Newly confirmed candidates and Catholics in general have been urged to use the gifts that they received during the sacrament of Confirmation to bear witness and proclamation of the Word for the salvation of God’s people and the salvation of their own souls. The charge was given by Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins, Catholic Archbishop of Lagos last Sunday, August 14, 2022 during the administering of sacrament of confirmation on confirmandi at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Okokomaiko, Lagos. Archbishop Martins informed the confirmandi that the day of their baptism can be said to be the only other day that is more important than the day they receive confirmation. According to him, “On the day of your baptism you were born again. On the day of your baptism you were born into the Church. On that day you become a child of God in a special way.
On the day of baptism you become a member of the Church. On that day you were washed clean of original sin and you are washed away of other sins you have committed if you were not baptized as an infant. That day you receive the Holy Spirit. The Archbishop explained that on the day of confirmation the Holy Spirit comes down afresh on the recipients in order to renew them, as he added that they are renewed in order that they receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be able to function as soldiers of Christ. “The gifts of the Holy Spirit will help you bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit”, he said. He noted that to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit and to bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit is a function of grace, adding that it is grace that has brought them thus far, as he said that it is only grace that leads them on to become adults in the faith and become a soldier of Christ. He commended the catechists for preparing the candidates and being teachers of the faith and passing it on to the younger ones, as he prayed that God will reward them with great joy. He informed the candidates that the work that the catechist have done in bringing them to this level is an example of what adults in the faith are called to do.
He said: “Those who are adults in the faith whether they are 15years old or 50 years old, whether they are 16 or they are 60 years old, those who are adults; whether they are 17 or 70 years old, all of them are called to bear witness and proclaim their faith; their faith in God and in the Church to which you belong by preaching, by teaching and living the faith. For his part, Fr. Denis Emeana, Parish Priest, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Okokomaiko thanked God for making the day a reality and the Archbishop for his visit to the parish to confer the sacrament of confirmation on the confirmandi. He commended all who made the occasion successful, including the teachers and parents, as he congratulated the confirmandi and prayed for a deepening and strengthening of the grace they received at confirmation. For Dr. (Mrs.) Susan Agu, Chairperson Planning Committee, she congratulated the confirmandi as they willingly devote their lives to Jesus and fully embrace the faith. She prayed that the Holy Spirit gives them increased ability to practice their Catholic faith and to witness Christ in every situation and aspects of their lives. The confirmandi numbering over 1,000 were drawn from St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, College. St. Patrick Catholic Church, Alaba, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Ishashi, St. Cecilia Catholic Church, Ijanikin and St. Joseph Catholic Church, Aradagun.