Mass Schedule:
Saturday: 4:00 p.m. (Main Church)
Sunday: 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. (Main Church)
Weekday Mass: 8:00 a.m. (Serra Chapel)
Saint Barbara Parish
Old Mission Santa Barbara
2201 Laguna Street
Santa Barbara, CA


The Gift of the Eucharist

Fellow Parishioners,

Last Sunday, Fathers Dan, Larry, John, my family, a catechist, a representative of the Pastoral Council, and a long-time family of our Religious Education program gathered to embark on a parade to the houses of our 1st Communion families. These children have been preparing to receive the Eucharist for two years! Unfortunately, this celebration has been postponed due to the current circumstances. We wanted to honor their hard work with donuts, balloons, signs, and love! We cheered for these children who will have to continue to wait to receive the most important gift – Jesus in the Eucharist.

Every year around this time, I reflect on my own experience receiving communion for the first time. I was a Freshman in high school and I had enrolled myself in the program after having a yearning to experience Jesus fully. The Eucharist has changed my life in ways that are subtle and in ways that are obvious. As I look back on my own experiences with the Eucharist, I can see how it has shaped my life, my faith, my relationships, and my overall journey towards heaven.

This year’s reflection has been a little different. I typically stand with the children in the back of the Church before we process in on the day of 1st Communion. There are always nerves, excitement, and great anticipation. The realization of all their preparation is here and the anxiety is tangible! But this year, aren’t we all in that place too? Aren’t we all anxiously waiting to come back to the Church to receive the gift of the Eucharist? Aren’t we excited to be in communion with one another? Isn’t there great anxiety to be present to each other in a way that is tangible?

I hope these questions lead you to reflect on your 1st Communion and the excitement, anxiety, and anticipation you may be feeling to receive Jesus once again through this Sacrament.


Alex Turcios, Director of Faith Formation

P.S. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, expectant mothers, and those women who nurture!