One of my favorite ministries of being an archbishop in the Catholic Church is celebrating the sacrament of confirmation, and each spring I am privileged to celebrate this sacrament for thousands of the faithful at dozens of liturgies.

Pictured: Castroville Branch Officer Francis Lutz presents a new Bible to the Confirmation students of St. Louis Catholic Church.

I tell those being confirmed that there are times in our lives when we experience a tension, an alienation, not being at home with ourselves. 

Often these are times of transition — from being childhood to teens, or teens becoming adults, or adults entering a new spiritual experience. But the Holy Spirit is always with us, within us — guiding us, leading us, accompanying us on our pilgrim way. God calls everyone to their true selves and will give them whatever they need to carry out their responsibilities as disciples of the risen Lord Jesus. The Holy Spirit gives us special gifts that are to be shared with others.

The Holy Spirit is truly transforming us, and through us he also wants to transform the world in which we live. Let us open the doors to the Spirit, let ourselves be guided by him, and allow God’s constant help to make us new men and women, inspired by the love of God which the Holy Spirit bestows on us!

We live in difficult, challenging times. You may have many fears and anxieties about your lives and the future. The Holy Spirit will empower you to proclaim the Lord Jesus and his gospel to others in every situation. We are called to trust God and accept the gift of hope that God gives us.  With God’s mercy and compassion, Jesus’ walking at our side, and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we can face anything with courage, God-given strength, and unfailing hope.