……from your Pastor’s Desk

A View from the Pew

So the 1st year confirmation candidates had forgotten to bring snacks for our weekly class. Luckily I remembered Fr. Ron’s idea of handing out Hawaiian bread to all the children who haven’t received communion yet, so I brought the bread and we had our own version in class. Even at the mention of the bread, the smiles and stories of their own moments rushing to the altar brought laughter to our class. It’s beautiful how something so small can bring joy and a sense of community. These moments truly represent how God shows up in our daily lives.

Written by RaLinda Ginocchio, fellow parishioner

The Story of ‘Children’s Bread’

If you’ve been to the 10:15 mass here before, you’ve noticed that we do something special at the end of it. It is ‘Children’s Bread’. A few of you know the origins of this custom, and a few more have asked me tell ‘the story’.

So, here it goes. Back in the 1990’s one of my duty assignments as an Active Duty Army Chaplain was The National Training Center – Fort Irwin, California. Where is that? Basically go down to Barstow, turn left and drive for an hour [literally] straight into the open desert.

The base itself is quite huge, more like an independent functioning city with about 9,500 residents. Like most Army bases, there are a lot of people from various ethnic backgrounds and a lot of young people and a LOT of children.

There were also a lot of Catholics. Several Thousand actually, and one priest. Me.

One day, shortly after I arrived I was sitting in church listening to the readings and gazing at the congregation with so many different nationalities, races and ethnicities represented. And the phrase came to mind; ‘In Our Diversity is our Unity’. I wanted a way for us all to socialize together other than attend mass. We had a giant hall next to the church with a huge kitchen. What better way to bring people together than a meal! So, the idea quickly formed. Have a ‘Food-Festival’ where each group could bring a dish or several that highlighted their individual backgrounds. I drew up a sign up list and announced it at Mass. By the end of that day I had, Filipino, Italian, German, Kenyan, Mexican, Guamanian, Polish, Ghanaian, French, Cuban, Portuguese, and Hawaiian. Just to name a few!

It was a success. I noticed a lot of the small children huddling around the Hawaiian table. They were all eating the Hawaiian bread. I tried a piece. Wow.

An idea hit me. I thought of how when all the young families come up to receive Holy Communion, the littlest ones receive nothing. They are told to sit still and be quiet during mass, and, in their eyes anyway, everybody gets a ‘reward’ – so to speak. Except them. I would even see the ones in their parent’s arms reaching for the Host. The idea of children’s bread was born. I asked one of the ladies how to get some and she said, oh – they sell it right here on base at the commissary. And, the rest is history.

It is their special time and their special thing. It is not consecrated or in any was a substitution for Holy Communion, in fact, it is only for those who have not yet received First Holy Communion.

Cost: $4.49 per loaf. Value: Incalculable – you’ve seen their faces.

Now that first group of children are in their early 30’s. Many still practice their faith. And have passed it – and ‘Children’s Bread’ on to their children. No wonder Jesus is called the ‘Bread’ of life. Mahalo and Aloha!

Father Ron

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