On Saturday, March 10, the Holy Spirit descended upon Belen Jesuit in a very special way as we celebrated the first-ever Sacrament of Confirmation on our school campus. One hundred of our eighth grade students, nine high school students, and one alumnus wore their red stoles and were confirmed by retired Bishop Fernando Isern, emeritus of Pueblo, Colorado with the chrism oil, and our entire Belen Community is the richer for it.
Of course, the Holy Spirit is with us always. However, I believe we often take the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity for granted and underestimate His importance in our faith journey. Perhaps it is important to recall that after Jesus’ ascension, the apostles were uncertain what would happen. Along with the Virgin Mary, they spent ten days in prayer, waiting for a sign. That is when the Holy Spirit descended upon them on Pentecost. Filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the apostles went on to spread the gospel throughout the world, transforming it forever.
I think we can all agree that the ability of the apostles, some of whom were lowly fishermen with little to no education, to preach the gospel so effectively was nothing short of miraculous. It bears witness to the power of the Holy Spirit. The apostles, burning with God’s love, ran to the fire and conquered their fears, facing persecution and death for the greater glory of God.
Today our world continues to need brave young men who put their faith into action just as the apostles did in the early days of Christianity. This week we were blessed to hear the true story of one such young man, Welles Crowther, the Man in the Red Bandanna, whose courageous and selfless actions saved many lives on September 11.
The Confirmation of our students, who stood with conviction and committed themselves to Jesus, as well as the testimony of Welles Crowther’s mother, who spoke of her son’s heroism, are both sources of great hope and gratitude for us at Belen. Our hearts are full, but not complacent, as we pray to the Holy Spirit to continue to bless our Belen community with His gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.
May the Belen experience continue to provide our young men with the opportunity to grow in their faith daily and to share their gifts with others through their example and service.