Children from Scoil Íosa in Ballyhaunis received their First Holy Communion on Saturday and received Communion hosts they made themselves with the help of the Carmelite Sisters in Knock. The 22 students from second class visited the enclosed order of nuns last month and heard how the sisters bake altar bread for churches in the region. They then assisted the Sisters in making hosts to be used at the First Holy Communion ceremony.
Making their own Communion bread has become a tradition for pupils of the Ballyhaunis school, explained class teacher Sharlene Ruane.
“The students visit the Carmelite Sisters every year. The nuns showed this year’s class pictures of the process and told them about the ingredients they use to make the bread. Then they produced layers of Communion host and the children made their own from that.
“It makes the Communion Day extra special,” she said.
Ballyhaunis parish priest Fr Stephen Farragher was on hand to collect the bread and kept it safe until last Saturday.
“It’s a really wonderful day. The children love to go and see the nuns and the Sisters are great with them,” said Ms Ruane.
The students also visited the chapel at the Knock convent and sang for the Sisters before they were gifted a prayer and rosary beads ahead of their special day.
“They are so excited. They have a lot of work done — they have made posters and practised their lines and songs,” Ms Ruane said after Thursday’s rehearsal.
The Carmelite Sisters work to earn their living by making altar bread as well as sewing, making cards and other crafts.</p>