OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - 5,000 young Catholics of Sydney receive the sacrament of Confirmation amidst jubilant crowds evoking memories of the Holy Year 2000

Monday, 23 May 2005

Sydney (Fides Service) - Local media gave ample coverage to a “great spiritual and social event” a solemn Mass during which 5,000 children of the archdiocese of Sydney received the Sacrament of Confirmation in the presence of at least 30,000 people. The day bore witness to the vitality and dynamism of the Catholic Church in Australia and evoked happy memories of similar celebrations here in 2000. The Confirmation Mass was held at the Supreme Dome indoor sports stadium in the city centre used also for cultural and religious events in the presence of thousands of people as well as Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, five other bishops, 80 priests and 300 special ministers of Holy Communion.
Cardinal Pell, who presided the Mass told Fides “the event helped our young people to realise they are part of a great Body, the Church, it was an opportunity to experience that as members of a parish they are also members of something far greater”.
“I pray this Sacrament may give you a deeper awareness of belonging to the parish, your school, the community. This community Mass with Confirmation involves many different parishes and it should also encourage you to take a more active part in the pastoral activities of the archdiocese of Sydney”. the Cardinal said in his homily
On this important day each of the children confirmed wore a badge with the name of his or her patron Saint. In fact as part of preparation for being Confirmed in the faith the children aged 10 to 12 each chose a Saint to be a model and a help for them as they grow into adult Christians.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 23/05/2005 Righe: 24 Parole: 245)