Thirteen students from five universities were welcomed into the Church during the Diocesan Celebration of Confirmation for Catholic Campus Ministries on Thursday, March 31, 2016.
Bishop Michael F. Burbidge conferred the sacrament and celebrated Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Concelebrants were: Fr. Bill Quigley, C.I.C.M., director of Campus Ministry at East Carolina University; Fr. Mike Martin, O.F.M. Conv., director of Duke University’s Catholic Center; Fr. Gerry Waterman, O.F.M. Conv., Catholic Campus Minister at Elon University; Fr. Michael Lasky, O.F.M. Conv., pastor and campus minister at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Msgr. Joseph Ntuwa, Catholic Campus Minister at N.C. State University.
The Rite of Confirmation included the Presentation of the Candidates, Renewal of Baptismal Promises, Laying on of Hands and Anointing with Sacred Chrism.
In his homily, Bishop Burbidge reflected on the scene from the Gospel in which Jesus turned to his disciples and said, “Peace be with you.”
Bishop Burbidge expressed his hope that the candidates would experience the same peace and joy the disciples felt. He discussed issues such as materialism and temptation, as well as the need for God’s witnesses to be active in the world.
“You’re confirmed tonight and strengthened in a new way … we are so grateful to you for your inspiration. You’ve inspired all of us this evening,” he said. “And we pray that you are filled with incredulous joy as you reflect upon God’s plan.”
For Zachary Houser, a sophomore at N.C. State, joy was something he said he felt after being confirmed. He described his Catholic campus community as “really accepting” and expressed his gratitude to his R.C.I.A. teacher Joe Anderson.
When asked about the time commitment needed to prepare for Confirmation, Houser smiled and said that he may have missed watching some NFL football games on Sunday afternoons, but that it wasn’t a sacrifice.
“I grew up as a Catholic,” he said. “I’m happy and excited to finally be confirmed.”
Ana McKenzie, a freshman at East Carolina, expressed the same sentiment. “I feel awesome … so great. It’s a comfort,” she said about Confirmation and being Catholic.
Her uncle, Jon Allen, served as her sponsor. Many family members, including her grandmother, Donna Rayle, from Charlotte and her mother, Melissa McKenzie, from near Burlington traveled to Raleigh for the ceremony.
“I am thankful that she made the choice. She decided,” McKenzie said about her daughter seeking Confirmation. “Within the first week of school, she had already started the process.”