As a former "chalkie" who spent 43 years endeavouring to inculcate Christian values into my students I was delighted to read Fr John Speekman's letter in the November AD2000.
Father John echoes sentiments that I have long held when he writes: "I have found it increasingly more difficult over the 17 years of my priesthood to continue the practice of class and full school Masses in Catholic secondary schools. Given the fact that the overwhelming majority of our secondary school students are no longer connected to the Church through the Sunday Eucharist, I believe it is no longer appropriate to celebrate a weekday Eucharist for them."
My own experience is that at such Masses the students en masse receive Holy Communion without any hesitation. Though I have no right to judge their motives, I wonder whether our students are aware of the teaching of the Church as stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: "Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance" (1415).
I wholeheartedly endorse the final remarks of Father John when he writes: "Given the large proportion of non-Catholics and non-practising children, I think it is more appropriate for our secondary schools to celebrate a Liturgy of the Word where now they celebrate the Eucharist."
If any reader considers these views too harsh or somewhat puritanical, so be it. However, I would like such a one to ponder prayerfully the solemn teaching of the Church on the reception of the Blessed Eucharist.
BR CON MOLONEY CFC