Later this month Bishop Joel Konzen will administer the Sacrament of Confirmation to approximately two hundred of our teens. Confirmation along with Baptism and the Holy Eucharist comprise the sacraments of Christian initiation. Our Catechism states, “Confirmation completes the grace of Baptism by a special outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which seal or ‘confirm’ the baptized in union with Christ and equip them for active participation in the worship and apostolic life of the Church.”
Those who will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation spend much time in instruction, reflection, and prayer. Their preparation also includes time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and for a spiritual retreat. Our Catechism reminds the faithful of the need for proper preparation for the sacrament. It indicates, “Preparation for Confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a more lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit – His actions, His gifts, and responsibilities of Christian life. To this end catechesis for Confirmation should strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish community.”
Pope Francis has often spoken about the importance of the Sacrament of Confirmation in our spiritual journey. He stated, “Just as Jesus received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at His baptism in order to carry out His messianic mission, the Church prays that we too may receive the gifts and fruits of the Spirit that enable the Body of Christ grow in unity and missionary zeal. The gift of the Spirit is communicated through the laying on of hands and anointing with sacred chrism.” During Confirmation he explained that “through the sacramental sign of anointing with sacred chrism, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in order to be more closely conformed to Christ, God’s ‘anointed one’.” He also reminded the faithful that Confirmation “strengthens our relationship with the Church and gives it a special strength from the Holy Spirit to defend the faith and confess the name of Christ.”
Candidates for Confirmation are asked to select the name of a saint as their Confirmation name. The saint can serve as an example of Christian living. They also receive the spiritual guidance and dedicated support of a sponsor. As we know all too well there are many temptations and distractions in this world that can lead us astray. Please continue to pray for these young men and women as they get ready to receive this great sacrament and continue on their journey of faith.