QUEZON City, Feb. 20, 2014—About 120 pupils from a public elementary school here received the spiritual seal and opened themselves to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit through the sacrament of Confirmation solemnized by Novaliches Bishop Antonio R. Tobias, DD, at the Our Lady of Annunciation Parish (OLAP) last week, OLAP catechist Razil S. Galletis said.
The children, who attend Tandang Sora Elementary School, were not simply invited and enlisted to receive the sacrament, she said. They are elementary pupils who undergo regular catechism at school, and were primed for confirmation in a series of religious instructions before receiving the sacrament.
They were taught to accept the spiritual seal not as told by their parents, but because they are at the right age, fully understanding the necessity of a Roman Catholic for the sacrament, and completely inclined to receive it at their own will, Galletis said.
“Huwag kayo pupunta rito (confirmation) kung pinilit kayo ng inyong magulang,” she told the children. “Dapat desisyon ninyo ‘yan.” [Do not receive the sacrament of Confirmation if you were just told by your parents. It should be your own decision.]
As the children’s catechist, Galletis taught them that, while the ceremony requires proper attire, it should not be an occasion for parading the latest in the kiddie fashion. It should not also be an occasion for sponsors to socialize with a show off of the latest and expensive trappings. Conversely, the sponsors shall lead the children to grow in the teachings of the church.
“Binigyan ko rin ng orientation ang mga magulang,” Galletis said. “Dapat ang mga ninong at ninang ay nakumpilan din. Hindi pwedeng kukumpilan ang inaanak pero ang mga ninong at ninang ay hindi kumpil.” [I also gave an orientation to parents. The persons who will stand as sponsors to the children should also have been confirmed themselves. It’s not proper that the children will receive the sacrament sponsored by persons who have not received it.]
Any Roman Catholic, regardless of age, can receive the sacrament, she said. The sacrament of Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of the grace received at baptism.
The sacrament strengthens one’s relationship with Christ, and also asks for discernment of the responsibilities of a member of the Roman Catholic Church, she said. As a maturing faithful, one should live by the teachings of the church.
Through the sacrament, one becomes aware of and receives the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, the catechist said.
“Sana pagkatapos nilang makumpilan, tuloy-tuloy nilang sundin ang utos ng simbahan,” Galletis said. [I hope after the confirmation they will continue keeping to the teachings of the church.]
The catechist also expects that the children who received the spiritual seal will not allow any mark, like tattoo and other smudges of vanity, stain their body. The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
“Kung sinasaktan mo ang katawan mo, sinasaktan mo rin ang gumawa sayo,” she said. [Doing harm to your body, you also harm your Creator.]
Merely dissuading children from doing bad things is not enough, Galletis said. One should explain to them well why the things are bad.
About 70 elementary pupils, children under the tutelage of a religious community (five of whom are handicapped), and walk-in candidates, that include high school and college students, and working professionals, will also receive the sacrament of Confirmation at OLAP this Saturday. (Oliver Samson)