Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
These are days of great joy for me and for our entire parish family of
Queen of Peace Parish! Nearly 600 youth will receive or have received
the Sacrament of Confirmation at five different liturgies this month,
and 40 others received it at Pentecost. The Catechism of the Catholic
Church states that “It is evident from its celebration that the effect of the
sacrament of Confirmation is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit
as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost” (No. 1302).
Confirmation is a new Pentecost for our entire parish. In that crucial event
for the history of the Church, the fearful and disheartened disciples
experienced a profound conversion that transformed them into
courageous and fearless witnesses of Christ until the ends of the world.
Queen of Peace needs the new Pentecost of Confirmation so that our
marriages, families, ministries and groups may transform our lives into
living signs of Christ's love, forgiveness, reconciliation and peace.
Confirmation is not the end of our formation in the faith. Confirmation
can't be our graduation from our Religious Education programs.
Confirmation is the beginning of our new life of Apostles of Christ
who are willing to risk everything to bring Christ's salvation to our
confused and disoriented world. That has been our goal and vision in
the faith formation of the youth who are confirmed these days in our parish.
A few years ago, we started a new program of Religious Education based
on the premise that parents are the first educators of their children. The
parents of these youth are invited to faith formation classes, in a
different room, but at the same time as their children. In this way,
both youth and parents can rediscover the beauty of having encountered
Christ alive in his Church, and being called to manifest his New Life in
our thoughts, words and actions, especially in the life of the family.
As this youth are confirmed, that is, as they receive into the mission given
to the Apostles at Pentecost, they do not stop their faith formation journey.
They become missionary disciples of Christ, who came to give his life as a
ransom for many. All of us confirmed share in the exciting mission and life
of the apostles of Christ. The power of the Holy Spirit transformed them
into courageous witnessed of the living Christ, in a selfish, corrupted and
violent world, very similar to ours. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are not
for us to keep to ourselves. They are to share and to be given to
others. Confirmation sends us out of ourselves with the joy of the Gospel.
It sets us in motion with Christ's same love for those in the peripheries, in
the loneliness of materialism, in the separation caused by our sins.
Please, pray for our confirmandi and their families at this life-changing
moment of their journey of faith.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Felix, Pastor