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Please click on the link for the full newsletter:  27th Sunday Ordinary Time 021016

At the Cathedral of St Stephen, and in many parishes, baptisms generally take place outside the Mass. This means that other than at the Easter Vigil, many of us do not have an opportunity to engage regularly with the Rite of Baptism.

Last weekend a small group of children began their preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation. We spent time with their parents exploring the symbols and rituals that were a part of their baptism

  •  being named before God and marked with the sign of the cross gives each of us an identity as a child of God
  • journeying through the doorway into the church to which we will belong
  • hearing scriptures read and explored
  • making promises about our faith and the faith of the church
  • anointing – which strengthens us and set us aside for a very important role
  • laying on of hands – a prayer of blessing for openness to hear the gospel and willingness to proclaim God’s praise
  • baptism with water in the name of the triune God
  • a white garment – a sign that we have been made a new creation through baptism
  • a candle – we are entrusted with the light of Christ.

Many of these same symbols and rituals are a part of the Rite of Confirmation. In preparing for Confirmation, we encourage children to see the links to their baptism, and we then explore the Gifts of the Holy Spirit received in the laying on of hands.

This time of preparation, is also a wonderful opportunity for each of us to reflect upon our own faith journey. The second reading this week reminds us to continue to allow the Gifts of the Spirit to be nurtured and to flourish within us. “Fan into a flame the gift that God gave you when I laid my hands on you.”

Over the coming weeks, please pray for Sebastian, Angeline, Micheal, Jethro, Tianna, Peter and Raglan as they continue this time of preparation. Let us also pray to be mindful of continuing our baptismal journey by being open to God’s Spirit growing within us on a daily basis.

Grace Harwood


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