Heralds of Good News | 19 Mar 2022

Celebrating Our First Sacrament of Confirmation in COTT History
Our first batch of 35 confirmands received the Sacrement of Confirmation by His Grace Archbishop WIlliam Goh on the evening of Jan 15, 2022 in Church of the Transfiguration (COTT). This is the first Confirmation event ever, in our church’s history. No words can describe how proud we are to celebrate this important milestone, alongside with our confirmands and their family and godparents/sponsors.

35 COTT Confirmands with our Parish Priest Father Alphonsus

Our confirmands, being the first pioneers of our parish, were supposed to be confirmed last year, but owing to the COVID-19 situation, the event was postponed to allow the physical presence of His Grace Archbishop William Goh to celebrate COTT’s first Sacrament of Confirmation.

Various emotions and expressions could be seen as our confirmands were sitting with their godparents/sponsors in the pews before the commencement of Confirmation Mass. Excitement and anxiety could be felt among several confirmands.

One confirmand said, “I felt really contented that I am able to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit alongside my friends today. I am also truly blessed to be confirmed by the Archbishop.”.

What does the term “confirmation” mean?

Confirmation is the perfection of the Sacrament of Baptism in which, we are empowered to live out our lives as faithful Christian disciples.

Jesus said to his disciples: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always.”
John 14:15-16

It is considered a sacrament of initiation which means that it deepens our baptismal grace and unites us more firmly and deeper into communion with Christ and with the Church.

The seal of the Holy Spirit leaves an indelible mark on the soul just like baptism. “Just as Baptism gives new life, Eucharist nourishes life and Reconciliation restores life when it is broken, Confirmation strengthens that life by the gifts of the Holy Spirit.” – (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1285)

It was added during the homily by Archbishop William Goh that “the spirit of God represents the Love of God, that is planted in our hearts to change and transform us anew. And that, the Holy Spirit is given to us so that we can share in his different gifts to help us to live out the love, that is in our hearts”.
“Send forth your Spirit, O Lord, And renew the face of the earth.”
Psalm 104:30

To be confirmed is a witness of the Good News, a witness of new life. Hence, the Lord is inviting us with a mission, using these gifts, to serve people, transform lives and to be a light to the world. Serving others brings about the greatest joy of life.

Who administers Confirmation?

Archbishop William Goh anointing the chrism oil on the forehead of one of our confirmands.

“Bishops are the successors of the apostles. They have received the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders. The administration of this sacrament by them demonstrates clearly that its effect is to unite those who receive it more closely to the Church, her apostolic origins, and her mission of bearing witness to Christ.”

(Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1313)

Interviews with our Confirmands

We interviewed 3 of our confirmands on what Confirmation means to them, and their special experience.

What does Confirmation mean to you personally?

Ryan: “Confirmation means that I’m admitted and accepted as a full-pledged Catholic. As a confirmand, it means that I have to take ownership and responsibility of my learning and spiritual growth in the Catholic faith.”

How has the Catholic faith strengthened & nourished you?

Ryan: “Before I joined the altar servers ministry, I wasn’t excited about going to church. I didn’t know why I should go to church, except that it’s an obligation. When the altar servers ministry was forming a community of altar servers, I was approached to be a server. I was uncertain at first, but I still said yes, to join this ministry.”

“Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to Serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Matthew 20:28

“After that, I fell in love with the ministry. I felt happy to serve the Lord. I felt that a part of me is fulfilled; I’ve fulfilled my commitment when I serve the Lord and it gives me more life and makes me a more compassionate person as I serve Him.”

“From God’s calling to join the altar servers, the Catholic faith has strengthened me spiritually and mentally, whenever I’m lost. It has always pulled me back closer to God.”
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” “Here I am,” I said; “send me!”
Isaiah 6:8

Confirmand Ryan (centre) with proud parents

Confirmands Samantha (second from left) and Benjamin (third from left) with proud parents

What does Confirmation mean to you personally?

Samantha: “To me, confirmation means the strengthening and developing of my relationship with God, and also the confirmation of my faith to God.”

How has the Catholic faith strengthened & nourished you?

Samantha: “The Catholic faith has allowed me to have more confidence when I feel scared or vulnerable, as I know that I have God and Jesus with me in my life. This has also allowed me to make better decisions in life as I have picked up many valuable lessons and also possess better morals to enable me to become a better person.”

“By the Grace of God, I am what I am.”
1 Corinthians 15:10

What does Confirmation mean to you personally?

Benjamin: “It’s equally as important as baptism, however, I get to be the one who says yes to the Holy Spirit this time. It’s also a renewal of faith which marks the start of my Catholic journey.”

How has the Catholic faith strengthened & nourished you?

Benjamin: “I know that no matter where I am and what I am doing, Jesus is always with me and I am never alone. With that in mind, I will always have the strength to face any challenges and grow in faith as I overcome these challenges.”

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10

Many confirmands believe that with the zeal of the Holy Spirit, they will continue to grow in their faith and go out and live their lives by spreading the Word of God.

Ryan: “It would certainly take time to be ready to use my gifts of the Holy Spirit to fulfill my commitments, be it in evangelising, spreading the Word of God or doing whatever He has called me to do.”

Benjamin: “I will continue to stay hungry for God and spread His word. I will seek what I’m called to do in my life and use the gifts I have received to serve the church and its people.”

Samantha: “As I develop a stronger faith in God, I will use my knowledge and advice through my catechists and fellow classmates to continue to spread the Word of the Lord while also maintaining a strong bond with one another, so that we can all work together and help each other along this churchly expedition.”
Brothers and sisters: “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.”
1 Corinthians 12:4-5

Proud Moments for Parents & Godparents/Sponsors of Confirmands

Like confirmands, their parents and godparents/sponsors felt a great sense of joy to bear witness to confirmands, receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation, a milestone in their Catholic faith journey.

We also interviewed two parents.

Can you describe your thoughts or experiences to witness your child’s/children’s milestone today?

Endora (Ryan’s mother): “It’s been a journey of growth for the entire catechetical cohort of teenagers and mentors. And we gather today with grateful hearts, celebrating the Holy Mass giving thanks to God with all families and relatives present here today. We pray that the confirmands of COTT continue to practise their faith in their daily lives and grow spiritually. May they keep Jesus in the centre of their lives, seeing him in their actions, thoughts and deeds.”

Yeny (Benjamin’s & Samantha’s mother): “I feel proud of my children for their growth and development in their relationship with God, and I am glad that I can be a part of that. It was a special and wonderful evening, celebrating COTT’s first Confirmation occasion with our confirmands.”

Congratulatory Messages to Confirmands & Take-Away Message

  • “Congratulations, my dear confirmands, for your response to own your faith this evening. It is not the end of your journey; it is in fact the beginning to live out your lives in practicing the faith.” – Rev Fr Alphonsus, Parish Priest of COTT
  • “Congratulations on your Confirmation! It was a privilege and blessing to be your Catechists for the past years. “Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the LORD your God who goes with you; he will not fail your or forsake you – Deuteronomy 31:6. Always remember that YOU are and YOU can be the change. So, light up the world with Charity, Love and Hope together. Have fun on your amazing life journey and always stay connected – to one another and most importantly, to GOD.” – Benedict, Cherie, Darren & Junie, L10 Catechists, 2021
  • “Congratulations to all confirmands! This has been a beautiful evening of commitment, celebration and great joy. We’re so glad to be part of this event, as witnesses. Good luck to you all as we wish nothing but the best as you go out and continue your spiritual journey and grow in your faith!”. – Vyner Junior, Reporter
  • “Do not give up on God, as He will not give up on you. If you feel lost, call out to Him, your parents, godparents/sponsors, your classmates or your catechists and they will guide you.” – Yeny
“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6

Post Confirmation Programme

Last but least, the young adults are helping the confirmands to form the pioneer batch of our youth ministry. The objective of this mentorship is to allow them to continue growing in faith together with their community.

We hope that through these programs, which include formations, prayers and bible sharing, our youths will be able to discover their God-given gifts and in turn, serve Him through various ways in the parish. Youth Ministry sessions are conducted every Saturday 1-3pm. Drop an email to [email protected] to find out more!

Lastly, to all confirmands, go out there to glorify the Lord by your life!

Signing Off,

      Vyner Gerard Albuquerque Junior

Your reporter for this event

Reflection Questions

  • How will you live out your faith as a confirmed, fully-initiated member of the Catholic Church?
  • What talents or gifts has God given you? Have you utilised them to build God’s kingdom, here on Earth?
  • What are some things or deeds you can do to continue to grow in your spiritual values and faith?

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