St John's Q&A

Saturday, May 20, 2006

What happens at Confirmation?

Congratulations to the (+/-) 120 young men and women who were confirmed today at St Francis!! Bishop Holley celebrated this beautiful and glorious Sacrament during two Masses that were both standing room only. His Excellency gave a long sermon at each Mass, saying that, "I know I am preaching a long homily. But, I do this because I care about these young people. I have come here today to tell them that God loves them and so do I".

What happens at Confirmation? What is this sacrament all about? When did it start? It appears that the average Catholic doesn't know the answers to these, so it's good that we review the basics of this sacred act of God. During Confirmation, Bishop Holley anointed each candidate with (much) chrism oil on their forehead. He then said, "Be sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit". In Confirmation, then, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are confirmed, or "sealed", in each of us who receive this sacrament.

We first receive these gifts of the Holy Spirit- wisdom, knowledge, right judgement, courage, understanding, reverence, and fear of the Lord - at our Baptism. We receive God's life (Grace) at that moment; the Father, Son, and Spirit dwell within us at that moment under the sign of water. In Confirmation, these gifts are sealed within us under the sign of oil so that we will be courageous, wise, reverent, etc. Mainly, Confirmation sends us on our mission to bring God's love and life to others. It sends us on our way as Christians.

All the good that we do, then, is through the Holy Spirit. The Spirit has guided the Church since the first Confirmation, Pentecost, in 33 AD. On that day, the Spirit came upon the Apostles as "tongues of fire", allowing the Apostles to speak to Jews from many different countries about Jesus. 3,000 Jews were converted that day, and the Church began. He is a POWERFUL Spirit!! He has been speaking and working through the Church - the Magisterium, Pope, Bishops, priests, and all the Christian faithful - as the Advocate of the Church. He teaches us about God, and helps us to interpret Jesus' Word through the centuries.

The Sacrament of Confirmation is the last of the three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism and Eucharist are the other two). Now, these young men and women have been fully initiated into the Catholic Church. As Bishop Holley said, "you are not the future Church. You are the Church. The Church needs you". In the Catholic Church, we receive the FULLNESS of God's love, truth, mercy, peace, etc., mainly through the sacraments. The Spirit dwells fully in the Church, and now in each one of them. My prayer for these vibrant young parishioners is that they live out their faith, doing the Will of the Father through the Holy Spirit of Christ.


  • Fr. Greg,
    How awesome and blessed we are to have you with us - even via the internet. You wouldn't believe how much I've come to depend on this blog site. In fact I came in this evening to look up info on Baptism and Confirmation - when the Holy Spirit enters us. I was blessed to find that and much more.

    P.S. Your "mug" looked awesome in the Catholic Standard. You will make an awesome priest.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:07 PM  

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