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Friday 19 October 2018

'God hates me' - child's distress over 'heartbreaking, ridiculous church idea'

  • Parents claim they were not given a date for communion next year but told to come on 'any Mass day'
  • A petition has been launched to save the tradition
Taking a stand: Ann Lennon at home with her daughter Isobel (8) and son Cathal (9), who created the petition. Photo: Arthur Carron
Taking a stand: Ann Lennon at home with her daughter Isobel (8) and son Cathal (9), who created the petition. Photo: Arthur Carron

Ian Begley

The mother of an eight-year-old girl whose First Holy Communion was scrapped for "any Mass day" next year said her daughter is so upset that she now believes God hates her.

Ann Lennon from Askea, Co Carlow, said that her daughter Isobel is now devastated.

"My girl, who is in second class, saw her brother celebrate his communion last year with his entire class.

"It was a great family day out and he had loads of fun with all his friends. Everyone also had a small role to play in the church, which made their communion even more special.

"Isobel was so excited for her big day next year and when she found out that she may have to celebrate it without all her friends she was extremely disappointed.

"My son Cathal lost his hair from alopecia last year and just the other day I heard my daughter say: 'God hates me and Cathal. He took his hair and now I can't even make my communion with my class'.

"To hear her say this was very heartbreaking and it just goes to show how much it's affecting her."

Yesterday, parents of children making their communion this year said that they were told at a meeting last week that children at Askea National School, Tinryland National School and the local Gaelscoil could make their communion on “any day” when Mass is being held in May or June.

But parents are arguing that they don’t want the tradition of the day to die down and vowed to protest outside Mass on Sunday October 7 if they don’t hear a response from the parish officials.

Ms Lennon, who started the petition against the move, said she hopes the community's opposition will convince the parish to reverse its decision.

"I think it was a pie in the sky idea that the priest thought everyone will just go along with.

"No one actually knows what their child's first holy communions will be like now.

"Anyone who I've talked to about this can't see the logic to it and are afraid that this much-loved tradition will become extinct.

"The schools, however, can't be blamed for any of this since they must go along with what the church says. I just hope the sheer opposition to this ridiculous idea will put pressure on the church to reverse its decision," she said.

The local parish priest was unable to speak to KCLR96 FM this morning but said he would speak with the parents first. 

Independent.ie has contacted the parish priest for comment.

Irish Independent

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