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A prayer for those receiving the sacrament of Confirmation

By Vinci Halbrook-Paterson
On April 12, 2012

"Come Holy Spirit, renew the heart of your faithful servant."

That is a phrase I have etched in my heart and is often on my lips in the midst of particular tiring or hectic days.

One day last week I spoke this little prayer out loud. My 10 year old was within earshot. "What was that? What did you say?" he asked.

I replied: "Oh, it is just part of a prayer to the Holy Spirit that I learned a long time ago. I try to pray it especially when I am tired, or things overwhelming or I am frustrated."

"Where is it from?" Dylan asked.

I wanted to answer, "from the recesses of my mind," but I knew that would not satisfy him. I told him I had learned it at school when I was about his age, and I did not remember the rest of the prayer.

As I dropped Dylan off at school on Easter Monday he reminded me, saying "Don't forget to look up that prayer."

Google to the rescue. I found it. It is not quite how my mind remembered it: "Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth."

We are now in the Season of Easter. This Sunday evening at the 9 p.m. Mass we welcome Archbishop John Vlazny to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation for 14 of our students.

By their actions this year of study, prayer, discussion and retreat, these students have been praying this prayer in their hearts. Little did they know that they are part of God's answer to all of us who have prayed that prayer.

The celebration of their Confirmation presents to this community and the world the dedicated, enthusiastic and fully- initiated members ready to open their hearts to the power of God's love, mercy, hope and healing. Once their hearts are opened they will be filled to overflowing.

And by their words, actions, priorities and values they will renew the face of the earth, starting with the corner in which they live and work.

I had the privilege of spending a retreat weekend with these folks in early March. I can tell you, they did renew my spirit! I am looking forward to this Sunday night and every opportunity after that to join in giving thanks for these "confirmande," their sponsors and the many ways we can cross paths to support and renew each other's hearts and journeys.

Vinci Halbrook-Paterson is the Assistant Director for Faith Formation. She can be reached at paterson@up.edu.


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