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At audience, Pope highlights importance of Confirmation

Catholic World News - January 29, 2014

During his general public audience on January 29, Pope Francis reminded Catholic parents that their children should be confirmed.

Continuing his series of weekly talks on the sacraments, the Pope spoke on Confirmation, noting that the sacrament is “indissolubly linked” to Baptism. Young people who are baptized but not confirmed “remain at a halfway point,” he said, and it is important that they receive the graces of the sacrament.

The Pope recalled that in the early Church, the three sacraments of Christian initiation—Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist—were administered to catechumens at one time, usually at the Easter vigil. These sacraments, he said, “constitute a single saving event-– Christian initiation-– in which we are brought into Christ who died and rose again, and become new creatures and members of the Church.”

“The term 'confirmation' reminds us that this Sacrament involves growth from baptismal grace; it unites us more firmly with Christ; it completes our bond with the Church,” the Pope told his audience.

Concluding his remarks as rain began to fall upon the crowd in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope said: “When we welcome the Holy Spirit into our hearts and allow it to act, Christ Himself is made present in us and takes form in our lives.”

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  • Posted by: virgy5944 - Jan. 30, 2014 4:49 PM ET USA

    In our diocese it is the student's decision to be confirmed and not the parents. They are told that they are adults. They will basically have their "drivers license" in the Catholic religion. Their should more emphasis on sacramental grace, and an explanation of the fruits of the Spirit.

  • Posted by: garedawg - Jan. 30, 2014 10:36 AM ET USA

    In our diocese, it is just the opposite. The process is so rigorous lots of kids just skip it, since it is difficult to squeeze in with other activities and school.

  • Posted by: Kansas Girl - Jan. 29, 2014 6:38 PM ET USA

    If we'd require more preparation for the sacrament, more youths would want to receive it. I was a little disheartened at my grandson's confirmation, when he was a junior in high school, because so little learning was required of him. The bishop, in an effort to appear friendly, spoke to the students as if they were six years old. We expect our high schoolers to take advanced math and chemistry but, when it comes to religion, give them baby texts. No wonder they take little interest in it.

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