“Today the Spirit comes to live inside of you in a brand-new way,” said Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon as he engaged Confirmation candidates on the evening of June 12, at St Charles RC Church, Tunapuna.
Forty-nine young adults, 12 of whom are from our migrant community pledged to live the faith in the presence of their parents, sponsors, and other parishioners after an unprecedented two-year journey.
Confirmation sessions for the 2021–2023 St Charles Group were unusually challenging, as the programme commenced during the Covid-19 pandemic. This limited the interactions between the candidates and catechists.
There were delays to the start of the programme due to the uncertainty in the country and during that period many things changed.
Once started, many felt that their individual spiritual journey was respected and supported but they were challenged by contemporary issues on gender and sexuality.
Through God’s grace however, they persevered and received some of the answers they were looking for in the completion of the Theology of the Body programme. Later sessions were blessed with the sharing of their own insights. Their formation as disciples of Jesus Christ will continually evolve as confirmed Catholics.
With the challenges of their preparation behind them, the candidates entered the church in procession to a welcoming assembly and joined in singing, ‘Come Holy Spirit’.
It is in this spirit-filled atmosphere and the felt love of the assembly that chief celebrant Archbishop Gordon was welcomed. Parish Priest Msgr Esau Joseph concelebrated while Deacon Terrence Caesar assisted.
During his homily, His Grace explained to the candidates that affirming their readiness to build a civilisation of love starts right at home by making sacrifices every day for the good of their family.
He pointed out that having made the pledge, they have indicated that their attitude will be one that is ready to cooperate, ready to build, open to love and open to authority.
His Grace explained to the candidates that their soul is marked indelibly for God and that being drafted as a member of Christ’s Body, the wind and storms will come but “you will not be shaken because you belong to God”.
He assured the candidates of God’s love for them and urged that they spend a few moments each morning in their bed to call upon the Holy Spirit for the grace to open their hearts to God.
In closing, the Archbishop prayed with the candidates and invited them to pray to identify their vocation or special purpose.
Following the homily came the Confirmation rite, and the celebration deepened with the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
Before the final blessing and departure, the newly confirmed expressed thanks and presented gifts of their appreciation to Archbishop Gordon and other persons who facilitated their spiritual growth.
The family of St Charles RC heartily congratulate our newly confirmed including those from our migrant community and give God the glory. —Michael Merritt and Manuelita Gomez Thomas