Confirmations for Manchester RCIA students

Bishop Arnold at Holy Name Church
Bishop Arnold at Holy Name Church

On Sunday 1st May, 11 RCIA students received their first sacraments at a special Mass at Holy Name Church. Bishop John Arnold presided at the Mass.

Prior to confirming the RCIA candidates before a packed congregation, Bishop Arnold addressed those receiving their first sacraments in an off-the-cuff homily. He emphasised that the gift of Faith is not something to be kept to oneself, but something which Christians must share with others.

“Pope Francis has said that we are Missionary Disciples, and so we are. There’s two aspects to that…mission and discipleship. To be a disciple is to listen to the Lord; to be a missionary is to take Him out into the world.

As St Paul says, ‘We are ambassadors for Christ’. What does that mean? What does it mean to be an ambassador? To be an ambassador means to be sent on behalf of a dignitary to act in their place, to represent them and speak on their authority. We are ambassadors for Christ on earth– quite a responsibility!”

He continued, “It’s not enough to receive this Faith and keep it to ourselves, to live in a community of Faith for our own benefit. It is not enough to say ‘this place gives me peace; we must say this place gives me purpose.’ In a world that is noisy, and so full of injustice, where wealth and crippling poverty are disproportionately imbalanced, we have to be ambassadors for Christ, to take His message out to other people.

To all those being received into the Church tonight, to all those being confirmed and receiving First Holy Communion, know that this is a point of arrival for you. It’s a point of arrival, but it’s also a point of departure. He is sending you to continue His work on earth.

Especially for those receiving First Holy Communion tonight, the Body of Christ is our spiritual food. It is what sustains us in our mission. I also encourage you to take that daily prayer ‘Stay With Us Lord On Our Journey’ and make it your own.”

​Hundreds of family and friends joined the RCIA students and the Jesuit community at the Holy Name to welcome the new candidates into the Church. The occasion was one of great joy, and was followed by a celebration in Manchester Universities’ Catholic Chaplaincy next door.