Last evening on Thursday, May 15th, Candidates from our parish join with those from the neighboring parish of Saint Regis in Trafford to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation by Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt. There were just over fifty receiving, twenty seven from our parish. Despite torrential rain, it was a wonderful celebration. Even though he did not know of our Confirmation, our Holy Father, Francis, yesterday tweeted some great advice that these youngsters and the rest of us might live by. He tweeted: "Let us ask the Holy Spirit for the grace to live daily according to the mind of Jesus and of his Gospel." Our youngsters this year are in the fifth grade as we work our way back to the eighth grade model. The look in their eyes as they were anointed with Chrism and looked at the face of the bishop was something awesome to behold.
I have a story to tell. One of the young ladies from our parish is very shy and is dealing with some challenges. She almost seemed afraid to be in the spotlight, even though she looked beautiful and was surrounded by family. Following Confirmation the bishop posed for pictures. I was sitting in a back pew watching everyone, and the young lady spotted me. Hiding behind her dad, she peeked around him and shyly waved at me. I waved back, and she continued to smile and wave. Her dad spotted her waving and saw that she was looking at me. He smiled and told me that his daughter got the greatest kick out of her encounter with the bishop, and it made her relax a little.
At the end of practice on Tuesday I told the kids that when they shook hands with the bishop, that they should give him a firm handshake. I also said that his thumb would be sticking up. I told them that he was not giving them a "likes" sign, like on face book, but he did this because he had oil on his thumb. She remembered that tidbit when Bishop Brandt shook her hand, and she smiled and relaxed. Dad said that it helped make her day. It is so often the little things that make a difference.
I ask that in your prayers you remember our youngsters and all who have been fully initiated in the Church that they may live daily according to the mind of Jesus and of his Gospel.