An amazing journey to the infilling of the Holy Spirit

Some 19 young men and ladies from the Church of the Immaculate Conception received their Confirmation on November 6.

Nov 25, 2022

Confirmands with Bishop Sebastian Francis and Fr Jude Miranda.

PENANG: Ephesians 1:4 says, “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before Him in love”. Some 19 young men and ladies from the Church of the Immaculate Conception received their Confirmation on November 6.

Nicholas Gunn Li Gen briefly shares his 10-year-plus journey to Confirmation. “There were times when I questioned my faith and my practices. More importantly, I questioned myself for questioning my faith. I thought I was in the wrong for having so many ‘whats’, ‘whys’, ‘hows’ and ‘really ah?!’. Thankfully, I had amazing catechism teachers like Simon Chan and Valentine Gill who always had answers to my ‘whats’, ‘whys’, and ‘hows’. In fact, they would throw questions to make us think more deeply about our faith. In the end, I realised having these queries only brought me closer to God, and now I take great pleasure in scouting the internet to find answers.

“In today’s world, parents often take for granted the effort and dedication our teachers put in, especially our catechists. At the end of the Mass, our catechist, Simon, in his speech pointed out that parents are and will always remain the primary educators and the first witnesses of the faith to their children.

“Faith education by parents is IRREPLACEABLE! I believe one’s faith is the core determinant of how a person turns out. Teacher Simon stressed the importance of parents’ interest in their child’s faith life and that family Catechesis, in making time to pray as a family and participating in Mass together is vital. Depending on the catechism teacher’s guidance without the presence of a faith-based family could hinder a child’s spiritual growth.

“In preparing for our Confirmation, a wave of emotions hit me as I thought back on the 10-year journey with my friends, the irreplaceable memories and the commemorative events that took place. As my friend and classmate Timothy put it, “Many journeys have times of turbulence and joyous moments, this 10-year journey is definitely one of them.”

“These past 22 months were extra special as we prepared for the infilling of the Holy Spirit, to understand what is to be laid upon us and our responsibilities as soldiers of God. From fun and spirit-filled camps to being given what we saw as pointless tasks, were of great significance in our faith life. It’s been a rollercoaster journey, full of ups and downs, but one I’m glad I went through. I might not become a saint or a martyr, but I hope after being confirmed, I will be able to make my contributions to the Catholic community.”

Sharings by classmates on their mini pilgrimage:

“These 22 months have been amazing. Throughout this journey, I got to know myself better. As I reflect, God is my friend. He is loving and forgiving, He guides me, gives me strength and hope, and blesses me in many ways. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my formators who have guided me in my faith since preschool.” -- Adeline Yeow

“This year, I had been open to opportunities to make friends in our parish’s teen community and I have to admit, God gave me the energy and empowerment to make this journey to Confirmation” -- Geraldine Lim

“It is very fruitful and welcoming to know the many friends and formators that I have gotten to know over the years, as well as strengthening my faith to this point of Confirmation. The journey to seriousness in faith is not easy and is fraught with many temptations and distractions that can take you away from the faith. One thing I learnt over the 22 months was to put God first and trust Him to guide you on the right path” -- Timothy Tan

“I asked myself what was next after I got confirmed. Thankfully I joined a ministry that draws me back to the church because most people, after confirmation, stop going to church and I would recommend everyone to join at least one ministry. Looking back at how far my classmates and I have come is baffling; I have taken an amazing journey with some amazing people.” -- Amos Scully

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