On Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26 and 27, approximately 70 candidates, divided into smaller groups at three services, received the Sacrament of Confirmation at the Church of St. Stephen, the First Martyr.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, each service was private and only candidates, their sponsors and parents could attend. Other relatives could receive a link for each service and watch it via live stream.
A two-year course of study
And as witnessed by those present or viewing each service at home, 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 the seventh grade.
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 that love involves sacrifice. He related a story about how much love and devotion, under difficult circumstances, that he observed between his uncle and aunt and how that had influenced his own call to the priesthood.
“I was moved by their love and piety,” he said. “The gift of the Holy Spirit, which you are about to receive is a powerful gift of love.”
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, thanked everyone involved in this year’s Confirmation for all that had to be accomplished, including the study requirements, during these difficult times.
- Roger Gavan