Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 18, 2007
Confirmation sign of a growing church
Archbishop Richard Smith says the confirmed youth drawn into mystery and mission
By BILL GLEN
"These young people are an invitation to each one of us to examine our own lives."
The archbishop was joined by Father Vic Perron, pastor of St. Andrew's, along with Fathers Denis Hebert and Jimmy Tablan.
He told the gathering of some 150 that the children's promises confirm previous vows that were made on their behalf when they were baptized. Their words also give reason for others to observe a fresh commitment to the Church.
"It's important because these young people are an invitation to each one of us to examine our own lives."
Smith told the confirmands they will renew their baptismal promises to reject Satan and to say yes to a life that loves God and the Holy Spirit.
"You are accepting the faith of the Church, saying you will live as a Roman Catholic Christian. These promises were first made for you by your parents and Godparents when you were baptized. Now you will stand up and make the promises yourselves."
The confirmands and their sponsors approached the archbishop one at a time. Each confirmand made their promises. They were anointed with chrism oil as the archbishop made a small cross on their foreheads.
Smith says his heart goes out to each child because they are a positive sign of a growing Church.
"These young people, when they are confirmed, are being more deeply immersed into the mystery and the mission of the Church," Smith told the WCR.
"They are living from the spirit to be participants in the mission of the Lord, who went out to bring good news to the poor, recovery of sight to the blind and healing the sick.
"To have our young people step forward to say 'Amen' accepting that gift, the Church is being strengthened. If they truly live from it, the Church is growing. New disciples are being created and deepened in their commitment to the Lord," he said.
The archbishop said he has been warmly greeted by children, adults and the elderly since his installation on May 1. He says the open arms are meant more for the new bishop, than for Richard Smith.
Maria Vaz is impressed with the man himself. Her niece, Melissa Johnson-Almeida, received the sacrament.
"I have heard nothing but good things about Archbishop Smith. He is a very friendly man."
If Smith could say one thing to the confirmands and other children, what would it be?
"Love the Lord and follow him. That's what it's all about," he said.
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