On the Saturday of May 23, 2015, from 8-10 am, the level 7 CCD (Continuing Catholic Development) students (aged 12 – 14) were blessed to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, for the school year 2014-2015. The confirmandi were fifty-eight (58) in all, the largest number of recipients in CCD history. The presiding Bishop was His Excellency, the Most Reverend Francisco Mendoza de Leon D. D., Auxiliary Bishop of Antipolo, and the Concelebrant, our very own Parish priest – Fr. Reu Jose C. Galoy, OFM.
Beginning the school year last August 2014, the students were prepared for the reception of the Sacrament by basic catechetical instruction, immersing themselves more about Jesus’ life through Bible reading and film showing, learning prayers and doctrine through the aid of their textbook, “The Story of Jesus” in the Blessed Are We series, plus lessons on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. To assist and enhance the students along this path of their religious learning, CCD also provided a supplementary program consisting of a one-day Recollection, attendance to which was mandatory; and an afternoon set aside specifically for talks and discussions on the Holy Spirit. A program of prayer and praying was also an integral part of the Confirmation syllabus; and with the encouragement of their teachers and the support of the CCD committee, the confirmandi translated into action their acquired knowledge and faith through their outreach activity in ”TOPS”(a facility dedicated to the prevention of juvenile delinquency).
The elegant and regal apparel of the students (with the girls clad in a uniform “off-white” beaded dresses, and the boys in their jusi barongs and black trousers) on the rite itself, made them both interiorly and physically prepared to receive the Holy Spirit in this Sacrament. The confirmandi renewed their Baptismal promises with the pledge of support by parents and godparents. The “Laying of the Hands” and the “Anointing with Chrism” by the presiding bishop, and his invocation of “Gifts of the Holy Spirit,” implored our Lord God to fill them with his Spirit and seal them with the sign of the cross of Christ so that they may obtain everlasting life.
The CCD ministry, through guidance of the Holy Spirit, the benign pastorship of our parish priest Fr. Reu and all the SSAP priests, the dutiful compliance of the students, parents and godparents, the unwavering, generous leadership of the CCD committee (Lia Te- CCD chairperson, Katty Qua and Marivic Ortigas-Borromeo), the cheerful support of Leah Azarcon- office assistant, the guidance of CCD teachers Nancy Gonewai, Rachelle Wenger, Mimi David, Yolanda Lomotan and Marga Gregorio, the staff of SSAP, worked together as a team to realize yet another milestone in this Confirmation rite.
The beautifully captured photography of Lino Tey, the angelic voices of the Lester Delgado choir, the fresh and dramatic floral arrangements by Tony Padilla in the venue of our very own Santuario de San Antonio parish Church, contributed to this most memorable occasion.
“By the Sacrament of Confirmation the faithful are more perfectly bound to the Church and are endowed with the special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread the Faith by word and deed “(VATICAN II, Lumen Gentium, no. 11).