From Our Pastor...

Posted on April 30, 2024 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners,

Congratulations to our eighth-grade students who were confirmed last week; it was a beautiful ceremony. Special thanks to our PSR coordinator Mrs. Julie Reagan and our eighth-grade teacher Mr. Dan Mauro.

Before Jesus ascended into heaven, he told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem so that they could be baptized by the Holy Spirit (Acts of the Apostles 1:5). When Jesus’ disciples were gathered, the Holy Spirit came in the form of wind and fire. Filled with the Holy Spirit, the disciples understood that God was anointing them for a special mission (Acts of the Apostles 2).

The early Christians made sure, then, that whenever they brought people into the Church, they would baptize them with water and then anoint them with oil. Why oil? Oil had been used in the Old Testaments to anoint priests, prophets, and kings. The early Christians realized that their community was “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation” (1 Peter 2:9). Each new member was anointed with oil after being baptized with water.

In the early Church Baptism and Confirmation was celebrated in a single ceremony.

It is still done this way in the churches of the East. In the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of the West, the two sacraments gradually separated. The Church in the West wanted the bishop to complete a person’s initiation. As the Church grew and the bishops ministered over ever larger territories, the bishop could not be present for every Baptism. So began the custom of gathering groups of baptized Catholics together later so that the bishop could confirm them all at one time. In the process over time the reception of the Eucharist came before the celebration of Confirmation.

Upon receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, our relationship with God is made stronger. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit strengthened us: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.  In this way the Christian is equipped to become a better witness to Christ in the world.

May God Bless our youth and may the Holy Spirit guide them!

Easter Blessings!

Msgr John Shamleffer