The Sacrament of Confirmation stands with Baptism and Eucharist as Rites of Christian Initiation. It received renewal following the second Vatican Council. In the early Catholic Church, people were baptised, confirmed, and received the Eucharist in one celebration – we see this still happening in Orthodox ceremonies today. Over time, Confirmation separated from Baptism but we are reminded Christian initiation, the process of becoming part of the Catholic community, takes time. We notice in some states or dioceses the order of First Eucharist and Confirmation varies to the Melbourne Archdiocese. The gift of the Holy Spirit is celebrated at all three sacraments: Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation.
Over two recent weekends almost 90 children with their sponsors, received Confirmation during four ceremonies at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church, Our Holy Redeemer Church, and Our Lady of Good Counsel Church involving the three Parish schools and four Catechist classes from the Camberwell, Balwyn Deepdene & Surrey Hills Wattle Park communities. Archbishop Denis Hart, celebrated the Friday evening Masses and anointed the children with Chrism while Fr. Tony Kerin, Episcopal Vicar and neighbouring Box Hill Parish Priest, officiated at the Sunday afternoon ceremonies.
The Year 6’s in our Parish schools spent the term preparing for Confirmation during Religious Education, while children from non-Parish schools attended six Catechist after school classes and all attended a Reflection Day at Don Bosco Retreat Centre in Lysterfield.
To these children, we offer congratulations on this powerful occasion where they stood up and agreed to be the ‘hands of God’ on the world – affirming the choice and vows made for them, by their parents and godparents, at their Baptism.
By Nanette Giovannini, Sacramental Coordinator
Three students from Our Holy Redeemer Primary School reflect on their Confirmation:
Sunday the 4th of September was the day that myself and most of the other Year 6’s received the Holy Spirit on their day of Confirmation. The church was filled with many different people from many different families and school all gathered to witness us receive the Holy Spirit. I had been looking forward to this day all year, when everyone got together and listened to Fr Tony and even some of the Confirmation candidates read to all of us. I am grateful that I got to spend the day with my friends, family and my sponsor and I am excited to be guided by God for the rest of my life. By Stella.
On Sunday 4th of September most of the Year 6’s of OHR including myself and some other schools received the Sacrament of Confirmation at the church. It was special for me because all my family and cousins could come and we also had a delicious lunch beforehand for Father’s Day, it was fantastic. Everyone that was confirmed that day received the gifts of the Holy Spirit and will be guided by God for the rest of their life. By Lucas.
This year on Father’s Day, Sunday 4th of September many students in Year 6 from the Surrey Hills Wattle Park Parish Community celebrated their Confirmation. The students from schools in the area were lucky to have Fr Tony confirm us, and Fr Brendan and Fr Hoang assisting Fr Tony. All the students who have been confirmed were so lucky this year to be able to have their family members watch them being sealed with the Holy Spirit. I know that I am extremely thankful for everyone who has supported me on this journey leading up to Confirmation. By Brenda.
Finn, a student attending Our Lady’s Wattle Park Primary School reflects on his experience at Confirmation
Confirmation was very important to me. I felt like I got to talk to God and the Holy Spirit. When I read, I felt important, and it was really interesting seeing the priests and the archbishop. I was very glad to take the name Daniel, and I will strive to be more like him. I am so grateful that I got to be confirmed by the former Archbishop of Melbourne. Archbishop Hart. The celebration afterwards was very pleasant; we got to go to an Italian restaurant with some friends and we talked about the Confirmation. Also, I think Genevieve Bryant and John’s music was a delightful touch. Overall, the Confirmation was a big success and I am so content that I achieved this important milestone.
‘Preparing to Receive the Sacrament of Confirmation’, Catholic Education Office, Melbourne.
‘Becoming Catholic Confirmation’, K. Horan.