"Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit"
Good Shepherd is now offering an adult Confirmation process for any interested baptized Catholic. Generally, this formation process will involve instruction and faith sharing sessions starting in September and leading up to Confirmation the following year. The instruction process will take place jointly with the RCIA through December. Then in January those candidates for Confirmation will have their own sessions (6-8) focusing on preparation for their Confirmation.
THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Baptism, the Eucharist, and Confirmation together constitute the "sacraments of Christian initiation," whose unity must be safeguarded. The reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. For "by the Sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed. We will be exploring what this means for us today as a part of the formation process.
In the Old Testament the prophets announced that the Spirit of the Lord would rest on the hoped-for Messiah for his saving mission. The descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at his baptism by John was the sign that this was he who was to come, the Messiah, the Son of God. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit; his whole life and his whole mission are carried out in total communion with the Holy Spirit whom the Father gives him "without measure.
We believe that the effect of the Sacrament of Confirmation is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as was granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost; perhaps not as dramatically, but just as profoundly. This outpouring impresses on the soul an indelible character and produces a growth in baptismal grace.
THE GIFTS OF CONFIRMATION
The Church teaches us that Confirmation strengthens and deepens the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives and makes more fully present His gifts. The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: "charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity."
In an instruction to candidates for Confirmation, St. Ambrose wrote: “Recall then that you have received the spiritual seal, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the spirit of holy fear in God's presence. Guard what you have received. God the Father has marked you with his sign; Christ the Lord has confirmed you and has placed his pledge, the Spirit, in your hearts”.
A candidate for Confirmation must profess the faith, be in the state of grace, have the intention of receiving the sacrament, and be prepared to assume the role of disciple and witness to Christ, both within the Church and in society. The sacrament can only be received once.
We hope you can join us in this formation process. Want to Register or ask Questions? Please contact Father Tom Dillon. Contact information can be found in the right hand column of this page.