Meeting of the confirmands at the Palabaldinelli in Osimo: games, testimonies and music

Meeting of the confirmands at the Palabaldinelli in Osimo: games, testimonies and music
Meeting of the confirmands at the Palabaldinelli in Osimo: games, testimonies and music

THE confirmands they experienced an afternoon with games, testimonies and music at the Palabaldinelli in Osimo, together with Mons. Angelo Spina, their parents and catechists. On Tuesday 2 April the children from all the parishes of the diocese gathered in the sports hall, where they were welcomed by the young people of Youth ministry who animated the meeting. As soon as they arrived, the confirmands attached a colored post-it with their name on the map of the diocese and, via smartphone, were invited to indicate three words to describe their confirmation. With their answers, a Word Cloud was created, a virtual cloud in which the terms indicated by the children appeared. Some sent the word “catechism”, some “Holy Spirit”, “confirmation, “trust”, “sacrament, “here I am”.

During the afternoon, other moments of play and music alternated, with a quiz on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the songs of two young people. Playing the guitar, Leo Longbottom sang his song “Hakuna Matata” and Boom he sang his song “Bolla”. The central moment was the testimony of Dario Reda, a young physical education teacher in a high school in Padua, who entered the building on his bike and told how he converted to the Christian faith as an adult. A Muslim father and a non-practicing Catholic mother, he approached the faith thanks to his passion for soccer. A fan of Inter and the footballer Adriano, he said that he was struck when his idol, after scoring a goal, lifted his shirt and showed the writing “Phil 4:13”. Intrigued, he discovered that it was the phrase of Saint Paul: “I can do everything in him who gives me strength”.

«There were three fixed points in my life – he said – my idol Adriano, my grandmother who was Catholic and prayed a lot for me, and Irene, a girl who one day invited me to attend mass with her in her parish. To be with Irene, I went to mass with her every Sunday, until one day she told me that she was ill and would stay at home. At that moment I thought: “How nice, this morning I can sleep a little more”, but shortly after I heard the need to go to mass. That day I went to my parish, looked at the Crucifix and thought: “I’m home”. I took the reading sheet and realized that there was a passage taken from a letter of Saint Paul. Irene’s parents then said to me “But do you know that you can become a Christian even when you grow up?”. I then went to my parish priest, Don Alberico, and told him that I wanted to become a Christian.”

Dario thus began a journey that led him to receive the sacraments of baptism, Eucharist and confirmation on Easter night 2011, at the age of 21: «What I remember of that evening is the joy I felt. After three and a half hours of celebration I did three things: I jumped, I hugged the people next to me, even those I didn’t know, and I always smiled.” Dario thus spoke of the importance of the sacraments received. «At the beginning I thought that I finally didn’t have to cycle anymore in life – he said – someone else would do it for me. But then I realized that Jesus walks beside us, as he walked alongside the disciples of Emmaus. Being next to someone means “I am there”, there is a presence, but it does not mean that there is someone who does things for me. Confirmation is responsibility. If confirmation is also called “confirmation,” I need to know what I am confirming. Do you know why you are confirming? This question leads to movement. We move from “someone will do it for me” and, therefore, from sitting down, to “I start asking myself questions and walking”. Every day it takes attention and commitment to carry on a relationship with a girl, training before a match. The same thing goes for the relationship with Jesus, which must be cultivated. I ask you a question: do you know a happiness that doesn’t depend on how things go for you? Jesus can give you this happiness. Happy confirmation, good journey and good relationship with Jesus Christ.”

After Dario’s testimony, the Youth Ministry interviewed the young leaders and educators of the catechism, the oratory, the scouts and Catholic Action, and the Banzaiii scout group intervened. In the end Monsignor Angelo Spina he thanked the Mayor and the municipal administration who made Palabaldinelli available, the catechists, the parents, the priests and all the children, who he asked if they remembered the date of their baptism. «The date of the baptism should be celebrated every year like a second birthday – she said – because it is very important. In fact, on that day we were born to the Christian life, to the life in Jesus, which lasts forever, which is an eternal life, forever. Then we entered the great family of the Church, and the Holy Spirit came to live in us and never abandons us; and finally we received the greatest inheritance there is: the paradise! Think what an immense gift baptism is! It is a new birth. Jesus united us to himself with his death and resurrection. We belong to him. We belong to Jesus, we are Christians.” Then projecting the image of the Crucifix of San Damiano, the Archbishop underlined that “if we look at the crucified Jesus he speaks to us, he tells us:”Love you to death”. On the cross Jesus responded to hatred with love, to revenge he responded with forgiveness, to violence he responded with peace. Here are the words that Jesus gave us: love, forgiveness, peace. And when we follow Him, as disciples living like this, we are joyful, we are well. We feel like true friends, and life is like a flowery and fragrant spring.

And with the confirmation What happen? What happens is that all this is confirmed, that is, made firmer, stronger. From who? First of all, give it Holy Spirit who is Lord, it is God who gives life, who renews us with his gifts; then from Church, which entrusts us with the task of announcing Jesus and his Gospel; and finally from ourselves, that we accept this mission as a personal commitment, as protagonists and not as spectators.” The Archbishop then gave the example of Carlo Acutis, «a young man passionate about Jesus. He was very good at navigating the Internet and used it at the service of the Gospel, spreading the love of prayer, the testimony of faith and charity towards others. Carlo lived these three things with great commitment: prayer, testimony and charity. He spent a lot of time with Jesus, especially in the Mass, which he attended every day, and prayed in front of the Tabernacle where Jesus is in the Eucharist, and then announced to everyone, with words and gestures of love, that God loves us and always waits for us». Monsignor Angelo Spina then made an invitation to the young people: «As the day of your confirmation approaches, go to Jesus, meet him, and then tell everyone that it is beautiful to be with Jesus, because he loves us and always waits for us! Shout out this message to everyone: not only with words, but above all with gestures of love: helping others, especially those who are most in need. Be witnesses of how beautiful it is to be with Jesus and how much He loves us».

The Archbishop, the young people, the catechists and the parents then prayed together a Hail Mary to ask for the gift of peace in the world and, before returning home, the boys received a gift of a card depicting the dove of the Holy Spirit and the seven gifts (wisdom, intellect, advice, fortitude, science, piety and fear of God ) and behind the prayer that they all recited together: «Lo Holy Spirit May he be your life partner, your guide, your lighthouse from now on. Let yourself be inspired and led by the hand every day of your life.”

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