Pastor’s Corner for the Sacrament of Confirmation on the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, by Fr. Bruce Botha SJ

Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. AMEN!

On Sunday, 19 young members of our community will be confirmed by the archbishop. They come from Trinity parish, McAuley House, WITS and UJ and range in age from 16 to 23. They come from countries from across our country and continent and have very diverse life experiences. There is one thing which unites this disparate group of individuals, and that is a sense of readiness to take a new role in the Church, that of active participants in the life of the community, though many are already committed to various ministries. Amongst those being confirmed we have altar servers, proclaimers, leaders of parish youth and ACTS.


Confirmation requires an anointing with chrism, the oil blessed by the bishop at the Chrism mass. Before the anointing, he prays the following prayer over the candidates:

In Baptism God our Father gave the new birth of eternal life to his chosen sons and daughters. Let us pray to our Father that he will pour out the Holy Spirit to strengthen his sons and daughters with his gifts and anoint them to be more like Christ the Son of God.

All‐powerful God,
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by water and the Holy Spirit
you freed your sons and daughters from sin and gave them new life.

Send your Holy Spirit upon them to be their helper and guide.

Give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence.

Fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe in your presence.

We note that the purpose of the anointing is to strengthen us and make us more like Christ. The gifts of the Holy Spirit have a purpose, and that is to help us live our baptismal identity as sons and daughters of God, and to help in the proclamation given to us by Jesus in Matthew 28: 18-20:

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

This is the sacramental arc we celebrate today, from baptism to confirmation, from being given a mission, to being given the strength and the tools to fulfil the mission.




Fr. Bruce Botha SJ