On 5 February, 2017 auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese for the Military Services was at the Redstone Arsenal Military Chapel on the Army Base right near Huntsville Alabama.
Bishop Robert Coyle Confirmed this years Conformation class and offered Mass of the public. Area Knights of Columbus were present to give support along with the Catholic Community.
The Bishop spoke on the importance of Evangelization and the need for young people to seek the Lord in their lives. He offered people whom he worked with as a young seminarian and during his Ministry as a priest as examples.
To bring out the importance of having the Bishop from Washington D.C. come to conduct the Confirmation, I am reminded of the time of the Apostles.
"Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit." Acts 8:14-17
Looking at the Bishop, you see the staff that he carries, it is in the shape of what the shepherd's would use to protect their flocks from wild animals. It's called a "crosier" first mentioned in Exodus 4 vs 2, "The LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?" He said, "A rod." And he said, "Cast it on the ground." So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. But the LORD said to Moses, "Put out your hand, and take it by the tail"-- so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand."
There is so much symbolism in what the crosier means, it bears the symbol of authority that comes from God.
Apostolic Succession is that handing down of authority from Jesus to His Apostles, down the ages through their successors.
St. Paul writes Timothy reminding him of his authority:
"Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you." 1 Timothy 4:14
"Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control." 2 Timothy 1-6
Following the Mass, it was a great honor that I had to be able to speak with Bishop Robert Coyle who was very gracious. I kissed his ring which is another example of the bishops authority and office. Christ established it.
It was a great blessing to have our Confirmation class to have the auxiliary bishop come and administer Confirmation, it would be as if the Apostles had sent Peter and John so that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
For those receiving Confirmation, it is their Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is conferred upon the recipients making them "Soldiers for Christ".
The Knights of Columbus always add much to the celebration as they post themselves before the King of Kings, never afraid to stand up for our Queen, the Virgin Mary. What is important for the congregation is that what happens here we take to the street, the highways and byways, our homes and our nation.