It’s almost time for all the little girls in white and the little boys in blue (or white) to make their First Holy Communion, and every year I get folks writing me asking, “what is a good gift?” The kids usually get rosaries and prayerbooks in their “Communion Kits” so, what else is good?
Amy Welborn Dubruiel and Ann Kissane Engelhart collaborated on this charming, delightfully illustrated chronicle of a meeting between Pope Benedict XVI (who has often discusses his own fond memories of his first Communion when talking to kids) and a group of First Communicants.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Ann Kissane Engelhart recently for Patheos, and she shared a favorite moment:
This was one of my favorite interactions. A child named Andrea says, “My catechist told me that Jesus is present in the Eucharist, but how? I can’t see him!” The pope laughed, and pointing to his microphone, went on to use a metaphor of electricity. He explains that “we don’t always see the very deepest things . . . but we can see and feel their effects.” “We do not see the electric current, but we the light.” He said, “People change, they improve—therefore, we don’t see the Lord himself but we see the effects of the Lord: so we can understand that Jesus is present.” He continued to respond to the questions using these kinds of metaphors that children can relate to. He said that going to confession is like cleaning our rooms to prevent the dirt from building up, and to get a fresh start.
Now, come on? How perfect is that, for a First Communion gift?
I would have loved it!
Meanwhile, for the grown-ups, Amy Welborn’s new book Wish You Were Here: Travels Through Loss and Hope — which I just received in the mail, and which, in my first gleanings, looks to be a gorgeously written little volume — seems like it would be a really good gift for “Communion Mom,” too.