April 30 - May 1. 2016


Confirmation is probably one of the most debated sacraments, not because of the celebration of God’s Spirit within us, but because of the question about when it should be conferred. 

In the early Church when they were baptizing adults there were three sacraments celebrated at the same time called the sacraments of Initiation; Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. Once we grew and evolved to the practice of baptizing infants, the Church looked at the initial practice and decided to divide the sacraments; Baptism shortly after birth, Eucharist at the age of reason (8) and Confirmation as a young adult. This made sense and was practiced for many years. There are still some Orthodox Churches that celebrate Eucharist at Baptism and there are some Roman Catholic Churches that have returned to the early practice of conferring all three at once. That decision is usually left up to the Bishop in each diocese. In the Archdiocese of Boston we are not encouraged to celebrate Confirmation before sophomore year in high school (grade 10).

As you know, this year (April 22nd) we had 28 teenagers and 16 adults confirmed at the Collaborative (St Pius X Church). Six of the adults also received the Eucharist for the first time.

We celebrate the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the life of each of these people but we also believe the celebration of Confirmation for each of them is an opportunity for them to confirm the promise made by their parents at their baptism. In other words, they can state publicly before the Bishop that they no longer just believe because they are told to believe, they are old enough and ready to confirm that belief in the presence of their loved ones and our parish family. How blessed we are to have them celebrate their faith among us. Some may not be quite ready to fully understand the commitment, but with the support of their families and our faith community we hope to see them grow and evolve.
It was truly a wonderful celebration. It was the Catholic Church at our best. Confirmation is not just a ritual for us, it is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the importance of each member of our community.

Some people think that having Confirmation in grade 10 is the Catholic Church’s way of keeping our young people in Religious Education. I cannot answer for that understanding as I do not make the decision. However I do know what a privilege it is to have the children and teenagers of our parishes grow in their understanding of God and relationships with the Church as they participate in our faith formation program.

It is an honor to know them as I do. They challenge us to be all we are meant to be and vice versa.

Enjoy Life!
Fr. Coyne



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