First Holy Communion Mass is one of the most sacred occasions of the year, but at Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Bourbonnais, this sacrament of initiation lifts up the entire parish.11201189_687741414704526_81818225_o

Fr. Richard Pighini, CSV, pastor, celebrated two First Communion Masses on May 3, for a total of 71 communicants and their families.

Although he has led the parish as pastor for the last 11 years, and for 10 years before that at St. Patrick’s Parish in Kankakee, the former high school religion teacher cannot resist testing his young audience.

Gathering the youngsters around the altar before the consecration, he asked them about the holy Eucharist and how the bread and wine becomes the consecrated body and 11207817_687741511371183_196868017_oblood of Christ.

The students were prepared well by their teachers and they all passed Fr. Pighini’s pop quiz, much to the delight of those in the congregation.

The sacramental Mass took place in the newly renovated sanctuary at Maternity BVM, with its starlit ceiling, new pipe organ and vibrant floral arrangements.

Music is a big part of the day, with the parish’s young Mustard Seeds Children’s Choir singing along with instrumentalists from the Youth Ensemble, all directed by Chris Lord, director of music and liturgy.