Next week, the young people of our parish, and some of the surrounding parishes, will make their Confirmation. It is an important event that allows them to make a more responsible decision confirming their acknowledgment of the Holy Spirit within. Katie and team have engaged and enlightened the young people as best they could on the qualities and great strengths of such an outward expression of Faith. Sponsors will be invited to commit to supporting the confirmed. Like Baptism, these moments allow both relatives and friends to publicly commit to ‘being there’ for those receiving the Sacrament. Young people have such great qualities. The words written some years ago by novelist Kurt Vonnegut “What should young people do with their lives today? Many things obviously. But the most daring thing to do is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.” One of the big challenges we face, and have had to face for some time now, is the absence of long term Faith support for young people by their parents. Perhaps we, as parish, are equally at fault in that we haven’t maintained a continuous contact with children and families after the reception of Baptism, First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Our schools have usually been relied upon to do that, and they do do that to a commendable degree. So much so that Catholic schools now afford the only link between young people and Church. However, the Community dimension that Church provides at a local level will always be pivotal. The care and outreach of the parish is always the benchmark of its success. In these uncertain times its marvellous to be able to say ‘well done’ to the many who give of themselves in our parish. Young people notice. “The parish is the presence of the Church in any given territory, an environment for hearing God’s Word, for growth in Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship and celebration.” Pope Francis. We pray especially for all the young people receiving the Sacraments that they will continue to find our Church Communities places of refuge, especially in these volatile times of political uncertainty both nationally and internationally.
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