Bishop Reiss, delivered a phenomenal set of images for the teens to take away. He explained how a simple act, something the Confirmandi could do, could have an impact generations later. He used the examples of the Children of Fatima and Blessed Solanus Casey to share how even today, people are moved to visit Fatima and Fr. Solanus, who had thousands attend his funeral, had tens of thousands show up when he was elevated to Blessed. He also reminded us how St. John Paul II could be found after a long day of touring and meeting not relaxing, or eating, or reading, but stretched out in front of the Blessed Sacrament. His strength to get through those arduous days came from the source and summit of our faith, the Eucharist. Bishop Reiss, himself an example, celebrated the extraordinary liturgy, recovering from an illness, dealing with macular degeneration, and approaching 80 years old.
One of our 2008 Sydney Pilgrims was there to see his youngest brother confirmed. It reminded me of the Bible theme for that life changing event : “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8) Not only did we confirm 20 more teens into the faith, but the hundreds who witnessed the liturgy were reminded that they, too, should feel the power of the Holy Spirit working in their lives AND be a witness of that power, especially to those who do not know it exists.
Thank you to all who made the not just the liturgy and reception special, but the decade of formation that was invested into these teens.
Coordinator of Youth Ministry