On Friday and Saturday, March 6 and 7, just over 100 candidates, divided into smaller groups at three masses, received the Sacrament of Confirmation at the Church of St. Stephen, the First Martyr.
As parents and other relatives looked on, Bishop Gerardo J. Colacicco, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York, administered the sacrament to the young students who had completed a two-year course of study beginning in grade seven.
In the Catholic faith, Confirmation is a sacrament by which persons already baptized receive the Holy Spirit in order to make them stronger and more perfect Christians, as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost.
During the service Rev. Jack Arlotta, pastor of St. Stephen’s, presented the candidates, introducing each one by name.
Before administering the Sacrament, Colacicco told the candidates a story about a time when he was a youngster visiting his grandparents.
He opened the front door and two women from a nearby African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church greeted him and asked, “Child, do you love Jesus?"
Then one of the ladies said that she knew by his face that he did love Jesus.
“Every time I looked in the mirror,” he said, “I wondered what those women knew. They had encouraged me in a very special way.”
Colacicco advised the candidates that the gift of the Holy Spirit, which they were about to receive, helps us to know and love the Lord.
“We need to fall in love with Jesus,” he said.
During the rite of Confirmation the entire group renewed their baptismal promises by responding, “I do.”
Then each candidate, accompanied by his or her sponsor, came forward to be anointed and confirmed one by one by the bishop.
Following the Mass, Arlotta, asked the just confirmed candidates, if anyone was nervous. Then he asked if anyone else was also nervous and Colacicco raised his hand.
Having been newly consecrated an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York, this was his first Confirmation and the Church of St. Stephen, the First Martyr, in Warwick, had the honor of being selected for that important event.
Later, Bishop Colacicco met with parents and candidates and posed for photographs.