Three of our four churches host Confirmation programs. Students meet at their respective churches with Catechists 2x a month and as an entire group every six weeks. The program includes study of such topics as : Sacred Scripture and Tradition; Church History; The Gospels; Sacraments; Prayer; Catholic Social Teachings; Moral Theology; Saints; and Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit. The Confirmands, as we refer to them as, are required to attend Mass weekly and make study and mission a priority. Mission (or service) includes serving at Mass, singing in the choir, helping distribute food tags for the local Food Pantries, assisting with fellowship events and fulfilling church duties as needed. They also do service projects outside of church. We, as a group, have served lunch to homeless guests at Loaves and Fishes in Ithaca. We visited The Home in Auburn for an evening of bowling with their elderly residents. We rang bells for the Salvation Army. During the month of December we help assemble and deliver fruit baskets as an Advent project with Fr. Bill. All of this reminds us that we are living our faith by caring for each other and God’s creation. For all of us, Prayer, Eucharist and Service are the very essence of our ongoing faith journey.
In January we begin the New Year with Eucharistic Adoration. What better way to start the year in prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament. This January is special. Pope Francis has declared that the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time should be devoted to the Word of God. Thus January 26 is the Sunday of the Word of God. Pope Francis says, “we urgently need to grow in our knowledge and love of Scripture and of the Risen Lord, who continues to speak His word and to break bread in the community of believers. The relationship between the Risen Lord, the community of believers and Sacred Scripture is essential to our identity as Christians. Without the Lord who opens our minds to them, it is impossible to understand the Scriptures in depth.”
Saint Jerome says “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”
Sacred Scripture and the Sacraments are inseparable. Our Holy Father says, “When the Sacraments are introduced and illumined by God’s word, they become ever more clearly the goal of a process whereby Christ opens our minds and hearts to acknowledge his saving work. In the Book of Revelation it says, the Lord is standing at the door and knocking. If anyone should hear His voice and open for him, He will come in and eat with them. Jesus is knocking at our door in the words of Sacred Scripture. If we hear his voice and open the doors of our minds and hearts, He will enter our lives and remain forever with us.”
Jesus said, “Blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.” Amen.
Please keep our Confirmands in your daily prayers as they study and grow in their faith while journeying to the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Marilyn Paradise - Director