Receive the Holy Spirit

Quote inscribed on the side of the baptismal font in our church

Today we celebrate Pentecost Sunday and the giving of the Holy Spirit to the apostles.  As Catholics, we first receive the Holy Spirit at Baptism.  St Peter calls on those who witnessed the twelve speaking in tongues to “be baptised… and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).


Our Baptism is quite literally confirmed by the bishop (or his representative) in the Sacrament of Confirmation – it is from the historical action of the bishop confirming baptisms across his diocese that this rite developed.  In this sacrament, we are “enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1285).



Then Bishop of Parramatta (now Archbishop of Sydney) Anthony Fisher OP celebrating Confirmation in our parish.  Photo: © Alphonsus Fok, 321 Photography

By signing us with the gift of the Spirit, confirmation makes us more completely the image of the Lord and fills us with the Holy Spirit, so that we may bear witness to him before all the world and work to bring the Body of Christ to its fullness as soon as possible. 

Christian Initiation: General Introduction, no. 4

18/5/08 – Confirmation

Oil of ChrismThis week, children from our parish celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation.  This will draw these children closer to the completion of their sacramental initiation.

Their sacramental initiation began with baptism, when they were first made one with Christ.  They have shared in Jesus’ death and resurrection by passing through the waters of the font to a new Christian life.

These children’s families, friends, teachers and parish community (yes, us!) have helped to form these children and teach them about Christ.  We have introduced them to the life of the Church through liturgy and community activities.

Now, having reached a suitable catechetical (teachable) age, these children and their families are choosing to complete their sacramental initiation; Confirmation being only the next step.  This
Confirmation will complete and affirm their baptism, and lead them onwards to the completion of their initiation through the first reception of Holy Communion.

Just as we discussed with regards to our then-Catechumen, now neophyte (newly initiated), Mechelle, the sacramental initiation is just part of their faith journey.  “The journey of Christian initiation is one of God calling people to conversion.”  It is a time for these children to embrace God’s working within their lives.  What’s more, “those who are initiated will join us completely in taking the journey together; facing the struggles, challenges, love and joy of belonging to God’s chosen people.”

I invite you all to share with us in celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation with our young parishioners on Tuesday or Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m.