top of page

First Communion Retreat

This week the St. Viator Elementary School Second Grade students attended their First Communion Retreat. They spent the morning with their parents and loved ones, connecting to the Eucharist by listening to explanations about the Sacrament and participating in various activities. Dr. Rieger, School Principal, and Mr. Bangiola, Curriculum Director, led the retreat, supported by Ms. Matthies, the Second Grade Teacher, and her dedicated aid, Ms. Miriam.

Wednesday Morning Mass

The Second Graders attended Wednesday morning Mass as usual. Students were then invited to approach the Tabernacle to see where we store the hosts. This special access was granted to grow their understanding of the importance of their First Communion. It was the first of many connections they made to the sacrament.

Retreat in the Recreation Center

After Mass, students and their families headed to the recreation center for the next activities. They spent the morning engaged in Eucharist-themed crafts, listening to the history of the Eucharist, and practicing for the Sacrament.

Centering Through Crafts

The 2nd Graders completed two crafts to help center them and connect with their First Communion.

The first craft was to color and construct a Tabernacle model. This reinforced their earlier visit to the Sts. Viator and Wenceslaus Tabernacle.

The next craft was creating a First Communion Cross. Students designed their cross using images from the Sacrament. This was a fun way to talk about the different elements that make up this celebration.

Connecting to the Bread

Mr. Bangiola began his introduction to the sacrament with bread dough he mixed the previous night. Students were encouraged to roll the dough into small balls, which were then left to rise. While students manipulated the dough, Mr. B told the history of Passover and set the stage for the Eucharist story.

Mr. B continued the history by having the students mix water and flour, creating a simple unleavened bread. This explained more about Passover, and connected to the host the communicants will take. He described in the Last Supper, connecting the themes of sacrifice and the sacrament. Lastly, Mr. B baked the unleavened mixture and shared it to the students, helping them practice for the actual celebration.

The communicants lined up and received the unleavened bread "cracker" they had mixed. Mr. B clearly explained that this was all practice, and a priest would consecrate the actual host to celebrate the sacrament. He explained the transfiguration in an accessible way so the students could understand just how special the Eucharist is, and why Catholics hold it in reverence.

Lunch and Closing Comments

The communicants and their families ended the retreat by sharing lunch together. This was a last bit of fellowship before ending the morning. Dr. Rieger addressed the group, again emphasizing the beautiful gift of their First Communion. She impressed upon the students that the Eucharist is a reminder that Jesus is with them.

The Second Grade Class will celebrate their First Communion in May. We wish them a blessed day as they deepen their Catholic faith! Our thanks go out to the parents and family members who joined us in preparing the communicants.

Religious Instruction is a part of the curriculum for all St. Viator Elementary School students. Catholic families have access to Sacramental Preparation, specifically First Reconciliation (2nd grade), First Communion (2nd grade), and Confirmation (7th grade preparation, 8th grade completion). We can also assist with families looking to Baptize their student.

If you are interested in learning more about faith formation at St. Viator Elementary School, please contact us at (773) 545-2173. Call us with your elementary school questions as well. William Teeple, Admissions Director, is happy to answer your questions!

We are Peace Builders; We are Eagles; We are St. Viator!


bottom of page