Fulton’s First Holy Communion

Saturday morning, we all woke up early and I think the excitement was contagious.


A photo posted by Kelly Mantoan (@kellymantoan) on

Like many second graders this spring, Fulton Ambrose received his First Holy Communion at a morning Mass surrounded by a packed sanctuary of friends and family.

And although he is my fourth child, this occasion was extra special, I’d argue even momentous, for many reasons. Like several other moms, I shed tears as I watched my child drive up and receive our Lord, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity for the very first time. However, shortly after receiving myself, I knelt in my pew and sank into deep, heartfelt sobs that shook my body and soaked the tissues clasped in my hands. I couldn’t forget that a little less that seven years ago, we didn’t know if this day would ever arrive.


Spinal Muscular Atrophy takes so much. It steals so many milestones and dreams. It makes so much inaccessible and off limits. Sometimes you wonder if there’s anything left to hope for.

But damnit, SMA couldn’t take this day away from Fulton, our family and our parish. SMA couldn’t keep Fulton from receiving the most important thing in the whole world, the Holy Eucharist. And I was so happy, so grateful and so relieved,  I couldn’t stop crying. It almost seemed like I’d just witnessed the impossible. I think up until he made his first Confession the Thursday prior, I really expected his cold to come back with a vengeance or for some catastrophe to strike. I couldn’t imagine he was going to actually reach this milestone just like his peers. But thank God, his physical limitations do not limit his spiritual progress.

Receiving the Brown Scapular.

And now, with First Holy Communion under his belt, and having just seen his older sister get confirmed, Fulton’s already asking how much longer until his Confirmation. And I dare say, I’m not afraid to look forward to the occasion.


  1. Fulton is just precious in your photos. His excitement is contagious. I am so happy he got this special milestone. Like you said, it is the most important thing ever. Keep dreaming and believing! You are all in my prayers.

  2. Where’s that tear-stained face emoji when I need it? I can’t imagine your joy. So happy for you, and for Fulton. Praise God for this beautiful moment.

  3. Thanks for sharing such beauty!!! I almost starting crying myself what a contagious smile Fulton has ! God bless !

  4. This is so beautiful, and I cried reading your words about this event. The joy expressed by you and Fulton in that top picture is so wonderful. Praise God!

  5. What a joy it is to be able to read about this milestone in Fulton’s life! It’s wonderful that Fulton is already anticipating confirmation! Have to say I’m sitting here in tears, thinking of your emotions as his mother and the joy to be found in Fulton’s spiritual journey.

  6. This is just the best! What a wonderful milestone for him and for his parents. I’ve been looking through old family photos and I think we were confirmed in the 5th grade (if not the 4th), so who knows? Maybe it could come sooner than he thinks.

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