Pope Plans Meeting With Children on Eucharist

Catechetical Session to Coincide With Synod

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 12, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI plans to hold a catechism meeting with children who have made their first Communion, to highlight the importance of the Eucharist for the whole Christian community.

The Pope announced the October meeting, which would take place at the same time that bishops from around the world will attend a synod in Rome to close the Year of the Eucharist.

To the more than 40,000 people gathered today in St. Peter’s Square, the Holy Father explained during his weekly Angelus address that «parents are called to make their children discover the value and importance of the response to Christ’s invitation, who calls the whole Christian family to Sunday Mass.»

«In this educational endeavor, a particularly significant stage is the first Communion, a real celebration for the parish community, which receives for the first time its smallest children at the Lord’s Table,» he said.

Among those listening to the Pope were pupils on an end-of-the-school-year visit to Rome, religious communities, and sick pilgrims.

Essential role

Benedict XVI said that «to underline the importance of this event for the family and the parish, next October 15, God willing, I will have in the Vatican a special meeting of catechesis for children, in particular of Rome and Latium, who during the year have received their first Communion.»

For the Holy Father, this initiative will be «an opportune and beautiful circumstance to confirm the essential role that the sacrament of the Eucharist has in the formation and spiritual growth of children.»

Before concluding his address, delivered from the window of his study, Benedict XVI entrusted the meeting to the Virgin Mary, so that «she may teach us to love Jesus ever more, in constant meditation of his Word and adoration of his Eucharistic presence, and help us to make young generations discover the ‘precious pearl’ of the Eucharist, which gives true and full meaning to life.»

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