What a wonderful celebration we shared as the school and parish of St Joseph’s, Orakei. The 21 children were very excited and looking forward to becoming full members of the Catholic Church. They took their responsibilities during the Mass very seriously and were reverent at all times.

As with any large-scale celebration there are many people who work tirelessly behind the scenes. Father Pat has been marvellous in the time he has given to the children in their preparation. Even on his days off he has been there to answer their questions and guide them in understanding this sacrament more fully. Thank you for your support and your gift of using the right words at the right time, Father!

To the 2017 group of children – you are all awesome and it has been a delight and privilege to lead you on this part of your faith journeys. I look forward to sharing many more encounters with Christ with you in the future.

To Sue Bennett, Jayne Forbes and members of the Tongan community – your dedication and unselfish giving of your time and the sharing of your musical talents, helped create a joyous and memorable occasion.

The parents of last year’s communicants – a big thank you, as the preparation and smooth running of the ‘party’ just couldn’t take place without your time and effort.

Last but certainly not least to Mrs Angela Babich and Sharon Budge for baking and then icing the magnificent First Holy Communion cake. We were certainly very spoilt and we value the time and love you put into this glorious creation.