guide for First Holy Communion: A Spiritual Formation Conference,” the seminar was held on October 15, 2022, with AGS Chaplain Fr. Vic De Jesus SJ as the speaker. The session used the Hyflex modality. Those who were onsite gathered at the AGS Singson Hall, while those who were online followed the proceedings via Zoom/YouTube.
The following reflection was written by Mrs. Elza Bernal, Chair of the Grade 4 Parents Council.
After more than two years of the Covid lockdown, our sons, together with us, their parents, finally set foot inside the AGS campus this school year.
Several weeks ago, we parents also needed to prepare for a momentous occasion: our sons’ First Holy Communion. For us parents, it was vital that we understood our roles in preparing our sons to receive the Holy Eucharist for the first time. And so, we looked forward to attending the spiritual formation conference about our sons’ first holy communion.
At the formation session, Fr. Victor De Jesus SJ, AGS Chaplain, helped us re-learn both the theoretical and practical aspects of receiving the Holy Eucharist. He explained to us that the word “eucharist” consists of two parts: EU, meaning “good,” and CHARIS, meaning “gift.” Thus, receiving the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is the giving of oneself to receive grace, the “good gift” from God. Receiving holy communion is accepting and believing in Christ’s marriage to His Church. When we receive the Holy Eucharist, it is indeed the BODY OF CHRIST, and not just a symbolism or representation thereof. When we receive the Body of Christ, we become like Christ and therefore, we should act like Him. The host is the Heart of Jesus and receiving it makes us more loving. The Body of Christ or the Eucharist is where the work of redemption is accomplished. We, as parents, need to pray with our sons daily to ask the Holy Spirit to make our sons truly ready for their First Holy Communion.
Fr. Vic also revisited the proper way of receiving holy communion. He reminded us to bow before receiving the Body of Christ, properly say “Amen” (meaning “so be it” / “talagang talaga”), and then remove the face mask before consuming the host. He emphasized the need for the boys to practice these at home with a cracker or a biscuit to familiarize themselves and make this a habit.
As AGS Headmaster Jervy Robles shared in his opening remarks, we are what we feed ourselves, and, as parents, we need to do our part in nourishing our kids not just physically but spiritually as well. This seminar was truly an informative guide for us parents regarding the spiritual nourishment of not only ourselves, but that of our sons as well.
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