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Bishop Burbidge Confirms 29 University Students

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On Thursday evening, March 15, 2012, 29 college and university students gathered at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge conferred the sacrament on the students in a Mass attended by the confirmandi, their campus ministers and sponsors, family and friends.

Five campus ministers concelebrated Mass: Msgr. John Wall, Pastor of Newman Catholic Student Center Parish, UNC-Chapel Hill; Father Michael Martin, OFM Conv, Duke Catholic Center; Father Gerry Waterman, OFM Conv., Elon Catholic Campus Ministry; Father Bill Quigley, CICM, Newman Catholic Student Center at East Carolina University; and Father Tony DeCandia, North Carolina State University. Dr. Michael J. Fedewa, Superintendent of Catholic Formation and Education; Sr. Laura Downing, IHM; and Catherine Preston, Duke Campus Minister for Faith Formation, were also in attendance.

“I’ve been Catholic my whole life but wasn’t confirmed,” said Mercedes Zapata, a junior at Duke University. “I’m really excited about it; it’s an accumulation of everything coming together, and it’s beautiful.”

The Sacrament of Confirmation is the second of the three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Communion). These sacraments lay the foundations of Christian life. (CCC 1212)

“I felt like there was a gap in my life and came to ECU and found the Newman Center,” said Hunter Baum, freshman at East Carolina University. “I felt the Catholic Church was the right place to be, and tonight I’m making an act of faith as an adult in the Catholic Church.” Baum continued, “It’s the conclusion to what I’ve done in RCIA, baptism, communion, and tonight is the finale. I feel like I’m fully embraced by the Catholic community.”

In his homily, Bishop Burbidge encouraged the students to be witnesses to the Presence and Truth of the Gospel in a world that is often misguided. “Because you chose to hear God’s Word, you must be witnesses in words and deeds, which will be clearly visible in your own holiness, faithfulness and integrity,” said Bishop Burbidge.

Bishop Burbidge continued, “The spirit of God will be upon you and with that gift will come all the graces you need. That promise is given to you and realized tonight. You can say with confidence that the spirit of the Lord your God is upon you. May that reality always be the source of your strength.”

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Watch Bishop Burbidge’s homily

Above: Confirmandi, sponsors, families and friends gathered for Confirmation of 29 university students on March 15 at Sacred Heart Cathedral. (Click photo to view larger.)

Below: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge celebrating Mass. Concelebrating were five campus ministers:  Father Gerry Waterman, OFM Conv.; Father Bill Quigley, CICM; Father Tony DeCandia; Father Michael Martin, OFM Conv.; and Msgr. John Wall. (Click photo to view larger.)