2 October 2012
On the weekend of September 22, 65 young people were confirmed at St Patrick’s Napier and Sacred Heart Hastings in exciting youth-led Masses.
In the previous 10 weeks these young people and 14 youth leaders had met weekly to deepen their self understanding, other awareness, their relationship with God and what it means to be real people of faith in Aotearoa New Zealand.
They had organised youth Masses, attended a weekend camp in Ashhurst and participated in a retreat.
Luke Collins and Manisha Jobard from Challenge 2000 coordinated this youth-to-youth programme with the support of 15 parishioners from the Hawke’s Bay area. The churches were packed and it was a great city celebration of some amazing young people and their families.
During the confirmation, Bishop Charles Drennan said, ‘Confirmation is one of the highlights of my ministry as a bishop.’ He is firmly convinced that the best age group for Confirmation is Year 11 to 13.
‘This gives an opportunity for young people to examine afresh their faith, the gifts that God is giving them through the Holy Spirit, and their place in parish life and in the community.’
Of the letters these Hawke’s Bay candidates had written, Bishop Charles said, ‘The way in which you have grown in your faith through the preparation programme and the aspirations that you shared with me, have been a source of renewal for my own faith. Thank you for your courage to step up and witness to who you are as disciples of Jesus. I have already quoted you to many others and you spur me on to do my best as shepherd with and for you.’