On May 12th & 19th, there will be two First Holy Communion ceremonies in our parish. Many other children will receive their Holy Communion in neighbouring parishes. Many people will be invited to Holy Communion ceremonies in other places and in other parts of the country. The ‘Do This in Memory’ programme continues this Saturday evening. All these are tremendous family events providing nostalgia for adults and a sense of joy and excitement for the children. It is the presence of God in the Eucharist that brings such happiness. While 2018 is a different landscape for families, the gift of the Eucharist for children becomes even more important and not less so. One of the central images of the First Holy Communion programme is the image of the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd is illustrated and celebrated at the time of the First Confession. The Good Shepherd gathers together, gently leads and cares for all. The Good Shepherd is beautifully presented in this weekend’s gospel text. The Good Shepherd loves and cares for each one of us. This weekend is also Vocation Sunday. Again the Good Shepherd is the encouraging model and image. It is a tremendous gift from God to be able to serve as a priest in 2018 and we look forward to this year trusting in the Good Shepherd.