Father Joseph Illo, pastor of Star of the Sea parish in San Francisco, presented a 13-minute homily on Sunday, May 2 as he prepared to give First Holy Communion to six children.

As he invited the first communicants to a special kneeler, he commented, “That’s the best way to receive Communion – kneeling and on the tongue. No question about it. The best way, the way our Church has always done it; we prostrate ourselves in humility and rather than receiving on the hand as we would  receive a cracker, we receive like a little bird being fed on our tongues.”

And then he addressed the issue of Mass attendance: “Branches that separate themselves from the vine wither very quickly and die. …Stay connected to the vine. You will die. I will die – if we  separate ourselves from Jesus Christ. We will go to Hell. We will create a little bit of a Hell here on earth, and we will go to Hell after we die if we don’t remain in Jesus Christ.”

The following 15-second segment came just past the halfway mark in the sermon:

“The Catholic Church says every Sunday we go to Mass. In non-Catholic Christian denominations it is optional to go to church on Sunday. Not for Catholics. Obligatory. Mortal sin if you don’t go to Mass on Sunday without a good reason. Because without Him we die.”