CULLMAN, Ala. – Sixteen St. Bernard Prep students and two alumni received the Sacrament of Confirmation Friday evening, Sept. 18, 2020 at Saint Bernard Abbey Church in Cullman.
The Rt. Rev. Marcus J. Voss, Abbot of St. Bernard Abbey, celebrated the Mass and confirmed the students at the request of the Bishop of the Diocese of Birmingham, the Most Rev. Steven Raica.
After a gospel reading by Deacon Tim Vaughn, faculty member of the school, Abbot Marcus gave the homily encouraging those to be confirmed to be lights of Christ in the world. Afterward the ancient Catholic ritual of Confirmation was performed, with the laying-on-of-hands by the Abbot and priests present, imparting the power of the Holy Spirit on those presenting themselves for sacrament that confirms them in the life of Faith. Afterward each candidate was presented by his or her sponsor, stating the confirmation saint’s name of that candidate. Abbot Marcus then anointed the candidates with the oil of Chrism, making the sign of the cross on the forehead of each as he stated their names and said the words, “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Confirmation strengthens and deepens one’s relationship with God, giving the power to live as Christ in the world, to fight the good fight and persevere when such a life is a great struggle. It means accepting responsibility for your faith and destiny. As a child you’re told what to do, and you react positively to reward and negatively to punishment. In adulthood you do what is right on your own, not to avoid punishment or get a reward, but merely because it’s the right thing to do. Confirmation gives to power to enter into that adulthood in Christ. The focus is on the Holy Spirit, who empowered the apostles on Pentecost (Acts 2:1–4) and gave them courage to live their faith. Catholics believe that the same Holy Spirit confirms Catholics during the Sacrament of Confirmation and gives each the power needed in life.
Those receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation were Jaya Bahadursingh, Arturo Calinao, David Pascual-Contreras, Gary Contreras, Diego Garcia-Cerna, Enrique Gutierrez, Riley Holmes, Margaret Holsomback, Joshua Kennedy, Madeline McBride, Francis Mami, John Pechon, Joseph Sammon, Campbel Whaley, Emma Whaley, Macy Whaley, Mollie Woods and José Zatarain.