Can we invite a priest to a First Communion celebration?

A little backgoround: Our youngest son will have his First Communion this spring. We had postponed having our youngest son baptized until this last December for a number of unimportant reasons. When we met with our priest (who we didn’t really even know because we were not going to church ever) we got more than a little lecture. My husband and I took that to heart and made a commitment to our family going to church every Sunday. What that meeting also set off was a very life-changing, soul-searching journey for me. I converted to Catholicism (my “on-paper” conversion, I call it now) seventeen years ago, but it wasn’t until December that I actually converted in my heart. So, this has a been a good thing for my whole family – lots of little things and some bigger things have changed.

My question: We never invited the priest to our other son’s Communion celebration after church. I am wondering what the etiquette around that is? I would like to extend an invitation to him – I realize he likely can’t come as he is a very busy man. I just wanted to make sure this wasn’t some breach of etiquette. Our son’s baptism was really special and the events after were as well. There was a possibility our son would not be at this point right now without him. I guess I would like to acknowledge our appreciation of that.

I look forward to your thoughts!

Sure, you can invite a priest to a First Communion celebration. It is indeed likely though that he’ll decline, not necessarily because he is busy but to avoid undue favoritism for one family when he can’t possibly attend the First Communion celebrations of all of the families in the parish with children receiving First Communion this year. Go ahead and send the invitation though, which you can make all the more charming and gracious if you enclose a letter explaining why you especially want him to attend (which might convince him to attend if he doesn’t have a pile of invitations from other parishioners). If he declines, you might consider asking him if he’d like to have dinner with your family instead at his earliest convenience following the First Communion.

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