By: Fr. John Jasica

This weekend we celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation for 85 amazing young people and their families. This is a celebration for them but also the parish. It is good to be in the vicinity of the Spirit!!

This year I had the great opportunity and privilege to journey with these 83 candidates and their parents which started at a Parent Information Meeting in November and continued in four major gatherings in January, February, March and April. This year we changed our preparation format to include parents and sponsors if possible, to walk with their candidate in preparation. I was totally blessed and here are 3 reasons why:

Over the last few months I have been able to connect with candidates and their families. The preparation program that I put together was flexible in a way that tried to connect and meet the needs of our families. I saw very committed parents who wanted to support their children in everything — including faith. Families made sacrifices to attend and did their best to use the follow up materials sent via e-mail following each of the sessions. I also learned more about how busy families are and the challenges of trying to fit everything in wanting the best for their children. Although I would prefer families to slow down a bit, I saw great love, faith, hope and joy in these families and I hope that I was able to make the journey a chance to draw closer to Christ.

Part of the preparation program included at least 10 hours of community service. Our faith calls us not just to attend Mass (where we are fed and nourished by Christ) but we are sent out as disciples of the Lord living the Good News. I was able to see that faith in action within the parish at movie nights, parish breakfasts and taking time to pray at special Masses, holy hours and the Way of the Cross during Lent. They also offered service within the greater community. I was able to see amazing young people who are living not for themselves but for others. They are not doing it out of obligation but out of love for others.

During the journey we had opportunities to discuss the challenges of families today and how faith attempts to guide us. I was so thankful for the honest sharing of the joys and struggles of faith in their lives. It definitely made the journey real and helped me try to make the connections of faith needed in our lives. Their honesty is helping me be a better minister of the Good News. Please pray for them this weekend as they encounter the Holy Spirit!!!