By: Emmaline Berg ’13
In mid-November I had the opportunity to talk to young high-school students and their parents preparing for confirmation on the topic: “Why be Confirmed?” While I was preparing for what I was going to say, the question made me pause because, up to that point, confirmation had seemed to be of secondary importance. Less than a year ago, I finished the Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) and I was welcomed into the Catholic Church. In doing so, I received first communion and was then confirmed all within the same Mass. So, why was my being confirmed so important?
I went back to the process of how I had decided to become Catholic. While doing so involved an academic process of learning about the preparation, tradition, and liturgy, to name but a few, it started out as a “Feeling.” A “Feeling” that I was not getting what I needed spiritually out of the church I was attending. A “Feeling” that I needed something more in my life. A “Feeling” that I should trust my friend and try going to Mass once, and then a “Feeling” that I should go back the following week. Although I trusted and followed this “Feeling,” I didn’t yet fully know what this “Feeling” was. Now, reflecting back on it, I can firmly say that this “Feeling” was the Holy Spirit guiding me. This “feeling” was why being confirmed was so important.
Confirmation is the sacrament in which we respond to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in adult fashion. Through the sacrament, I was able to respond to this “Feeling” with a whole knew level of commitment. It almost felt like a kind of affirmation of my decision to become Catholic. It came back full circle: I started the process by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and could now start my new life of being Catholic by fully responding to the Holy Spirit with the firm commitment as an adult child of God thanks to the power of God’s Grace. The opportunity to talk to those high school students and their parents became the occasion by which I came to more fully realize why being confirmed is so very important.
Emmaline Berg is a red-shirt junior at Dartmouth College. She is a thrower on the track and field team and a biology major. She just became Catholic this past year after completing RCIA at Aquinas House at Dartmouth. She hopes to become a collegiate Division 1 track coach after graduation. She currently works as the student intern and music director at Aquinas House.