It is the same because I finish Confirmation inspired and so filled with hope for our future. Inspired by just getting to know these youth and their God given gifts. Inspired to see their potential to be great nurses, doctors, engineers, teachers, great husbands, wives and religious, great moms and dads. Inspired to know that they have the smarts, the work ethic and the support of family to make their dreams come true. Inspired by the families to make Confirmation a priority. It is the same because I hate to see our classes end, I will miss getting a chance to see them almost weekly and look forward to seeing them at other events to exchange a hug.
It was different because there were more youth that I had never had a chance to aggravate before as I have become less involved with youth sports at Holy Family and as my own kids graduation date becomes longer and longer ago every year. It was different to see so many previous Holy Family Confirmation students come back as sponsors and guests, some that are now married and have kids!!!!! It was different and especially inspiring for me to know several adults that had missed their Confirmation date a generation ago, say it is time now, that this is important to them. I was impressed by them even before this more recent decision. It was different as the class helped me through the loss of a brother and another dear friend.
It is the same because we gathered together and asked for Grace, a blessing, help on our journeys. Whether we were Confirmed yesterday, 20, 40, or 60 years ago, as the Archbishop shared in his closing prayer “Confirmation is the gift that we keep unwrapping for the rest of our lives”.
While my head tells me that Jesus looks into our hearts and understands how prepared we are for Mass/Sacrament, my old fashioned/old school heart loves it when we dress up to show our respect for ourselves and others at important events. Yesterday the ladies looked beautiful, the men were handsome. Thanks for exceeding the direction provided! Olivia brought honor to Holy Family, her own family, herself, and her Lord by beautifully proclaiming the Responsorial Psalm. I was on the edge of being emotional with pride while she sang, until Olivia’s sponsor dragged me over the edge with how appropriate this song was for this moment. I selfishly love being able to be the usher for the Confirmation candidates right before they are anointed and let them know what an honor it has been for me to be with them during our preparation. The Saint Christopher car visor medal the youth received after the ceremony was blessed by Father Dan. He said a beautiful prayer asking the Holy Spirit to come down upon the medals to protect the driver and all passengers from harm during their travels. Please place this in the vehicle the youth are most likely to drive. Max had a conflict for the 2 PM service but was Confirmed at the 5 PM service. Grant will be confirmed at Our Lady in May, I will share the date with hopes that some of you might be able to attend and support him and his family. Please say a few prayers for his continued recovery.
Since my family was still in town, I didn’t get through all of the feedback forms but did appreciate receiving some very good comments (having several catechists so if the one has a conflict class still goes on and more guest speakers) on the ones I’ve read so far.
I have a ton of paper work to go through yet so some of you will receive follow-up emails as I put a close on this year’s session.
I do want to thank you for the over the top gracious gift that you gave me as we already had dinner reservations there for this weekend to celebrate both of my kids birthdays. Been to Brooklyn and the Butcher once before and it was great! While I do appreciate the gift, I do feel guilty that I even brought it up. But over the years, I have received many thoughtful individual gifts that have ended up packed away because of the large number and because Karen is in charge of the décor. Over the years as an example, my Dallas Cowboys basement mancave became a Dallas Cowboys wall and is now a Dallas Cowboys box as my stuff clashed with Karen’s more tasteful choices. (Has nothing to do with the Cowboys lack of success!). Only a few of “Dan’s things” have survived and are still on a wall somewhere in the house. Thank you again really, but I will need to rewrite next year’s note. Your youth’s gift of energy and life to me was already payment in full!
In mid July I am retiring after 33 years as an Engineer with Engelhard & BASF. I have several options for my 2nd career and in order to try to determine what God wants me to do, Karen and I have been planning for and are leaving May 5th for a prayer pilgrimage called the Way of Saint James or the Camino de Santiago. Karen and I will pray and backpack over 200 miles over a 3 week period in Spain to get ready for this change. I have a daily prayer card that includes the list of everyone I have helped confirm and many of the kids that have ran cross country and track for me as well as family and friends like you. I will fondly lift this class up in prayer as they have inspired me so and have filled my heart tank. I ask that you pray for us that we receive what we need most during this journey. Thanks in advance.
When I return, I will be in “stalker” mode to get the newly confirmed to be Ministers of Communion as I can think of no one more appropriate to share Jesus to others. They have been trained and do not need to wait for my return. As they walk into church if there is a cross on the wall, take it! That is both a threat and a promise. Get out of the pew and into the Mass!
May God Bless you and Keep you.
— Dan Schoenfelder
It was a beautiful, reverent, calming, spiritual experience for me as well as my “Emma’s”. It was well thought out – and helped me to remember what my spiritual life could/can/will/is be….
—Amy T. Delaney, parent