Prepared to confirm: 21 young adults receive the sacrament of confirmation at Holy Cross Parish

North Texas Catholic
(Jun 21, 2024) Local

Bishop Michael Olson confirmed 53 teens during Mass at St. Mary in Dublin on May 29, 2024. Twenty-one Confirmands were from St. Brendan Parish; 17 were from St. Mary; 11 were from Sacred Heart in Comanche; and 4 were from Our Lady of Guadalupe in De Leon. (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

Fort Worth Confirmation Pictures 

Dublin Confirmation Pictures 

THE COLONY — Happiness joined a sincere sense of commitment as 21 teenage candidates received the sacrament of confirmation during the feast of Corpus Christi on June 1 in Holy Cross Parish.

Since the early days of the Church, the practice of receiving the sacrament of confirmation has transformed. Before, the three sacraments of initiation — baptism, confirmation, Eucharist — were all administered in the same ceremony. However, by the mid-1500s, after the Council of Trent, the three were separated, to allow candidates to deliberately complete their initiation.

“Now it’s your turn,” Bishop Michael Olson told the 21 young men and women standing before him in the center aisle of Holy Cross Church, moments prior to confirming the group.

Sponsors, waiting patiently at their confirmandi’s side, had one hand on the pew and the other on the shoulder of their candidate as the teens renounced evil and the “empty promises of the devil” before being anointed by the holy chrism, thereby being sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Jennifer Norton, the youth ministry coordinator at Holy Cross, believes the significance of this milestone cannot be understated.

Bishop Michael Olson poses with the 53 teens who received the sacrament of confirmation during Mass at St. Mary in Dublin on May 29, 2024. Of the 53 confirmands, there were 21 from St. Brendan Parish; 17 from St. Mary; 11 from Sacred Heart in Comanche; and 4 from Our Lady of Guadalupe in De Leon. (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

“This is the moment we are given our marching orders and the tools that we need to serve the mission of the Church,” Norton said.

When we’re children, Norton reflected, our parents “really are our first catechists and the first ones to introduce us to the faith.” But once we’ve become full members through the sacrament of confirmation, “there’s an ownership that we have — a responsibility that we have to continue practicing the faith and to continue learning and growing with our relationship with God.”

Norton spent a full year working with the group of 15- and 16-year-old members, leading eight focus classes in preparation for receiving the sacrament.

“Often with the youth, I refer to it as ‘the boot camp to be soldiers for Christ,’” Norton said.

Fitting in vs. belonging

In his homily, Bishop Olson stressed the difference between fitting in and belonging to the Church upon receiving the sacrament of confirmation.

Belonging speaks of family and community, and it most clearly speaks of the Church. It does not speak of being anonymous, alone, or unknown,” he said. “Fitting in involves compromising enough … so as not to be ostracized from a group.”

The struggle to reconcile the two affects many young Catholics as they embark on their college journey, observed Bishop Olson, who has celebrated confirmations in 56 parishes across the diocese in 2024.

He pointed to the war on truth, moral degradation, tolerance of racism, gender ideology camouflaged as science, and Christian persecution, as just some of the things Catholics must combat when they are ushered onto today’s university campuses.

Bishop Michael Olson confirmed more than 30 teens during Mass at St. George Church in Fort Worth on May 22, 2024. (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

“All of this is enforced with ruthless efficiency,” Bishop Olson continued, “by administrators who have pledged their lives to the proposition that nothing is true and who, by all means, will seek to persuade or coerce you to fit in according to their ideology and to repudiate the alleged superstitions of your childhood, beginning with your Catholic faith, but also including your family.”

But since Christ first loved us, Bishop Olson concluded, the grace of the Holy Spirit prepares us for compassion, mercy, integrity of life, and fidelity to the truth that holds us as one.

Afterward, at the foot of the altar, Bishop Olson stood for a group photo with all the candidates and mingled with parents, godparents, and sponsors.

In his concluding remarks, Father Joy Joseph, TOR, said he considered it a blessing to have the bishop preside over the rite on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.

“Every time you visit us, everyone is happy, and the Church is filled with the faithful,” Fr. Joseph said with appreciation.

By Martin Friedenthal, an NTC staff correspondent.

Parishioners of Holy Cross in Dublin watch as a line of 21 teens, each joined by their sponsor, receive the sacrament of confirmation on June 1. (NTC/Marty Friedenthal)

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