After 14 weeks of sheltering at home and keeping the church doors closed, Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV, Pastor, opened St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas for its first Masses, but for a specific group: its first communicants.

“It finally happened for very small numbers of first Communion children in our Faith Formation program who have been waiting so patiently,” says Associate Rosy Hartz and Youth Formation Coordinator. “It was small and intimate, but the families were happy.”

In all, Fr. Rinn celebrated four Masses this past weekend and limited it to 10 families per Mass, with two parents per child. Everyone wore masks and families were seated at least six feet apart.

However, even with social distancing guidelines in place, there were lots of keepsake portraits taken with Fr. Rinn.

Parents Kristin and Josh Turnes brought their son, Jack, to the Mass. They described it as a day they won’t forget.

Jack Turnes with his mother, Kristen.

“I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with emotion watching these people of faith worship together, once again in masks and smaller numbers,” Kristen said. “I feel honored that our son was able to make his first communion during this time, in that intimate, raw setting.

“The day was different than we expected,” she added, “but it felt incredibly special.”