RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

We have just come to the end of the “Confirmation season.” I would like to thank all of our parish Confirmation coordinators, catechists, parish priests, deacons (especially those who accompanied me throughout these days), religious, parents, sponsors, musicians and all who were involved in this important step in the faith lives of our young people who were confirmed. There is a note of thanks that needs to be extended to Bishop Brown, Bishop Dominic and Bishop Dan Walsh (who came all of the way from San Francisco to help us out!) in the celebration of this Sacrament.

Most of all, I thank our young people for their witness of Faith. I had the privilege of reading all of their letters and was very touched and blessed by their witness and testimony that followed the words, “Bishop I would like to be confirmed because…”! As I mentioned often at the Confirmations, their words of Faith, and their retreat experiences that they shared and the reasons why they wished to be confirmed in our Catholic Faith made a great impression on me and all to whom I read their words!

I reflected to our young people of the importance of continuing to be connected to our Faith community in whatever way is available to them. I certainly am grateful as well to all of our youth ministers in our parish and our Diocese, but they need the support of all of us, who by a personal invitation to our newly confirmed, can minister and encourage our youth in a way no program can! Let us pray that the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (Can you name them as well?) will be in our young friends’ lives always as they travel the path of life and Faith that the Lord has marked out for them!

Also, today on the Christ Cathedral campus I walked and blessed the 11 “Stations of Mercy” on campus together with many pilgrims and guests who were present here with us. I reflected at the beginning of the blessing that while we learned the “Spiritual and Corporal Gifts of Mercy” in our catechetical and school years, these Stations of Mercy help us to truly reflect on them and live them in a real way here on campus and in our community. Thanks so much to Sister Katherine Gray CSJ and Fr. Christopher Smith and the Christ Cathedral staff for the idea and implementation of these Stations of Mercy, which are already becoming an integral part of the life of the Christ Cathedral campus.

+The Most Rev. Kevin W. Vann, Bishop of Orange