To be confirmed as a Catholic is to be accepted into a global family of loyal servants to Christ. It is to establish powerful bonds that transcend time, space, borders, and all other earthly barriers to God's Love (caritas). Newfound bonds spread and intertwine to form vast networks of spiritual support and mutual trust. You are suddenly no-longer undervalued. Instead, you are cherished for your role in the largely more important production.
Confirmation gives a young Catholic the chance to hone and develop their faith with the guidance of fellow-minded people. It is only the beginning of one's faith-journey, yet perhaps the most important moment in one's life. Sadly, it is also a chance that many in impoverished countries struggle to attain.
Because it takes a high-ranking authority of the Catholic church to confirm young Catholics in Uganda, the day for such an event does not come around very often. Many would-be devout worshipers never have the opportunity to be confirmed, and lose their zeal or simply struggle more along their journey through faith.
Children that are sponsored through CARITAS, however, have a greater chance of being confirmed by an official Catholic Bishop. Our sponsors therein provide the means for their sponsored children to attain the full scope of their own faith, while their doing so proliferates notions of love & goodness that reverberate through a community. Although confirmation is not required to be a member of the CARITAS sponsorship program, it is encouraged for those who feel a calling to the Lord.
Recently, our school in Nkokonjeru was paid a visit by Bishop Christopher Kakooza, of the Lugazi Diocese. The day of confirmation was complete with traditional ceremonies, celebratory dancing and singing, food, and the planting of a young tree. Please enjoy the photos that were taken by our Field Coordinator, Alon. And, if you don't already sponsor a child, please Click Here to view a full gallery of children in need of someone to support their education & access to spiritual care. We know that with more sponsorships will come more days like this:
1. Before the day began, the girls were dressed up in missionary cloth ready to welcome and lead the bishop to the celebration grounds.
2. Altar servers ready to begin Mass.
3. Seven altar servers are able to take up the task and become familiarized with certain behind-the-scenes operations of daily Mass.
4. Children being anointed with Chrism oil to confirm them as the sign of sealing the Christianity created during baptism.
5. A large, celebratory dance was put on by the girls, who all wore beautiful, flowing white dresses.
6. Shina Joy and other children were attentive to the function.
7. In the same event, young Maria was very happy to see a camera facing her. She is among the newly sponsored children in the program.
8. Bishop Christopher presided over the childrens' First Communion as well.
9. Bishop Christopher and members of the Nkokonjeru community planting a tree in remembrance of the event.