On the Feast of Ss Peter and Paul, Sunday 29 June, Bishop Charles Drennan confirmed 31 young people from New Plymouth parishes at a Mass at St Joseph’s Church.
The confirmation candidates were from the parishes of St Joseph’s, St Philomena’s, Our Lady Help of Christians, St Patrick’s Okato and Sacred Heart Inglewood. This was the highlight of a journey that started in early May.
Each week the enthusiastic young people and their teams, met to learn and grow in their faith.
They participated in a range of activities, which included acting out parts of the Bible in groups; learning about the saints; understanding the baptismal promises and participating in a number of group discussions about faith.
A weekend retreat for the candidates is highlight of each annual preparation programme.
The chill of a Taranaki winter in a rural camp environment is always countered by the liveliness of the young people attending.
This year they spent three excellent days at the Taranaki Outdoor Pursuits Education Centre. It is a great venue for candidates to get to know each other as like-minded people.
The programme included team-building exercises, testimonies from people from our wider community, banner-making, meditation and a candle-lit rosary evening.
A special Sunday Mass concluded the camp and an extra bonus was shared back in New Plymouth at Father Vijay’s farewell.
Candidates have taken a lot from the programme. Typically, some will tell you they weren’t sure about going at the start, but by the time camp ended they were pleased they did.