More than 40 military family members confirmed their faith within the Catholic church at the Spirit of Fort Hood Chapel on March 15.
Conducted by Bishop Neal Buckon, the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, the confirmation establishes young adults as full-fledged members of the faith or reconfirms that faith in adults who have strayed from the church.
The sacrament of confirmation is one of the seven sacraments revered by members of the Catholic community to retain their relationship with God: baptism, Eucharist (or communion), reconciliation, marriage, holy orders and anointing of the sick.
Sacrament of confirmation is when faith received in baptism is confirmed and made strong as one enters adulthood. During a normal baptism, a parent or godparent makes the promise to renounce Satan and believe in God and the church on behalf of the one being baptized. At confirmation, a person renews those same promises; this time speaking on their own behalf.
Buckon, a former Army chaplain, returns to post to offer Catholic members the opportunity to confirm or reconfirm their faith during the sacrament of confirmation.
Each person wishing to be confirmed approached Buckon, who was dressed in sacramental vestments, with his or her sponsor to be confirmed before the whole church. Regardless of age or reason, this process brought forth many emotions.
“It’s a commitment I agree to that strengthens my faith,” said Monica Gonzalez. She added that as military child and former soldier she had lost her connection to her faith because she had to move so often.
“Now that I have the time, I can fulfill a promise I made with God,” Gonzalez said. A promise she made upon the completion of her last deployment to show God what he gave her — strength.
“It marks the next step in my journey to adulthood,” said Amlis Robledo, a junior at Harker Heights High School. Giving credit to her parents for her religious upbringing, she said with unwavering confidence that it was time to take faith into her own hands.
“It doesn’t stop here, I will continue to profess my faith,” Robledo said. “Being Catholic isn’t just praying or going to Mass, it is how you live your life.”
Robledo spoke of a continuous journey through life, as one journey ends another begins. She has been confirmed in the eyes of the church and will someday seek recognition of her next sacrament; the sacrament of marriage.
Buckon said he admires all those who serve in the military.
“In the military we often find ourselves in places that may bring discomfort,” he said. “Be brave and steadfast.”