Our Family Faith Formation Office wrapped up a busy Easter Season as they prepared many children, and a few adults, for the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation. If you have been a parishioner here at St. Mary’s through an Easter Season, you know this is another beautiful time of year to attend our Masses.
“Ninety students celebrated receiving their 1st Eucharist during our Masses”, commented Christina Egleston, Sacrament Coordinator. St. Mary’s integrates the Sacrament of 1st Eucharist into our Mass intentionally. As this Sacrament is another Initiation into the Church itself, St. Mary’s believes all should be present to welcome and congratulate our new Communicants as they celebrate their very special day.
Preparation for 1st Eucharist has had some wonderful changes in the last year. The new program offers a fresh, exciting, engaging and fun method to learning about our Catholic Faith and The Eucharist. Communicants can prepare with a parent in their own home, both home and Sacrament Preparation Session, or come to all the Sacrament Preparation Sessions offered here at St. Mary’s Parish Center. These sessions are hands-on lesson activities, supervised by Christina. With all of the options mentioned, there is great flexibility to schedule Sacramental Preparation for the busy family.
Our Confirmation Mass was celebrated on Sunday, May 19th, by the Reverend Peter J. Karalus, Vicar General, Rev. Robert W. Zilliox JCL, Rev. Andrew Kozminski, Parochial Vicar and Deacon Rick Stachura.
Over 120 Confirmation Candidates were Confirmed on this beautiful day. Michael Morrissey and his band, led the music ministry and one of our own Confirmation Candidates, Conner Stroth, was featured by playing the saxophone. Connor frequently plays in the band at our Sunday 6 p.m. Masses. Many other Confirmation candidates participated in different parts of the celebration as well; Gift Bearers, Ushers, and the Prayers of the Faithful.
Rev. Karalus spoke to the candidates on major milestones in our faith’s history by taking us back through a “Catholic time travel” in his homily. He highlighted the faith milestones on Jesus’s journey in life, pointing out that in each of these milestones; Jesus was living the life that God had asked of him even in His youth. Jesus did not wait to fulfill His discipleship until the end of His life. His choices along the way, from very early on, were to speak up, and get involved. Using this analogy, Rev. Karalus, commented; “that a disciple of Christ is not something that you will achieve in the end of your life or you should wait to become as you get older, you are a disciple of Christ now, and have been since your Baptism. Do not wait to get involved in doing good in the world around you and in your parish. Step up, make those choices and live the life of a disciple right now.”
After blessing each candidate and renewing their Baptismal promises, he offered many meaningful comments and reflections that made a wonderful difference in their holy celebration of Confirmation.
If you would like to learn more about our Sacramental Preparation Program, our Faith Formation program here at St. Mary’s, or how to form your faith at any age on your journey in life, contact, The Family Faith Formation Office @ 716- 688-0599.Registration is now open for faith formation 2019-2020!