Chile (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile) 72 people prepared by the Pastoral UC received their sacraments in the Cathedral of Santiago
After two years of pandemic, this is the first ceremony to be held again in the Cathedral of Santiago. The members of the UC community became the new witnesses of Christ, being encouraged to live as true Catholics in today’s world.
Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion were the sacraments received by 72 people, including UC students and officials, at the Metropolitan Cathedral. They were prepared by the Directorate of Pastoral and Christian Culture and its Sacramentos UC project .
The protagonists of the ceremony, who came to confirm their faith, lived a long path of preparation, with a process of formation and reflection, in which they got closer to Christ, participated in the life of the Church and shared the joy of the faith.
Monsignor Celestino Aós, Archbishop of Santiago and UC Grand Chancellor, presided over the ceremony, encouraging young people to bear witness to their faith always and everywhere, not only with words, but also —and above all— with the acts. “We the faithful who are here are witnesses that Jesus is alive. And Confirmation invites you, forces you to be witnesses that Jesus is alive and has been glorified. Be witnesses with words and deeds. Witnesses of the risen Jesus are all those who strive to live according to the beatitudes. (…) Christians, the witnesses of Jesus, do not do it because they seek glory and honor, they do it because the spirit of Jesus helps them and his grace drives them. Yes, Jesus is alive and glorious.
In addition, the UC Grand Chancellor added that “we have to pray asking God ‘give me a new heart, renew me on the inside.’ How many things do we each carry in our hearts, light and shadows, virtue and sin? Let’s really commit ourselves, because there is no such thing as ‘Christians my way’”.
“Recognizing that you have been at the Catholic University is not without further guarantee that you have learned to be a Christian and a Catholic, but all of you have a greater responsibility because you have more means, more opportunities; Some take advantage of them and others do not. But, just as no one will respond and undertake for you, neither will anyone live as a Christian for you. What you have to do, you must do”, pointed out Monsignor Aós.
For her part, Teresita Vergara, deputy director of Students at the UC Pastoral, pointed out that “the confirmation of the faith of each one of these people fills us with joy, while at the same time it makes us renew our commitment to the Church and to the UC ; with the formation and preparation of the confirmands so that they can be sowers of hope in their lives, whatever the place in which they happen to be”.
path of preparation
Since April of this year, the 72 people have been preparing to receive their sacraments of Christian initiation, through weekly group catechism, guided by a couple of volunteers and accompanied by their adviser, Father Benjamín Ossandón. Also, two training days, a full weekend retreat and the meeting with the Pastor.
Ignacio Barros, general coordinator of Sacramentos UC, stressed that “preparing for the year is a whole life process; It is to gradually bring the confirmandi closer to the Lord through times of prayer, retreats, sharing in community, teaching them what the Church and the Gospel are, inviting them and motivating them to live closer to Christ”.
Along these lines, Catalina Ramírez, also the general coordinator of the project, said that “finally, this is the beginning of the journey in her life of faith. It is the Lord who gives us the strength and helps us to reach heaven, so that later we can help others to follow this same journey of being God’s witnesses.”
Party on Earth and Heaven
The celebration of the ceremony, where 72 people received the Sacrament of Confirmation; 26 of them First Communion and 10 of the latter also Baptism; It was held in the Cathedral of Santiago, being the first time, since the beginning of the pandemic, that it is done there.
“It has been very nice to return to what was done before (of the pandemic), which is to celebrate this event together and in a big way in the Cathedral. Everything has been very new, returning to what came from before. It is always a joy to receive new Christian witnesses of the faith, but this year had a special component because of what it means to meet again”, explained the project coordinator.
Monsignor Aós took advantage of the occasion to thank the work of the UC Pastoral, the coordinators of the Sacraments and each one of the 34 catechists. “I thank those who have worked in the Pastoral, those who work, and I encourage them to speak, listen and above all to pray. And in this Month of Mary, pray especially for those you have catechized for Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation; we pray for you, the pastoral agents and the catechists”.
Every year the UC Pastoral provides preparation to receive confirmation, first communion and baptism to any member of the university community. More information in the Sacramentos UC project .