Do you remember your Confirmation name? Mine is John, which I took because he was known traditionally as “Jesus’ favorite.” I like that; what more could I ask for?
This week I was reading the school Confirmation projects written by our 8th graders. The papers are sitting before me now on my desk for the purpose of review and sharing with you some of the reasons these fine young Catholics selected their Confirmation names.
Joe Pettit wrote “I have chosen John Paul as my Confirmation name because since I was a little kid I have liked St. John Paul II. My grandma loved him and she named my uncle John Paul. Pope John Paul fascinates me.” Lauren DeSantis wrote “I chose St. Gianna because she is the patron saint of mothers, physicians and the unborn. I want to follow in her footsteps. She inspires me so much, that if I have a daughter one day, I will name her Gianna and teach her to value life.” Riley Byrnes wrote “Saint Alice represents the blind, the paralyzed and those who suffer greatly. I can use her life as a role model by spreading kindness and love to those who are in pain and suffering. Alice is the closest name to my aunt Ali whom I love dearly. St. Alice was devoted to Jesus and loved him with all her heart as I do my aunt Ali. When my aunt passes away I wanted her to still be with me.” John Anglum wrote of St. Francis “he showed how happy everyone could be if they owned nothing. St. Francis argued that you can’t rob a man with no money, you can’t starve a fasting man, and you can’t ruin a man with no prestige. St. Francis was as free as a bird.” Evan Barsic wrote “One reason I chose the name David is because of my favorite Bible story. I always like the underdog and David was the first major underdog. But the main reason I chose the name David is because it is my father’s first name. My dad taught me everything on how to be a man in the Catholic Church. He is currently a Knight of Columbus and a church attender. I want to be like my dad.” Abigail Gallagher wrote “When I found the name St. Catherine I knew she was the one. I chose her because of how much she devoted her life to God and the needy because she saw the poor and sick as normal people.” Emma Harms chose St. Marie because “she did not enter the convent until she was done taking care of her family. I also chose St. Marie because she reminds me to put my family first.” Samantha Barrett wrote she chose St. Francis because “he possessed the ability to change. In his early life he was reckless and a partier, but he changed his ways. He became devoted to Christ. People made fun of him and called him crazy but he continued on without any doubts.” Ryan Byrne chose St. Edward “because it was my great grandfather’s name and because it has a nice ring to it.” Michael Cino wrote that he selected St. Sebastian “because my saint protects soldiers that protect our country. I picked my saint to protect all the soldiers in the world and to give strength to all athletes.” Charles Lorenz writes that St. Sebastian “is an inspiration to me because he showed me that there is no reason to be ashamed of my faith. St. Sebastian taught me the true meaning of loyalty, an attribute that I will try to set for myself for the rest of my life.” Lauren Parker wrote “St. Cecelia thought of others before herself always, unlike many people who only think of themselves.” Chloe Henriquez was inspired by Saint Faith “because she was a young woman who was willing to die for her love and faith for God.” Paul Fragkoulis was inspired by St. Anthony because he “prayed to St. Anthony quite a lot when something has been lost and all of a sudden it either shows up or I remember where it is. I’ve even prayed to him when my grandma was in the hospital and 3 days later after her surgery she got much better and I thanked St. Anthony.”
Thank you to Mrs. McGuire for assigning this inspiring project. Thank you also to the parents who have fulfilled their promise made many years ago at your child’s Baptism. You have instilled and nurtured the seeds of faith in these young students. Mission Accomplished! Confirmation will further give them the tools and gifts to live our faith in a difficult world.
The church asks every Catholic at Confirmation to prayerfully select a name of your own choosing who is a role model and intercessor—a friend to us. Do you remember the name you took? If not—rediscover the person you chose so many years ago as one who inspires you to live your faith.
– Fr. Gerard Gordon