‘First Communion extravagance must be a thing of the past’ – Rogers

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Sunday, October 7th, 2012
SDLP Education spokesperson and MLA for South Down Sean Rogers has welcomed a move by the Catholic Church in the South of Ireland to put an end to the excesses of First Holy Communion celebrations. Rogers was speaking following this week’s publication by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of guidelines on preparing Dublin children for their First Communion. “I welcome the publication of these guidelines on preparing children for their First Holy Communion which will move the responsibility for First Communion away from the classroom and towards the parents and parishes. “The guidelines will hopefully put an end to the excessive spending we have seen over recent years on dresses, limousines, and lavish parties. Parents have been put under an extraordinary degree of pressure and during difficult economic times this has been unfortunate.” He continued, “I would encourage the Catholic Church in the North to show a similar degree of leadership and demonstrate that Holy Communions do not need to be an expensive day out. Indeed First Communion can be something simple, sacred and uplifting. “It is also important that parents as well as parishes take an active role in instructing and preparing children for this sacrament. This takes some pressure off teachers who at present take up quite a significant amount of classroom time preparing children for their First Communion.” Rogers added, “I look forward to the response of Catholic Bishops in Northern Ireland to these guidelines and the implementation of a more prudent and pragmatic attitude to this important day for young people.”
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