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Bishop Burbidge welcomes 54 adults into the church

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A new wave of adult parishioners completed their initiation into the Catholic Church May 23 as Bishop Michael F. Burbidge administered the rite of confirmation to 54 men and women from across the diocese during a Pentecost Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington.

The church teaches the sacrament was instituted by Christ when he appeared to the disciples, breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” During the Mass, the candidates for confirmation stood and renewed their baptismal promises before Bishop Burbidge, who then anointed each of their foreheads with sacred chrism, saying, “be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.

“Dearly beloved, let us pray to God the almighty Father, for these, his adopted sons and daughters, already born again to eternal life in baptism, that he will graciously pour out the Holy Spirit upon them to confirm them with his abundant gifts, and through his anointing conform them more fully to Christ, the Son of God,” Bishop Burbidge said.

Most Catholics in the diocese are confirmed before they complete eighth grade. These confirmandi, however, were all baptized Catholic yet had not received their confirmation, according to James M. Starke, director of the diocesan Office of Divine Worship. Typically, such candidates must be confirmed by the bishop at an annual celebration on Pentecost Sunday, but Starke noted that earlier this year Bishop Burbidge granted special faculties for priests to administer confirmation to such candidates because of the pandemic and social distancing requirements.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021