On October 11, 2014, 72 students, dressed in their barongs and white dresses, gathered at the Oratory of St. Francis Xavier in Xavier School Nuvali. They had been preparing for this event for weeks, and finally they were ready to receive Jesus for the first time through the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. One of these communicants is my daughter, Amalia Juan, radiant with flowers in her hair and shiny new shoes. My husband and I were both so happy for our daughter as we walked with her into the Oratory to accompany her on this important milestone of her young Christian life.
The students, ages 8-13, had practiced for days with their class advisers and teachers, all the responses, songs and movements they would have this day. The efforts paid off. This ceremony, presided by Fr. Aristotle Dy, SJ, President of Xavier School, together with Fr. Xavier Olin, SJ, our Campus Minister, and Fr. Munching De Guzman, our School Chaplain, was simple and solemn, as befits the importance of receiving the Body of Christ for the first time. But this event was also joyful and relaxed. The students enthusiastically sang all the songs while younger brothers and sisters could be seen walking up and down the aisles. To me this shows that our Xavier community is not just an educational institution, but a true community that is more like a family.
As we walked with our daughter for a second time, this time to witness her take her first communion, I couldn’t help but feel thankful for all the events that led us to that moment: from her birth, her growth, and how we came to Xavier School Nuvali this year. And as the students sang the song, “Body of Christ,” written by our Music teacher Mr. Marvin Ong especially for this occasion, I thought that it captured the prayer of every parent in the chapel. “That we become Whom we receive, we’ll never perish, we’ll forever live.”
Our First Holy Communion of Xavier School Nuvali encapsulates the full experience of our being here–everyone working together, using our talents and putting in our best effort, to bring out the best in our children as we bring them closer to God.