Confirmation became for our St Mark’s Port Pirie community a wonderful moment of holiness. On Pentecost Sunday Bishop of Port Pirie welcomed the 37 Year 7 students into the Cathedral for the Sacrament of Confirmation. It was a packed Cathedral filled with expectation. The parents and grandparents, families and friends, squashed into the pews and embodied all that is important about family life and Church. They affirmed the choice and faith of their children.
The Year 7s had been under the guidance of their teachers for many weeks in lessons and reflections. These teachers shared an important story, communicated a theology and offered an understanding of God through Sacrament. Most importantly these teachers taught from their hearts full of care and wise guidance. Significantly there was a sponsor sitting next to 37 young people and that sponsor publically placed a hand on a shoulder.
There is something about the tenderness of that moment. There is such faith and such deep connection. The Cathedral Parish had worked very hard on behalf of the school and on behalf of the families for the organisation. St Mark’s was very grateful because it was a big occasion. And a wonderful element of this liturgy was the ability of the Bishop to make it so intimate when there were so many of us, squashed in, ‘for so long’.
His welcome of people to holiness had a warmth and sincerity. He made people laugh, offered them challenge and he recognised each child individually. The Bishop even popped over to St Mark’s a couple of days later just to check on the Year 7s and how they had processed the whole event.
It’s humbling to see the faith of a child expressed as they kneel with closed eyes and a gentle half embarrassed smile with our Bishop, said the principal of the college. “I congratulate the children. They have inspired us. They have our prayers and love. This was a wonderful occasion for Port Pirie.”
By Greg Hay, Principal St Mark’s Port Pirie