Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Final Confirmandi

On Thursday, April 23, DD#2 was confirmed. The name she chose, Bernadette, is my mother's middle name and the name of my baby sister who died hours after her birth (I was five at the time). DD#2 decided that her Aunt Bernadette is her guardian angel. And why not?

And Lourdes is only a day trip from the village my great-grandfather came from.

The Confirmation was held at the new Cathedral, Christ the Light. This was the first group to be confirmed at the Cathedral; unfortunately, our new bishop has not been installed, so they were confirmed by the Diocesan Administrator with the assistant of the priests from the parishes of the confirmandi. There were 175 confirmandi from six parishes. Add sponsors and families, and the Cathedral was full. Still, it went very smoothly and we were done by 9:00 p.m. Add time for pictures, we were on the road by 9:45 p.m. And this included a full Mass.

I loved the sermon given by Fr. Danielson. He spoke of the time and devotion it takes to become good at something: soccer, music, art, football. You can't sit on the couch and expect to become a great athlete. Nor can you sit on the couch and become a good Catholic. Confirmation is a beginning, not an ending. Get up off the couch and get involved. Live your faith, keep learning about your faith, keep practicing your faith.

It was a great message; I hope it reached its intended audience.

On the other hand, DD#1, who has been having issues with being Catholic, not only came to the ceremony, she also received Communion. She goes to Mass on those occasions where it's important to me or to one of the family, but she usually doesn't receive Communion, although she will ask for a blessing by crossing her arms over her chest and bowing her head. (That's the custom in our parish.) I didn't ask why--I've been praying to St. Monica and St. Augustine for both DD#1 and DS#1--but I know if I push, she'll shut down.

Our pastor, Fr. P., was there, along with Fr. K., and they congratulated the confirmandi. Fr. P. asked me how I was doing and I smiled and said, "My job is done." Okay, not really. But I hope I've given all of my children the blessings of our Faith and the tools to deal with the world, the strength to find the answers to their questions. I know I'm going to keep St. Monica and St. Augustine busy for a long time yet. And continue to set the best example I can.