Over 40 St. Catherine's youth receive sacrament of Confirmation

On May 23rd and 30th, forty-one St. Catherine's eighth graders were confirmed in the faith, receiving the final sacrament of initiation -- after Baptism, First Penance and Eucharist. The Parish Center was full of family and friends of the Confirmandi as they received the sacrament.

Loretta Cucccia provided this report on the sacrament and the events:

At Confirmation, red is the color of the day as we focus on the Holy Spirit, who strengthened the apostles on Pentecost to give them courage to practice their faith. The Confirmandi and presider's red robes symbolize the tongues of fire seen hovering over the heads of the apostles at Pentecost. The Catholic Catechism tells us that Confirmation furthers the faith which Baptism confers, as the Holy Spirit deepens our connection as children of God and to His Church; unites us more firmly to Christ and to His mission; and asks us to spread and defend the faith.

When Father Chester traces the sign of the cross on the Confirmandi's forehead -- having first dipped his thumb in the holy chrism oil -- and says, "Be sealed with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit," our young adults receive the graces which Jesus promised to His Apostles (and to us) when He said: "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be witnesses for Me. . . . even to the very ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). But this doesn't happen instantly during the brief rite of Confirmation. We are so grateful to our religious catechist, Lori Young and assistant Michael Ricciardi for their dedication to the faith formation of this large eighth-grade class.

In His infinite wisdom, Jesus instituted the sacraments, foreseeing that we would need special graces to face the challenges of our fallen world. May we all continue to pray for the meaningful participation of our younger brothers and sisters in St. Catherine's community -- that they cooperate with the gifts of the Spirit to put their confirmed faith into practice.

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