This week marked the confirmation of the 6th classes of Scoil Mhuire and Kennedy Park, fulfilling months of preparation in the schools, the families, and the parish. It feels like we’ve been preparing for this since we started our time here, and with good reason. We started with the parent’s information night, where we first got our parent volunteers. Then in November we met with the members of the coordination team to plan out the parent training nights, which would happen in the month of January. Then for the months of February and March we had our programme You Shall Be My Witnesses each Monday night, administered by Emily and myself. Then for the past couple of weeks after Easter the schools have led the 6th class students through rehearsals in the church during the day. After nearly a year of work, preparation, and sometimes frantic prayer to find things that were lost, the children were finally able to receive their full initiation into the Church and be strengthened in the grace of the Holy Spirit.
At each Mass, the school provided a choir of schoolchildren who sang the hymns, the psalm and all the Mass responses with full heart and with full voice. Whether it was Eanna on the organ or Nicole on the piano, the instrumental music was lovely, as was a particularly rousing edition of Planxty Irwin, an O’Carolan tune, as played by some of the teachers at the Scoil Mhuire Confirmation.
One thing that has stuck with me from those Masses was the homily that Bishop Brennan gave. He repeated a line that John Paul II spoke to the polish people on his return to his country when he asked, “What have you done with your confirmation?” He was asking this not only to the parents, and those family members who came to attend their child’s confirmation, but to the children themselves in asking them what they were going to do with it. It made me reflect back upon my own confirmation, which I received at the unusual age of 8 before my First Holy Communion, and all the ways that the Holy Spirit has worked, is working, and will – please God – continue to work in my life.
Finally after, each of these confirmations came dinner (lunch) with the school teachers. On Thursday Molly and I headed off with the staff of Scoil Mhuire to a local restaurant, “The Yard,” and then on Friday the Bishop and the parish team took the confirmation teachers and us out to dinner (lunch) at the Ferriecarrig hotel. By the end of Friday’s workday, the children of the 6th class were filled with the Holy Spirit, and we were filled with too much food.