NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP >> Seventh graders from Saint Andrew Catholic School and Saint Andrew Religious Education will receive the sacrament of Confirmation at three Masses at Saint Andrew Catholic Church on Saturday, Oct. 26 and Sunday, Oct. 27.
Bishop John J. McIntyre will confirm the students at Masses at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Traditionally celebrated in the sixth grade, this will be the first time Confirmation is conducted in seventh grade.
Confirmation is the sacrament by which Catholics receive a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Through Confirmation, the Holy Spirit gives them the increased ability to practice their Catholic faith in every aspect of their lives and to witness Christ in every situation.
The effects of Confirmation are as follows:
• An increased portion of the gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, knowledge, right judgment, understanding, courage, piety, and fear of the Lord
• A deepening and strengthening of the grace received at Baptism, which is considered the presence of God in the soul
• A more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ
• A closer bond with the Catholic Church
• The ability to take a greater, more mature role in the Church's mission of living the Christian faith daily and witnessing to Christ everywhere
• A special mark, or character, on the soul that can never be erased
Each person's ability to embrace these effects depends on his or her openness to the sacrament and willingness to accept it as God's personal gift.
The Confirmation candidates, or confirmands, were usually baptized as infants and must now accept the catholic faith as their own and make a commitment to live it out with God’s help.
The confirmands began preparing for the sacrament in sixth grade. As part of this preparation, each confirmand chooses a “Confirmation Name” (usually that of a favorite saint), which indicates that he or she is ready to assume a new position in the community.