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On Pentecost Sunday, after a year of formation and prayer, Maria Laura, Gabriel, Martina, Jeannette, Fernando and Lea received the Sacrament of Confirmation in a full Sint-Kwinten’s Church.
“We are here with faithful from Ecuador, Brazil, Italy, Chile, Spain, and Belgium, and we tell of the wonderful things that God has done.”
Father Ger-Jan Bruins osa was the Minister of Confirmation and, together with Deacon Marc Michiels and the priests present, Father Tuli, Father Frank of the Spanish-speaking community, Father Matthew, and Father Maria Kumar, celebrated the Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharist.
During his homily, Fr. Ger-Jan said, among other things:
“Alas, for many people, Pentecost is not so fervent, so alive. The Holy Spirit is too vague. Yet, when all is said and done, Pentecost is the most important feast, for without the disciples’ witness on that first Pentecost, we would have heard nothing of Jesus and all that he did. The events were so overwhelming that the disciples needed time to let it all sink in, to really digest it.”
“But if we do not know the language, do not recognize the words, how can we understand it? Inspired testimony speaks the language of the heart. How can we understand this language? It asks us to open our eyes to the signs of salvation that become visible, to open our ears to the language behind the words, the language of love, the language of God. Above all, it asks us to open our hearts so that God can give us his love, so that we can feel the signs of his presence in everything. It is precisely this that has taken place within you Maria-Laura, Gabriel, Martina, Jeannette, Fernando and Lea, so that you have now come here to receive the seal of the Holy Spirit.”
After the laying on of hands and anointing with chrism, spontaneous applause broke out in the church.
During the celebration there was much praying and singing, as on the first Pentecost, when they all came together in one accord (Acts 2:1).
Following the celebration, the rain could not prevent the annual (after a two-year hiatus) BBQ. Good food and drink, happy faces, people from many nations and languages, many children and a spontaneous African choir made for a successful conclusion to this hope-filled day.