“When Pentecost day came round, they had all met in one room, when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech”.
Many young people, and sometimes even their parents, think of the sacrament of Confirmation as a graduation ceremony. The reality is, Confirmation is not the end, it is only the beginning of a life committed to Christ and His Church. Let us look at what the Church teaches us about the sacrament. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that
Confirmation perfects Baptismal grace; it is the sacrament which gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us more firmly into Christ, strengthen our bond with the Church, associate us more closely with her mission, and help us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds.
Every baptised person not yet confirmed can and should receive the sacrament of Confirmation. Since Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist form a unity, it follows that ‘the faithful are obliged to receive this sacrament at the appropriate time’ for without Confirmation and Eucharist, Baptism is certainly valid and efficacious, but Christian initiation remains incomplete.
Children in Primary 7 and enrolled in St. Patrick’s Primary School are instructed for reception of the sacrament in school. The school’s sacramental preparation programme is supplemented by the provision of a parish-based retreat given each year. In addition, the parish hosts a Service of Commitment and a Service of Light, both of which highlight key ideas associated with the sacrament. Parents are also provided with a Parent Handbook to aid them in preparing and supporting their child as they grow in faith. Adults who have never received the sacrament can register to participate in the Diocesan RCIA programme. For more information, contact the parish office.
O Holy Spirit,
today you have come among us readily offering your gifts.
May we now have the courage and strength
to act like the Apostles wherever we may be –
at home, in school, at work, at play.
Help us always to be concerned about others,
to be loving, forgiving, patient, honest and fair
so that we can be true workers for the Kingdom of God