Confirmation Mass 24th July 2022

The Confirmation Mass at the Church of The Visitation was celebrated on Sunday 24 July 2022 at 3 p.m.  The Mass was Presided by His Grace the Archbishop Julian Leow and con-celebrated by Rev. Fr. Xavier Andrew, Parish Priest, Rev Fr. Philip Tay, Assistant Parish Priest and Rev. Deacon George Ho.

Rev Fr Xavier Andrew presented the 97 confirmands of the Church of The Visitation to His Grace the Archbishop Julian Leow in the presence of their sponsors, parents, family and friends gathered in the Church. The confirmands were from the various language groups, namely, English, Mandarin and Tamil of the Catechetical Ministry of The Church of the Visitation. 

The days readings and Gospel for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C were read (1st Reading: Genesis 18:20-32; 2nd Reading: Colossians 2: 12-14; Gospel: Luke11:1-13). 

The Homily by His Grace the Archbishop Julian was on Prayer and Living Our Lives According to God’s Will. His Grace the Archbishop Julian’s  question to all present was, Does God hear our prayers and answer them as how we want?  Yes, He does listen to our prayers, but, He does not answer it to our will, but, to His will.  Another important question to ask is … is it my will that I am doing or is it God’s will?  Am I doing God’s will? If it is God’s will that I am doing, then all our prayers will be answered according to God’s will and what He has planned for us.  Have we discovered God’s will?  Not once in our lifetime, not once, whether, I want to get married or remain single, not once, but every day, and that is important for our own happiness.  If I know what God is asking of me of every decision I make and of every challenge that I face, then our prayers will be answered according to His will. The challenge for us is to discover God’s will for us.  Therefore, we need to knock, we need to ask, we need to search, we need to pray, we need to do all those things to discover and to trust in this God of ours. You notice the persistence of Abraham, trying to justify whether God will destroy Sodom and Gomorrah with 50 righteous people in that town.  Then, the bargaining continues.  Will God destroy that city, if there were only 10 righteous men?  And the Lord replies no, I will not destroy if I can find just 10 righteous men. We know what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah, therefore, they couldn’t even find perhaps even one righteous man.

 Are we righteous?  Are we good people?  Are we able to pray that calamities and disasters will not befall before us?  Do we have a God who just wants to destroy us?  Surely not!  We have a God who loves us, who wants to forgive us, who wants to be merciful, who wants to be loving, yet, we reject Him every so often!  We choose not to listen to our God. We choose to listen to our own will, to our own selfish needs, our own desires. That is what happened in Sodom and Gomorrah and it may  happen to us also if we do not pray, if we do not remain  faithful to Him  We have a God who is loving, who is forgiving, full of mercy and tenderness.  Yes, and as long as we are alive, we have a chance to repent and turn away from sin.  So, my dear candidates of confirmation, let us discover Gods will for us to make a decision. Let us pray that we will trust and surrender our lives to God.  Let us pray that we will be just, fair and righteous human beings, interceding for one another.  Praying for one another.  Most importantly, discovering God’s will for us every day of our life and to pray. In the Gospel today, the last line says, “if you then who are evil, know how to give to your children what is good …. how much more will our Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him”. I pray, dear candidates you are asking the Holy Spirit to take control of your lives that all of us will also pray that we will receive the holy spirit to strengthen us and to reveal all that Jesus has taught us while on earth.  May the Holy Spirit be our abiding presence every moment of our life.

Confirmands then stood and answered the questions asked by His Grace the Archbishop and professed their faith. Candidates were prayed over by the His Grace the Archbishop Julian, the priests and deacon and the whole congregation, with raised hands.   The confirmands came forward with their respective sponsors, and were anointed with chrism oil and confirmed in their faith by His Grace the Archbishop Julian Leow.

It was indeed a joyful celebration. Rev Fr. Xavier, on behalf of Rev Fr. Kenneth, Rev Fr Philip and Deacon George, thanked everyone involved in the preparation for the Celebration of The Sacrament of Confirmation and the various teams under the Liturgical Ministry and others, who were called to assist. He especially thanked the Religious Education class teachers, from the various language groups, for their untiring and faithful journey in preparing the 97 confirmands for this beautiful day of their Sacrament of Confirmation.   He congratulated and thanked the parents, godparents and sponsors for their part in the successful journey and support given to the confirmands, that they would continue to pray for them and support them.   Most of all, Rev Fr Xavier thanked His Grace the Archbishop Julian Leow for gracing the occasion. He urged everyone present to keep His Grace the Archbishop Julian Leow in prayer and gave thanks and glory to God.

In his final words for the day, His Grace the Archbishop Julian Leow, gave thanks to God and thanked the Priests Fr. Xavier Andrew, Fr. Philip Tay and Deacon George Ho. His Grace asked that we pray for the 97 confirmands and congratulated them on this first step they have taken in their lives to follow Jesus as adults in their faith journey.   His Grace the Archbishop Julian Leow, then gave the Final Blessing.

The confirmands had a group photo taken with His Grace the Archbishop Julian Leow, Rev Fr. Xavier Andrew, Rev Fr. Philip Tay and Deacon George Ho. Confirmands were presented their Confirmation Certificates.  It was a wonderful experience for everyone present.

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