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


At 10:41 AM, Blogger fran said...

A beautiful piece of poetry!
I hope that our priests and Mrs. Regan are still at St. A's when my daughter, class of '11 is an eighth grade student!

At 11:57 AM, Anonymous mindy said...

FG nailed it- Mrs. Regan teaches with love, so what a better subject for her to teach than religion? Going into their pre-teen/teenage years, when morality is discussed as applied to topics that will directly affect the way they view themselves in the rapidly approaching years of peer pressure, dating and self-reliance in so many things, it is a great comfort to have someone teaching them about Christ's love for them with love itself.

In regard to our kids "getting it," that can be said about many of our students in varying grades. We are fortunate to have so many in both our school and at our rectory who invest their time, talents and tireless efforts on that front. Our students are able to witness God's work through many.

Happy Thanksgiving!

At 9:28 AM, Anonymous mindy said...

A funny Confirmation story told during Thanksgiving dinner-

My neice recently went to her cousin's Confirmation and attended the small reception afterwards. When she met the bishop, she asked him if he was Jewish. I guess he'd been asked that before, b/c he just smiled and seemed to understand the nature of her question- he explained to her that his skull cap wasn't a yamaca. I thought it was funnier than her parents did!

At 1:18 PM, Anonymous M.A. said...

Sunday's Confirmation was my sixth as a sponsor and I've lost count how many as an attendee. I felt it was the most powerful one I had ever been a part of. The Bishop had a real connection to each of the Confirmandi, and I sensed that the students felt bonded to him as well as to each other. It was a beautiful Mass and an inspiring introduction into the adulthood of our Catholic Church.


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