hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


May 15, 2014

The jelly doughnut First Communion

Emotions ran high this week when my family celebrated a very important day in religious history.

My grandson made his first Holy Communion.

Rocco joined a community of young Catholic children who marched to the altar of their church, in alphabetical order, and received the blessed sacrament.

It wasn’t the same as stepping to the plate and belting a baseball or getting into mischief around the house with three siblings. At age 7, he’ll hopefully set the precedent for his brothers and sisters.

The fact that he’s a regular church-goer in this age of religious apathy makes me rather proud and sometimes emotional. It’s still a good spiritual world out there, despite its troubles.

“Papa, did you ever make your First Communion?” he asked, shortly before his big day.

“Boy, did I? Hey, church was always a way of life in our family.” I informed him. “Eat, pray, love.”

“Were you scared?”

“No more than bringing home a report card from school or trying to hit a ball with the score tied,” I tried explaining. “Besides, God is there to help you along. You gotta have faith in Him.”

“What was the worst part?” he continued pumping me.

“The jelly doughnut!”


I was my grandson’s age when my big moment arrived. You’re looking at someone who made church his second home back what seemed like a zillion years ago. Because my folks operated a coffee shop, Sunday mornings were spent at the Catholic Church around the corner from their business.

When we were home, I attended the church down the street. And because we were an Armenian immigrant family, the ethnic church played a prominent role.

Not to be outdone, my dad was Episcopalian and I would accompany him on occasion. There was never an argument about religion in our family, despite the patchwork lifestyle.

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