Apr 19, 2010

Confirmation in Kashiwazaki

Yesterday, on the third Sunday of Easter, 13 people received the sacrament of Confirmation in St.Anthony of Padua Parish in Kashiwazaki, 130km south of Niigata. The parish priest, Fr. Leo Bassi, ofm, though he is already over 80 years old, is one of the most energetic and hard working missionaries in my diocese. As far as I remember, he prepares quite good number of candidates for the sacrament every year. Among these 13 members who received the confirmation yesterday, majority are kids in Junior High Schools, which means they are around 13 to 15 years old. Also among these kids, there are children of Japanese, Filipino and Sri Lankan mothers. Quite international, as usual in my diocese. Particularly for these kids in schools in Japan, attending Mass on Sundays require extra super efforts since school usually organises the Sunday extra curriculum activities such as sports games for their students. So I have to congratulate Fr. Bassi and his team of catechists for their effort to anchor these kids to the Church activities firmly.

For the homily of the confirmation Masses, I have been talking about the meaning of being a mature Catholic. In fact, it is quite difficult to define the actual picture of "maturity" of the person in Catholic faith. I guess there are 3 points to think about.

First and most, and this would be the foundation of our faith, attaining reality in our faith would be the crucial point. We do not believe in Jesus who is in our imagination, nor in a history legend. We do believe in Jesus who is alive. Presence of Jesus has to be real, not a fiction.

Then, based on that reality, we form our faith through the tradition of Catholic teachings. So we have to be acquainted with, say, Catholic Catechism and traditional practice of the Church. Then the third point would be the liturgy. Without celebrating our faith in our community through the liturgy, our faith would be dead. I hope and pray that those who received the sacrament yesterday are ready to be a mature Catholic who feels the real presence of Jesus, learn more about our faith and happy to celebrate the faith with their community in liturgy.

No comments:

Post a Comment