Thirty-five students, 27 from St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy and 8 from the English Religious Education Program, were enrolled in the Confirmation Preparation Program of St. Stan’s Parish at the 9:00 AM Mass on World Mission Sunday, October 24, 2010. Parents and relatives of the students were present to support their children in the Confirmation process. Rev. Marek Sobczak, CM, pastor, was the celebrant and Rev. Joseph Szpilski, CM, the homilist.
Fr. Joe, as Rev. Szpilski is called, correlated his message on the meaning of World Mission Sunday with the duty of Confirmation candidates to be responsible for the evangelization of their neighbor, far and near, by their Christian example and prayer for the missionaries called to serve the Church in mission countries. He cited the example of a woman professional TV personality from Siberia, with no religious background, who was so enamored by the holiness and charisma of Pope John Paul II that she gave up her job, traveled to Rome to study, and eventually joined a religious congregation serving the missions.
After the Communion of the Mass, the Confirmation candidates pledged their commitment to be serious in their Confirmation studies and preparation by participating in Mass every Sunday, receiving the sacraments of Penance and Eucharist regularly and performing at least 24 hours of volunteer service to the community, which includes the church and school. They submitted their signed Confirmation pledges to the pastor and in return received their own personal Bibles. The ceremony concluded with a blessing from Fr. Marek who, extending his hands over the candidates, prayed that 1) the Holy Spirit come with His gifts of wisdom and understanding; 2) that the love between the Father and the Son show itself in the candidates’ concern for the poor, the sick and the needy; 3) that the candidates understand the obligations imposed upon them by their decision to prepare for the sacrament; and 4) that the Spirit enable the candidates to give witness of Christian example throughout their lives.
On the seventh day of each month, or if that day is a Saturday or Sunday, on the day closest to the seventh. the students will gather together to share their reflections on their study of particular biblical texts. Their first Bible study/reflection day is Monday, November 9.