My silence over the last fews days has been due to preparations for Confirmation in the parish, which took place yesterday and went well, thank God. My first year as a pastor has presented all sorts and I am learning. While I assisted at Confirmation in my last parish, this year the buck stopped at my desk, so I had to make sure everything went smoothly, and it did. We had sixty-eight children for the sacrament and all of them took a saint's name rather than conform to the new trend of picking the name of a pop stars or actor: there wasn't a Britney or Beyonce in sight!
I would encourage priests when preparing the children to introduce them to the saints and tell them the stories of their lives - the children love them. Every one of the children yesterday knew who their saint was and chose the saint rather than just the name, and they seem happy to start a relationship with their new patron. Some chose names of parents, uncles or aunts, or other relations, but they also knew and chose the saint, and found something in common with them. This provides a perfect opportunity to help the children move towards the practice of virtue by admiring the saint heroes and heroines and then, hopefully, imitating them. I hope this good work that has been started will continue.