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The Confirmation at Arundel 2011

On Sunday 12th of June 17th Young people of the parish were confirmed at Arundel Cathedral by Bishop Kieran Conroy. For the Catechesis our official teaching journey ended with them there, but on that day their journey of faith just started.

The journey leading up to their Confirmation has been one of experiences, challenges, questions, adventure, joy and much more. This year the program changed from its original format, we gave them a time of faith exploration in which we held an away day, a Wednesday night session and weekend away. In these sessions we looked at what it means by having faith, the Creed, the Mass, belonging to a community, the Holy Spirit, Sin and Forgiveness and that having God in your life is a journey.

The Weekend away at St Dominic’s was an amazing weekend in which both Catechesis and Young people thoroughly enjoyed, this time away wasn’t just about having fun and being away from the parents!! But it gave the young people a chance to take a step back from life, away from all the stress, worries and allow them to focus on their faith journey and what it means to be part of a parish community. The weekend defiantly did have its joys: with the way of Karaoke singing on Saturday night!! A walk in the New Forest, Saturday morning exercise called ‘Wake up St Ric!’ and surprising Meghan (one of the young people) on her Birthday with her family and a birthday cake!! But ultimately this weekend had its biggest challenge of all, the choice to carry on towards being Confirmed in the Catholic Church. Over the away day, Wednesday night and weekend away we had lead them up to this point at the end of the weekend and give them time by themselves to ask themselves if they would like to continue.

The Response was that 17 decided to take on the challenge of receiving the sacrament. We then met over two nights and an away day to discover ways of prayer, moral issues, having a deeper faith, choosing a Confirmation name, the gifts of the Holy Spirit and much more!! We even had a visit from Bishop Kieran Conroy!!

The second Away day was our last day in which ended with a BBQ together along side their families in the Witterings.

So please join me in congratulating the following people:

Adam Russell
Alexandra Fryday
Amy Harding
Bethany Wade
Charlotte Dodd
Emma Slade
Jack Elliot
James Slade
James Turner
Kathlean Carville
Lydia Martin
Meghan Carter
Mica Gabriel
Renae Brown
Richene Brown
Ruby Kane
Thomas Taylor

Please as Catholic Community keep them in your prayers.  

Lastly I would like to thank these people this year in helping the students in their journey of faith:
- The Confirmation Mass and Visiting: Bishop Kieran Conroy
- Priests: Fr Kieron, Fr Tony Shelly and Fr Peter Newsam
- Catechists: Martin Downy, Helen Loftus and Michael Silver
- Helping out along the way: Marion Coombeshrubb, Emily Andrewartha, Chris and Veronica Bell and all the Parents of the students.
- Office Work: Lena Finn and Katie McGreal
- Hall and Church for Away Day’s: St Peters in the Witterings
- Weekend away venue: Dominican Sisters of St Joseph
- Mini Vans: St Peters and TS Sturdy (Chichester Nautical Training Corps)

If you would like to be informed about the next Faith Exploration/Confirmation for the 2011/2012 year please attend with your parents/guardians to an information evening on Monday 19th September, 7.30 – 9pm at the St Richard’s Parish Rooms.

God’s Blessings on you all.

Paul Andrewartha

Parish Youth Coordinator,
St Richard's, Chichester.