2018 Confirmation Mass - 21st July, 2018

The Sacrament of Confirmation mass celebrated on 21st July 2018 in the Church of The Visitation, Seremban witnessed a total of 88 confirmands compared to 106 last year being confirmed. The Form 5 students from the 4-language group made up the largest number of 72 candidates and the rest were 16 adults from special classes held and RCIA. The 6.00 pm mass was celebrated by His Grace Archbishop Julian Leow and concelebrated by Parish Priest Rev Fr George Harrison and newly appointed Assistant Parish Priest Rev Fr Xavier Andrew (ordained on 1st May 2018). The multi-lingual mass was animated by Form 3 RE students and the Liturgy team. Also in the mass were some 21 altar servers’ boys. Family members, relatives, godparents and sponsors of the confirmands began to arrive as early as 4.30 pm onwards. Names of confirmands and their confirmation names were displayed on the overhead projector screens. As in the past, a group photo with Archbishop Julian and the Priests were taken outside the Church before mass began. 

Slide9Group photo with His Grace, Fr George (left) and Fr Xavier (right) before the 6.00 pm mass

Slide1Getting ready for the group photo with the help from RE teachers

The first and second readings were read in Tamil and Mandarin respectively, while the gospel text from St. Mark was read in English by Fr. Xavier. In his short homily spoken in English and BM, Archbishop Julian begin by saying, “the shepherds went off to a lonely place last week so that we could pray together and renewed friendships” referring to the concluded gathering of some 300 priests from Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular at the 1st Malaysian Catholic Clergy Assembly (MCCA) held in Majodi, Johor. At the assembly he said, they looked at the history of how the faith came to different parts of Malaysia and the challenges that the church is facing today. Touching on the second reading where Jesus in His person brought together the Jews and Gentiles, His Grace said the church too has a role to play to be the uniting force among Catholics, Christians and people of other faiths. He said the church is in a good position to be a peace maker as the she can dialogue with almost anyone under the sky. He commended the Church of The Visitation for having taken such initiatives to approach and dialogue with people of other faiths. On the gospel reading he said, Jesus as the Shepherd has the answers to the needs of the lost sheep who are seeking for peace, consolation and someone who understands their concerns and pains. He asked the congregation to pray that the Holy Spirit will strengthen the confirmands that they will take their rightful place among the community as adult Catholics. He concluded by saying that the confirmands are no longer children but friends and disciples of Jesus. That they be strengthened through the Eucharist and their faith will not fail but instead will grow and deepened to withstand any storms and winds that may come their way. His Grace then invited both Priests to say a few words in Tamil and Mandarin respectively.

Slide3Gospel reading by newly appointed Assistant Parish Priest to Church of The Visitation,  Fr Xavier Andrew

Slide7Praying over the confirmands

After the homily, the renewal of the faith followed to which the confirmands answered, “I do”. Assisted by Fr George, His Grace then anointing the chrism oil on the forehead of each of the confirmands by making the sign of the cross. Standing behind were their sponsors who laid their right hand on their shoulders. The RE teachers were also there to ensure a smooth flow of the process. Soft music were played by the church organist during the anointing.

Slide4His Grace assisted by Fr George during the anointing with Chrism oil

Offertory by the Form 3 RE students

Gifts being brought forward

After the concluding rites, Fr. George Harrison thanked His Grace for presiding over the mass. He also made mentioned of the outreach activities that the Form 5 confirmands had undertaken, among them a visit to the hospital, helping the SSVP, visit to the IJ Learning centre in Kampung Pasir and their recent Confirmation camp held.

Slide6 Fr George thanking His Grace and congratulating the Confirmands

The Confirmation mass marked the end for the Form 5 students’ journey in the Religious Education (Sunday school or Catechism classes as it was known before) since they first enrolled 11 years ago in 2008. There are many people that they want to thank, who have journeyed with them in their faith building, notably their parent/s who remains their first catechists, their godparent/s, the many catechists who have volunteered their time and services to teach and share, the experiences gained during the various RE camps they have attended, the out-reach activities or perhaps an encounter with a Priest or a Religious Brother or Sister. One of the principal duty of a Christian will always remain the same for these 88 confirmands - Prayer. Prayer to know, to love and to serve God even more earnestly than before. May the sacramental grace of Confirmation that they have received help them to live out their faith loyally and profess it courageously.

Group photo courtesy of parishioner Mr. Desmond and other photos by Visitation Social Communication team.