St John's Q&A

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Amazing Confirmandi!

On Sunday night, Bishop Holley celebrated the sacrament of Confirmation during the 6 pm Mass. What a night it was! There were over sixty confirmandi, mostly made up of our eighth grade students. As usual, His Excellency took his time with each person while sealing them with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, caking on the chrism oil and looking intently at each young man or woman. This made an enormous impression on our students with whom I spoke yesterday about Sunday night. One of the kids said that "time stood still" as she was up there with the bishop.

The students made quite an impression on the bishop, as well. As he was leaving, Bishop Holley made the point that this is an extraordinary group of students. He cited his ten years of working with those to be confirmed, seeming to rank this group among the best. He said, "they get it". I understand this to mean that they get it about Christ; they get it that He is real and relevant to their lives. Their answers to the bishop's questions reveal that they don't just have the knowledge of Christ in their minds, they have Him in their hearts.

I gave them (and their parents) major "props" yesterday in their religion classes. But, I also acknowledged in a significant way their religion teacher, Mrs. Regan. I told them that I have been in a lot of schools the past fifteen years, and I think Mrs. Regan is one of the best, if not the best, junior high religion teachers that I've known. It's not just what she teaches, but how she teaches: with profound love.

Now, here's the really amazing part. Yesterday, Mrs. Regan asked her students to write down some of their thoughts about Sunday night. Five minutes or so later, she asked them to share with the class what they wrote. Here are the powerful words of one of them:

"The Holy Spirit's Gift"

Your Spirit came upon me
In streams of candlelight
With a moment of silence
Making everything feel right
Words were whispered softly
Solemn promise made
A Confirmandi's wish
Granted all a daze
7 spirits all rushed through
I had so much time with you
November 18th was the night
I finished my baptismal rite
As now an adult of the church
I must say
The Holy Spirit came on me
Completing me in every way


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