Deepening of baptismal grace through the Sacrament of Confirmation

“Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace and is a powerful sacrament.

Oct 05, 2018

SANDAKAN: “Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace and is a powerful sacrament. It roots us more deeply in the divine filiations, unites us more firmly to Christ, increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit, bonds us with the Church more perfectly and gives us the strength to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ” Catechism of the Catholic Church #1303

The Sunday school (English) of the St Mary’s Cathedral prepares Catholic students for the Sacrament of Eucharist and Sacrament of Confirmation every year.

Confirmation preparation usually takes years of so called “faith journey” from pre-Confirmation and Confirmation classes.

A retreat for the confirmandi was conducted at the Father Mulders’ Catechetical Centre from Aug 30 to Sept 2. A team of talented and experienced facilitators from Brunei, led by Bishop Cornelius Sim, assisted the Sunday school in running this retreat.

A retreat is a perfect opportunity for community building for teenagers who share the same faith. It brings them into another world where they live in God’s time, following a schedule focused on God with prayerful activities. It also offers opportunities to clear their lives of obstacles that hinder them from loving God and allows them more time for adoration, reconciliation, daily Mass participation, as well as group discussions, presentation, games, etc.

Retreats show the teenagers how to understand their faith in a whole new way and experience their transformation as they journey together with Christ.

The retreat has created a bond and camaraderie among the confirmandi. Friendships made on retreats are most often formed around a mutual love of Christ.

During the retreat, the confirmandi were also pleasantly surprised to receive encouragement and inspiration from their loved ones as they prepared to receive this sacrament. Some inspiring testimonies were shared towards the end of the retreat.

This exciting, faith filled weekend began at 5.00pm, Thursday evening and ended at 5.00pm Sunday evening. It culminated with Hi-Tea held at the Sandakan Diocesan Hall with the parents, teachers, facilitators and students. Parents were moved when their children greeted them with huge smiles and warm hugs, leading one parent to comment, as if they had not met their parents for ages. The 360 degree transformation of the students was amazing and unexpected.

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