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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Questions & Answers About Confirmation

How is confirmation administered?

While a priest usually has faculties to confirm converts, along with baptizing them and giving them first Holy Communion; usually the bishop is the minister of the sacrament. The bishop imposes his hands upon them and beseeches the Holy Spirit to descend with his sevenfold gifts. He anoints them with sacred chrism in the sign of the cross upon the forehead. This anointing points toward a spiritual character that is offered by the Spirit of God. The cross stands for our redemption and our willingness to enter into the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. Accompanying the anointing are these words: “N., be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.” The candidate may choose to use his baptismal name or that of another patron saint.

What is the oil used?

It is a sacred chrism (possessing balm or a scent) blessed by the bishop during Holy Week, traditionally on Holy Thursday but nowadays often done earlier to ease schedules so that more priests can concelebrate the Mass and renew their priestly promises.

What does it signify?

The sweet fragrance signifies the sweetness of virtue, displacing the corruption of sin with the healing presence of Christ. It will strengthen the candidate for the struggle against the enemies of Christ and of the Church. As the older language would infer, we become an adult in the Church and a soldier for Christ.

Why is the sign of the cross made upon the head?

It is to emphasize that the Christian should never be ashamed of the cross, but to confess his faith in Christ crucified without regard to human opinion or persecution.

For more such material, contact me about getting my book, CATHOLIC QUESTIONS & ANSWERS.