By Renee Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Church teaches confirmation is a true sacrament instituted by Christ and different to baptism.
It is administered by laying-on of hands and anointing with chrism accompanied by prayer. The chrism is blessed by the bishop and the bishop administers the sacrament.
All baptised persons can and should be confirmed. The effect of the Sacrament of Confirmation is to give strength in faith and for the confession of faith and to impress an indelible character.
In the Archdiocese of Port of Spain, the sacrament was administered at various parishes between June 3 and June 9 (Pentecost Sunday).
At St Peter’s RC, Carenage 33 candidates received the sacrament blessed by Archbishop Jason Gordon. Also present was their parish priest Fr Harold Imamshah.
Two newly confirmed young persons were willing to share their journey with the Catholic News.
“I never thought I would feel so eager to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation,” Jahiem Williams said.
At 15 years old, Jahiem said his life felt monotonous but preparing for the two-year confirmation programme he has felt “more than capable of doing anything I desire”.
“Having gone through the preparation, my emotional and spiritual levels have taken off to the point where I feel much more balanced inside…Confirmation has given me more confidence in myself and now I know God has a purpose for me.”
He also described the day as an “emotional one” but one which also “brought much relief”.
At first, sixteen-year-old Termelia Julian felt no enthusiasm when she was “commanded by her parents” to devote her weekends to confirmation classes.
“I became more interested when my catechist found really creative ways to help us learn about God such as going on retreats and participating in bonfires.”
Termelia also revealed she was wanted to know more about God when she saw how passionate her Catechist was about worshipping Christ.
Brian Tribuce is one among five catechists at St Peter’s. He told the Catholic News he did not expect to feel as emotional as he did when his class confirmed on Sunday.
“For the two years I catechised, I often felt my class thought what I said was a waste of time and would just go through one ear and come out the other. However, as the class progressed, I realised some of the things I said stuck with them.”
Tribuce added that sharing his personal struggles with his faith was one of the lessons his students appreciated.
Asked why he thought young people were perceived to be leaving the Catholic faith, Tribuce said, “Often times our parishes lack modern activities to keep them interested. Our young people get bored easily and find ways outside of the Church if it does not facilitate their needs. I also think the youth get turned off when there is a ‘fight down’ from the older folk and we must do better to include them.”