As a Confirmation teacher, and as someone who has spent several years working with hundreds of teens, this year’s Confirmation class has been especially challenging. The challenges were so intense that I almost stepped down from teaching. After today, I’m glad I didn’t.
There are 21 students receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation on Tuesday evening, and I couldn’t be prouder of each and every one of them. I feel like they are all my children. For the majority of these students, they don’t have the support of their parents, which means that regular Mass attendance lacks. For the majority of these students, they haven’t been to Confession since their 1st Communion. They didn’t KNOW they should have been going regularly. For the majority of these students, they have challenged just about every Tenet of the Faith. Why shouldn’t they? They are bombarded daily with negative social influences and little or no parental spiritual guidance.
Throughout our brief classtime together, I stayed the course even when it was the most difficult for both them and for me. I’m humbly proud that I did. Our parish priest shared with me that one of the students that I was the most concerned about decided that he really did want to be Confirmed. His Confirmation saint–Thomas. Very fitting, and hopefully a great help to this young man.
This evening, 14 of the 21 students collectively arrived at the parish to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Fr. told me that 5 had already been to see him. That left 2, of whom I’m sure received the Sacrament elsewhere. I was so very proud to see them take this initiative–something that was SO difficult for them to understand. As Fr. went through the program for Tuesday evening, he called out each of their names and had them practice coming forward. To see them stand as they were being called; to see them approach–my eyes welled with tears of joy.
I am so VERY proud of them. They have endured so much and now they will be receiving the extra graces to make it through each day, and they will be receiving the greatest gift–the gift of the Holy Spirit. Words cannot explain my joy and happiness for them.
Thank you Lord Jesus!