Tetere, Solomon Islands, 13 June 2022 -- ‘Illumine our Hearts with your Holy Spirit’ was the theme to celebrate the Christian Initiation ceremony of the Sacrament of Confirmation administered to 196 young people from Christ the King Parish Tetere, Solomon Islands on 5 June 2022.
In preparation for the sacrament, the nearly two hundred young people from ten Catholic communities of the parish had three days of catechesis and Christian formation from 27– 29 May, led by Parish Priest Fr. Robinson Parappilly sdb. These formation days were used to deepen their knowledge about Christ, the Sacraments, and the Church.
The topics of formation included History of the Sacraments; Objectives and Standards of Confirmation; Celebrating New Life through Water and the Holy Spirit; Becoming Witnesses for Christ; Adult initiation to Lifelong commitment and how to celebrate the presence of the Holy Spirit in families and Christian communities.
The Importance of Sacraments in the life of a Christian; Moral Formation; Importance of community life and participation; Missionary Spirit; Precepts of the Church; Works of Mercy; Theological and Cardinal virtues and the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit were also studied.
The Archbishop of Honiara, Christopher Cardone OP, who arrived a day early to join the celebrations as main celebrant for the Pentecost Mass, was welcomed by the Church executive members with a traditional warrior welcome, pipe flutes and bamboo drums. He then spent an hour with all candidates in formation on the Sacrament of Confirmation. In the evening all had the opportunity for the Sacrament of Confession.
During his homily on Pentecost Sunday, the archbishop explained Pentecost and how his mitre, ring, crosier helps to animate the diocese and church in Solomon Islands. He explained the meaning of the ring, the mitre and crosier, the pastoral staff of the good Shepherd that is conferred on bishops to guide the faithful. He passed all these to the candidates to touch and feel them. He encouraged the young people to open themselves to a vocation to the priesthood or religious life and hoped that some of them would become priests and Bishops in the future.
The archbishop then conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation on the 196 candidates. The melodious tune of pipe flutes and songs created an atmosphere of prayer and celebration. The atmosphere of prayer and blessings of the Holy Spirit was accompanied by the downpour of rain.
At the end of the Mass all candidates with their catechists and sponsors filled with Christian joy had the opportunity to pose for photographs. The ADMA catering services served a very good, sumptuous lunch for everyone. The rest of the day was spent in music and dance performances enjoying the spirit of a Salesian parish.