Seven Catholic adults from around the Diocese of St. Cloud will be confirmed by Bishop Donald Kettler during the 5 p.m. Mass May 19, the vigil of Pentecost, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud.
Celebrating the sacrament of confirmation for adults who are Catholic is strongly advocated for in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Statutes for the Catechumenate, which also encourages this to take place independent of the Easter Vigil, said Aaron Carpenter, diocesan director of worship.
“Those candidates participating in this Mass are adults who have received the sacraments of baptism and Eucharist but who have not yet received the sacrament of confirmation,” he said. “As they continue their faith journey and take ownership of this journey, we pray the Holy Spirit will guide them in all they do and that they will be a beacon of Christ’s light to all whom they encounter.”
Brittany Harren is one of the adults planning to receive the sacrament of confirmation at the cathedral. She was baptized Catholic as an infant but was raised in a non-practicing household. When she and her husband, Andy, were preparing for marriage, she initiated the confirmation process but circumstances prevented the sacrament from happening.
After the wedding, the couple moved to North Dakota to work in the oilfields. Between moving and starting a family, Harren said things got “put on hold.” They recently moved back to Upsala with their three children: Emmalyn, 7, Carter, 5, and Brayden, 4. The family attends St. Francis Parish in St. Francis.
“Now being back home and getting to know our priest, I was able to discuss my options and begin the process again,” Harren said.
“Getting confirmed has always been something I knew I would complete, it was just a matter of when,” she said. “It is a meaningful experience for me because I believe it is important to continue strengthening my personal relationship with Christ and to strengthen the gifts of the Holy Spirit I received during baptism. I want to be more involved in my parish, grow in my faith and help others, and getting confirmed will help me accomplish these goals.”
Harren’s pastor, Father Jeremy Theis, has been preparing her for the sacrament. Over several months, she said she has learned about the Catholic Church, saints, imagery and symbolism, the Bible and the Gospels, the seven sacraments and their benefits and, specifically, the importance of confirmation.
“In knowing these things, I am preparing myself to receive the Holy Spirit and continue living my life the way God wants me to,” she said.
Carpenter said the vigil of Pentecost is a good time to celebrate the sacrament of confirmation for adults, when the church recalls the Holy Spirit first descending upon the apostles.
“By offering this opportunity, we become more aware of our connection to the larger church community where we find support in living out our faith,” he said. “The independence from the Easter Vigil allows us to celebrate more fully the faith story of these candidates in a way that is different from those who are brought into the faith during the great vigil.”
Harren hopes the Holy Spirit will strengthen in her the gifts of understanding and wisdom through confirmation.
“I believe there will always be more to learn about our faith and the teachings of the church, so the gift of understanding will give me the comprehension I need to continue learning and serving God and others,” she said. “As for the gift of wisdom, I feel nowadays it is becoming easier and easier to fall away from your faith. So having the wisdom to make the right choices to live a holy life is important to me and it helps guide me in the way I raise my children.”