Living Our Mission
My Confirmation preparation came in the form of a Catholic school religion class. I remember my pencil trembling in my aching hand as I stressed to jot down on a test every gift of the Holy Spirit and all seven principles of Catholic Social Teaching.
At that age, the most important tasks in front of me were to a.) memorize every sacramental fact from my textbook, b.) choose a saint that would be eternally glued to me as a patron and companion, and c.) make sure my sponsor and I were at the church on the specified date. Confirmation appeared to be a daunting checklist prior to middle school graduation.
However, contrary to these feelings, there is immense joy to be found in the sacrament! Jesus has such a deep love for us that He promises to “not leave us orphans” (John 14:18). Therefore, He sends the Holy Spirit in Confirmation to remain with us as our helper, our defender, and our comforter.
I often compare Confirmation and the role of the Holy Spirit to that of being on a sports team. At Baptism, we are given an identity as members of God’s “team,” and we are filled with a sanctifying grace that comes with being welcomed onto that team. We begin to establish relationships with our coach (God) and our teammates (the Communion of Saints). In addition, we are provided with a mission towards which we strive—a baptismal call to holiness.
However, until Confirmation, we may find that we need to be strengthened in order to act on our calling as members of God’s team. At Confirmation, we stand ready to enter onto the field of life. God’s guiding hand is placed upon us, similar to a coach putting a hand on the player’s shoulder prior to him or her entering the game. We receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the life-giving graces we received at Baptism are strengthened and secured within us. Only then can we confidently say to God, our coach, “Put me in the game! I am empowered, and I am ready to joyfully defend the faith.” We take a step onto the field of life.
Through the Holy Spirit, we are graced with the power to better understand what our “coach” is telling us and how we can act for Him and others on the mission field. God is constantly at our side to motivate us. As long as we keep our ears open to His field instructions, His desire for us to be a team player- a living witness- resounds in our hearts.
As Confirmation preparation draws near for our youth, I invite you to remember your own Confirmation. How has the Holy Spirit been an advocate in your life? Where have you felt strengthened by its presence? Also, I invite you to pray for our young candidates—that they may recognize the love that God has for us, present in Confirmation. May we continue to defend our identity as members of God’s team and carry out His divine mission in our community and on the field of life.
Confirmation Volunteers are needed!
Preparation for Youth Confirmation begins November 20 and adult volunteers are needed. If you are interested, or would like to learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.