As we come to the close of the Easter Season, we hear in the Gospel Jesus’ Farewell Discourse as he speaks before ascending into heaven. In this discourse, Jesus tells us of one that he will send from his Father to be with us, the Spirit of Truth, who will strengthen us and gift us with all we need to continue to proclaim Jesus to the world.
Today our beloved Catholic Church celebrates Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit; God with us for all time. Do you remember receiving the Holy Spirit? It happened first at our baptism when we became members of the family of God. It was then that we became Christian. The fullness of the Holy Spirit became known to us as we received the Sacrament of Confirmation. Confirmation is generally received in our teen years, although some may receive it as a child dependent upon the diocese to which they belong. There is no “perfect” time to receive Confirmation. Most important is a desire on the part of one seeking Confirmation to open their heart allowing the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be made known to them. If you are an adult who is not confirmed, our Church welcomes you to prepare to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Simply call your parish office and share your desire to be confirmed. They will be happy to assist you. Yesterday, at the Cathedral of St. Mary in St. Cloud,
Bishop Kinney confirmed a number of adults from across our diocese as he does each year on Pentecost. One of the newly confirmed is a member of St. Francis Xavier parish. Please join me in congratulating Jennifer Cruz. Let us remember her in prayer asking God to make known to her the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Jennifer is looking forward to becoming Godmother to her niece now that she is confirmed. Blessings to her and her family on these special occasions!
I would like to take a moment to thank all who have so graciously thanked me for what they have learned about our faith through my bulletin columns over the past eight years. I truly believe that I am simply an instrument who is blessed and directed by the grace of God. If my writing has in fact helped make clear elements of our shared faith, I am grateful to God for it. I hope that all will continue to participate in opportunities to grow in faith and understanding. Formation of faith is a life-long endeavor, one in which we are truly blessed as we grow closer to God and his people.
As I complete my work here this week, I pray that God continues to bless St. Francis Xavier richly. May we all continue to put God first in our lives, loving and serving Him and all people.