Nota Bene Feb. 6, 2018

Bibles fill First Communion/ confirmation gap

By Agnieszka Ruck

Grade 4 students Sacred Heart school in Delta receive Bibles Jan. 18. (Photos courtesy Ellen Clarke-Fairn)

SOUTH DELTA—Catholic children in Grades 2 and 7 get special attention as they prepare for their First Communion and Confirmation, but there’s a long gap between those “sacramental years,” and teachers in South Delta are aiming to change that that.

“There are not a lot of milestones” between Grade 2 and 7, said Sacred Heart teacher Jennifer Winning. So the school hosts a unique, annual ceremony for students in Grade 4.

“We told them we were having a very special event and they were going to receive a special gift,”  said Winning.

So on Jan. 18, all 52 students in Grade 4 were invited to a large classroom, where they were surprised to find their parents already watching and waiting. Then, in a solemn ceremony, they were called one by one to receive Bibles with their names in them.

“We wanted to make a big deal about having their own Bible,” said Winning. Local Deacon Dileep Athaide even arrived to bless the Bibles and talk about the value of reading Scripture.

Former Grade 4 teacher Jen Hopson started the initiative about 10 years ago so young Catholics “can receive the Word of God and know how special that is,” she said. “They can treasure it and take it with them.”

The Bibles were purchased thanks to a donation from the parish’s St. Monica’s Guild. Winning was thrilled to see how excited the children were to receive the personalized gift.

It’s a “sacred surprise” for children half-way between their First Communions and Confirmations.