The Collège Catholique Marie Balavenne (CCMB) in Ilogbo, diocese of Abeokuta, Nigeria, is privileged to benefit from the permanent availability of the Grand Pastor, Bishop Peter ODETOYINBO, to give the sacrament of Confirmation. The Daughters of the Holy Spirit and the other catechism teachers at the school prepare the candidates for this sacrament with great dedication. On 1 July 2023, 16 young people from the school received the sacrament of Confirmation, a moment of great joy!
It was emphasised that through the sacrament of Confirmation, the baptised person strengthens his or her relationship with God through the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and the fear of God. In this way, Christians become the best witnesses to Christ in the world.
In his homily, Bishop Odetoyinbo invited the newly confirmed to become aware of the importance of the sacrament in their Christian journey. He pointed out that they cannot be true Catholics without the sacrament of Confirmation. He insisted on this point to explain that a Christian journey is not possible without the help of the Holy Spirit.
The new “soldiers” were all given new names. The Bishop pointed out that these new names are intended to encourage a life in imitation of the saint whose name they have just received. The Bishop concluded his message by asking everyone present to strive to put God first in all things. “We can only say that we love God if we put God first.”
The Bishop was assisted by the Reverend Father Augustine Akpo MSP (school chaplain) and the Reverend Father Alphonsus Obiele MSP; also present at the Eucharistic celebration were the Daughters of the Holy Spirit who work at Ilogbo College and those from other communities. Parents, guardians and supporters of the CCMB were also present. The headmistress of the school, Sr. Rosemary ETIM, DHS, thanked the bishop, priests, parents, DHS sisters and staff who had contributed in various ways to the success of the celebration. The grateful newly confirmed expressed their joy by dancing and singing to the glory of God.
Sister Rosemary ETIM, DHS. Published on 9 July 2023