Sunday, February 16, 2014
I guess I didn’t do a very good job of keeping up with my Confirmation Prep Series. I didn’t write a thing about my daughter’s Christian Service hours. How she signed up to help out at the infant care center of our local crisis pregnancy center to get her 20 required hours. Or about how she fell in love with the babies there and could not give up her volunteering even after she met the 20 hour requirement, and even now, more than 3 months after she surpassed 20 hours, she still looks forward in great anticipation to the few hours a week she gets to go play with those precious babies whose mothers chose life even in the darkest of circumstances.
I didn’t write about the service project she did with the other Confirmation candidates at our parish- going to a soup kitchen and serving dinner and dessert to nearly 200 homeless men and women. Or about the mini-retreat we had one chilly breezy afternoon on the shores of Tampa Bay praying and reflecting and meditating on the works of Holy Spirit along with her wonderful sponsor.
Which reminds me- I didn’t even mention my daughter’s chosen Confirmation sponsor- the lovely, faith-filled young lady who used to be our babysitter but is now a treasured friend. My daughter was so incredibly blessed to have a sponsor who is not just a loyal and kind friend but also a great role model-- a truly magnificent example of authentically living out one’s Catholic Christian faith even through the sometimes difficult challenges of late adolescence and into early adulthood.
I didn’t mention much about the books we read in preparation, or the discussions we had, or the prayers we shared.
But, despite my negligence in all this- I won’t let the opportunity to share about the actual Confirmation pass….
After all our learning and preparing and praying……..Last Thursday, finally- the Confirmation Mass was upon us! My parents came and so did some close family friends. And of course, our entire family was present to witness the sacrament. My oldest son was privileged to be one of the altar servers assisting the bishop in the Mass.
My daughter dressed in the long flowing skirt and matching silver sweater we had painstakingly sought out. She pinned on the name tag prepared for her for the event that proclaimed her Confirmation name- “Bl. Teresa of Calcutta.” She wore a Holy Spirit medal and dainty jeweled cross earrings. During the Mass when we were invited into the moment of silence before the official conferment of the sacrament, I offered my prayers that my daughter would feel the Holy Spirit touching her heart, but, that even in the moments of life when she didn’t that she would remain ever faithful and close to Our Lord. My daughter looked beautiful and peaceful as she stepped forward with her sponsor to receive the sacrament. The bishop spoke with her for just a moment, imploring her to be like Mother Teresa and see Jesus in everyone she meets in life and then he spoke the words of the sacrament, “Be sealed with the Holy Spirit” and anointed her head with the sacred chrism, making her a fully initiated Catholic.
|the best picture we got during the Mass|
The Mass was moving and beautiful and the get-together afterwards was full of laughter and love as we celebrated the joy of the occasion.
daughter for this sacrament was a new experience for me. I was no expert on Confirmation going into it
but as with so many things- we learned together as we went along. I am still no expert on the sacrament but through
our months of sacramental prep, my daughter and I were very blessed to have
many opportunities to talk about our faith and how to truly live it out and
what it means to be a soldier for Christ. I hope her faith was strengthened. I hope my faith was strengthened too. And I hope the Holy Spirit continues to work
in both our lives inspiring us to holiness…..
|opening her gifts after her Confirmation |
Monday, February 10, 2014
What if you had the chance to influence someone’s decision to choose life or to abort an unplanned pregnancy? Now imagine that encouraging the decision to choose life, would come at great inconvenience to you...what would you do?
Read the fictional account of one young family's response to just such a situation in, the CWG Seal of Approval novel, The Life I Dreamed.