Over the course of the 9 years I have been blessed to be a bishop, one of my most enjoyable privileges has been to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation during the Easter season. As I pray over the young people and adults and administer the Oil of Chrism in the sign of the Cross, I am so grateful and humbled to be the instrument of bringing the power of the Holy Spirit into these peoples’ lives. My gratitude has since been multiplied a hundredfold through the graces received in the powerful diocesan Eucharistic Congress held May 1-3. The Holy Spirit was present and manifest to 260 representatives from the parishes, missions and apostolates throughout the diocese. Sacred spaces were opened for worship, adoration, praise, sharing and planning for the next year. This was a momentous occasion. A true Eucharistic Revival is underway.
As the fruits of the Eucharistic Congress are being discerned and parish revival plans developed, I have returned to the Confirmation trail. I am inspired that we all be re-inspired to learn more about our Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, and how the Holy Spirit dwells within all of us. As individuals, and as Church, we are called to recognize His presence and to ask ourselves: to what degree are we opening ourselves to the work of the Spirit within us? To what degree are our lives bearing the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, in allowing Him to inspire us to share in Jesus’ mission?
"As individuals, and as Church, we are called to recognize His presence and to ask ourselves: to what degree are we opening ourselves to the work of the Spirit within us?"
Our gratitude goes to all who share in the sacramental preparation for those coming forward for the sacraments of Confirmation and First Holy Communion. Experiencing the fruits of the new diocesan sacramental guidelines, I sense a coming together in the parishes around the nurturing of faith for a wider range of ages. The inclusion of the younger boys and girls into the Confirmation setting has created a family dynamic of communion in the catechetical process. The number of candidates for the sacraments has increased. And, they have all been ready to receive! We are being blessed in the Holy Spirit.
As we journey towards Pentecost, let us be assured and renewed. The Holy Spirit is present and active everywhere in the Church. The Holy Spirit is with us working to revive and build us anew in ways beyond understanding. There is much work to be done in the year ahead. May Mary, our Blessed Mother, guide us into intimate relationship with the Spirit as we now prepare for the upcoming Eucharistic Revival. May we grow in understanding, appreciation, and love for the Eucharist. And may we be re-inspired to answer the call to go forth in the mission of Jesus, confident in the gift of His Real Presence, to bring forward the Good News to the world!
+Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg
Bishop of Pueblo
Image by rawpixel.com on Freepik
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