My Journey Towards Confirmation

The journey towards confirmation seems never ending for confirmation candidates, for some have waited nearly two years to receive their Sacrament of Confirmation.

Jan 17, 2022

Photo: St Joseph's Cathedral Parish English Sunday School

By Sarah Lo-Marimuthu
The journey towards confirmation seems never ending for confirmation candidates, for some have waited nearly two years to receive their Sacrament of Confirmation. During this wait, their preparation continued on despite the unsureness of when they will be able to receive their sacrament. For Bryan Balan “it was the start of a new spiritual journey”,  Dave Davisson felt that “this is a journey that has prepared me to be an instrument of God” and for Anna Katrina: “Here I am Lord, I’m ready to serve in your Vineyard”.

A total of 256 Confirmands, and their parents, felt relief when informed that their Rites of Confirmation were to be held in November 2021. On 6 November we welcomed 87 Confirmands from SMK St Teresa, another 64 Confirmands from St Joseph’s Parish Sunday School and finally, 105 Confirmands from SMK St Joseph’s on 20 November.

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My name is Marcello Matthius Anak Muhren. I was not born a Catholic. Why? You may ask. Well, my father is a Catholic but my mother is from the BEM church denomination. However, I was baptised a Catholic at St Joseph’s Cathedral when I was 10 years old. I confess that I was an ignorant Catholic. Back in 2014, I was supposed to receive my first Holy Communion, but I did not comply. Instead, I joined a football tournament because it gave me a sense of joy and fulfillment. I felt devastated later. Fortunately, by God’s grace, I received my first Holy Communion the following year at 11 years old.

My teachers taught me a lot about living my life God’s way. My parents also guided me to the right path in life as a Catholic. As I entered secondary school, I knew that I would have to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. I decided to join the YCS Movement as one of my extra-curricular activities. I wanted to understand more about my faith and connect with others in Christ in my teenage years. I enjoyed the gatherings very much as I felt the presence of the Lord among the crowd. Besides that, catechism classes conducted by Catholic teachers had also kept me well-prepared for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Sharing with you how I chose my confirmation name, it was one evening, while I was playing futsal with my peers, the name ‘Matthew’ came to my mind. When I arrived home, I searched for more information about Matthew, the apostle saint. I was, and still am, truly inspired by his works and services in which I can relate to myself. Thus, the name Matthew.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world, the Rite of Confirmation was postponed twice. I had to face so many challenges. For example, not believing in myself, not being prepared enough mentally and physically, and feeling scared. However, that was not a barrier for me to complete the sacraments of initiation. I remained eager to prepare myself. As the President of YCS, I often reminded myself to be prepared for any difficulties as I felt very blessed to have such opportunity.

In closing, I am so grateful for all that has happened throughout the journey towards receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. It has helped me to become a better self.

Marcello Matthius Anak Muhren (Form 5)
SMK St Joseph (M), Kuching

The pandemic has certainly taken a toll not only on our daily lives but most importantly our faith. We’re unable to attend Church like we used to which has made some falter in faith. This is something that I’m seeing even among my peers which is unfortunate to say the least. For me personally, I’ve been frequently attending online Masses with my family every Sunday morning. Frankly speaking, online Mass doesn’t give off the same feeling compared to attending Church physically. Going to Church and basking in the holy presence of the Lord’s house is something that I really miss. Even so, thanks to the initiative of our Churches, we are still able to say our prayers and sing our praises in a church-like setting from the comfort of our own homes through online Masses. That is something that we can’t take for granted. 

During the month of Rosary particularly last year, my family and I would gather around after dinner to recite the Rosary prayer. It’s actually a very good way to help me meditate more deeply and build a healthy spiritual relationship in the family. Aside from that, one of the things that has kept me connected to my faith was the gatherings that we had for the Young Christian Students (YCS) Movement in my school. We talked and shared about a plethora of topics which most of the time hit me really hard. I started to notice that I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection on myself and I’m very thankful for it because it helps me in preparing myself for confirmation. Not to forget, my catechism classes have also helped me to realise some important things that I wouldn’t have thought of.

All in all, my journey towards confirmation was quite the ride for sure. There were times of doubts and uncertainties which made me question myself regularly and I’m sure I’ll still do. In spite of that, during and after our confirmation, I know that it is the start of a new spiritual journey for all of us confirmands. I strongly pray for everyone that the Holy Spirit guides us in everything we do and whispers the right directions to us on the path that we are taking or about to take. 

Bryan Balan Jim (Form 4)
SMK St Joseph (M), Kuching

What is the Sacrament of Confirmation? The Sacrament of Confirmation is the third and final sacrament of initiation after Baptism and Eucharist. To be confirmed is to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us grow stronger in our Christian faith.

I was born in a Catholic family, was baptised and received my First Holy Communion as a child. I am privileged to know God and understand the Catholic faith at a young age. I have always wanted to serve as an altar server and actively partake in church activities since primary school. Unfortunately, it never happened. Even though I was given the chance, I didn’t dare to take up the challenge. I was not an active member of the church and rarely participated in church activities. I was timid and filled with insecurities, in which I eventually ended up having social anxiety due to the lack of interaction with friends and people around me. These are some of my greatest regrets—missing out opportunities to socialise, experience the fun in joining camps, and strengthen my relationship with God.

However, with God’s grace, He opened a path for me to join the Young Christian Students Movement (YCS) in St Joseph’s Secondary School, a decision I will never regret. I have been in YCS since Form 1 till this day. I certainly believe that YCS has shaped my faith as a Christian. Through YCS, I had the chance to serve the school’s Catholic community as a committee for the Day of Prayer, and a warden for first Friday masses. My desire to serve God grows greater each day. In Form 4, I was appointed the Vice President of YCS. Initially, I was uncertain of my ability to carry this immense responsibility; in fact, I was prepared to quit at any time possible. I was afraid of the consequences and had reached a dead-end when I soon recalled a bible verse from Deuteronomy 31:8, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” In the end, I decided to take up the responsibility for I believed that it was a calling from God to serve.

Though countless challenges were faced throughout this journey, I am fortunate to be working alongside a great team of committee, and receiving endless support from my family and teachers, which keeps our burning spirit in bringing Christ to students and students to Christ. Encountering challenges is no easy task, but nothing is impossible with God. This journey has taught me to surrender everything to God. Indeed, my journey in YCS is a fundamental part of my faith journey towards receiving confirmation.

Despite having the Rite of Confirmation cancelled twice due to the pandemic, I kept my faith strong and fully prepared myself to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation at any moment. With the help and guidance from my Catechism teachers, I did not and will not drift away from God. Their pure dedication in teaching my fellow confirmands and I had led to the success of our Sacrament of Confirmation. Confirmands are called to be kings, prophets and priests. Receiving confirmation marks the start to a new journey in my Christian faith: to grow and spread the good news to others; I shall not falter.

I have lived my life by the bible verse from Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Now that I have found strength in God, life appears to be more meaningful as I continue to seek my purpose. I am blessed to have reached this point in life where I live life by faith and follow the teachings of Jesus. My confirmation journey is carved deeply in my heart, a journey that has prepared me to be an instrument of God. I am grateful that God has given me everything and guided me throughout the days of my life as I continue my path to be a witness of Christ.

May God bless us all. Amen.

Dave Davisson Anak Dominic (Form 5)
SMK St. Joseph (M), Kuching

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