Bishop confirms 180 at St. Stephen's Church

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:32

Warwick - At a special 2 p.m. Mass held Saturday, April 2, Warwick’s Church of St. Stephen, the First Martyr was filled to capacity. It was one of three services held Friday and Saturday, April 1 and 2, so that approximately 180 candidates could receive the sacrament of Confirmation. As parents and other relatives looked on, Bishop Dominick Lagonegro, an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of New York and Episcopal Vicar for the Upper Counties, celebrated Mass and administered the sacrament to the young students who had completed a two-year course of study beginning in Grade 7. In the Catholic faith, Confirmation is a sacrament by which persons already baptized receive the Holy Spirit in order to make them stronger and more perfect Christians as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost. During the Mass, the Rev. Michael McLoughlin, pastor of St. Stephen’s, presented the candidates, introducing each one by name. Before administering the sacrament, Lagonegro reminded them that Confirmation is a sacrament of action and that that after the death of Christ on the cross, even His disciples remained fearful and locked in a room until Pentecost. “That’s when they changed,” he said. “From Pentecost on the disciples were people of action. They spread the message of Christ throughout the world.” During the rite of Confirmation the entire group renewed their baptismal promises by responding, “I do.” Lagonegro and the concelebrating priests then performed the “laying on of hands,” an ancient biblical gesture. Finally, each candidate, accompanied by his or her sponsor, came forward to be anointed and confirmed one by one by the bishop.