Churches & Religious Organizations
Dear St. Raphael Parishioners,
If there is one Sacrament harder to understand than the others, it would be Confirmation. Through the centuries it has been given at different ages: all the way from infancy in some Eastern Rites, to late adolescence in some parishes over the years. Adult converts to Catholicism normally receive it at the Easter Vigil. Once as a parish administrator in South Dakota, I Confirmed two young adults at their wedding Mass. That was unique, as the Diocese was waiting for a new bishop.
Shortly after I arrived as pastor last year, Bishop McGovern returned to us and gave the Sacrament of Confirmation to our Eighth Grade class. We were grateful to have him, and it gave us the chance to celebrate his Episcopacy. We feel privileged to have a former pastor now serving as Bishop of Belleville. Bishop McGovern had gotten to know the class over four years, so it meant that much more to our students having him Confirm them.
This year, I will make use of the faculties extended to pastors by the Archdiocese, and Confirm our Eighth Graders. If we are lucky regarding the Covid situation, this will be the only year I need to make use of this special permission. I look forward to this rare opportunity to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation. Fortunately, we were able to get our Confirmandi together for an in-person retreat, short as it was. I also held a personal interview with each of the students.
We did not have classrooms available this past year, because most schools were not open to outside users. All our Religious Education students had to study at ho