By Sgt. Lance PoundsMarch 19, 2014
FORT HOOD, Texas - Military family members confirm their faith at the Spirit of Fort Hood Chapel, March 15, during a sacrament held by Bishop Neal Buckon, the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA. The Confirmation establishes young adults as full-fledged members of the faith or reconfirms that faith in adults who have strayed from the church.
The sacrament of Confirmation is one of the seven sacraments revered by members of the Catholic community to retain their relationship with God: Baptism, Eucharist (or Communion), Reconciliation, Marriage, Holy Orders and Anointing of the Sick.
The Sacrament of Baptism is the first step in a lifelong journey of commitment and discipleship for Catholics. Whether they are baptized as infants or adults, Baptism is the Church's way of celebrating and enacting the embrace of God.
Sacrament of Eucharist, or Communion, is a reenacted in accordance with Jesus' instruction at the Last Supper, in which Catholics believe that as they receive Christ's Body (bread) and Blood (wine), they also are nourished spiritually and brought closer to God.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (also known as Penance, or Penance and Reconciliation) has three elements: conversion, confession and celebration. Through this Catholics believe they find God's unconditional forgiveness.
Sacrament of Confirmation is when faith received in Baptism is confirmed and made strong as one enters adulthood. During a normal Baptism, a parent or godparent makes the promise to renounce Satan and believe in God and the Church on behalf of the one being baptized. At Confirmation, a person renews those same promises; this time speaking on their own behalf.
Bishop Buckon, a former chaplain in the Army, returns to post to offer Catholic members the opportunity to confirm or reconfirm their faith during the sacrament of Confirmation.
Each person wishing to be confirmed approached Bishop Buckon, who was dressed in sacramental vestments, with his or her sponsor to be confirmed before the whole church. Regardless of age or reason, this process brought forth many emotions.
"It's a commitment I agree to that strengthens my faith," said Monica Gonzalez, a native of Fort Lewis, Wash. She added that as military child and former soldier she had lost her connection to her faith because she had to move so often.
"Now that I have the time, I can fulfill a promise I made with God," said Gonzalez. A promise she made upon the completion of her last deployment to show God what he gave her; strength.
"It marks the next step in my Journey to adulthood," said Amlis Robledo, a junior at Harker Heights. Giving credit to her parents for her religious upbringing, she said with unwavering confidence that it was time to take faith into her own hands.
"It doesn't stop here, I will continue to profess my faith," said Robledo. "Being Catholic isn't just praying or going to Mass, it is how you live your life."
Robledo spoke of a continuous journey through life, as one journey ends another begins. She has been confirmed in the eyes of the church and will someday seek recognition of her next sacrament; the Sacrament of Marriage.
The Sacrament of Marriage, or Holy Matrimony, is a public display of a person who gives them self totally to another person. Catholics also believe it is a public statement about God's Values on the loving union of a husband and a wife.
In the Sacrament of Holy Orders, or Ordination, the priest being ordained vows to lead other Catholics by bringing them the sacraments, proclaiming the Gospel, and providing other means to holiness.
The final sacrament is the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, formerly known as Last Rites or Extreme Unction, is a ritual of healing physical, mental and spiritual sickness.
Bishop Buckon confirmed more than 40 members of the church during the sacrament. After which, a reception was held for all who attended to seek religious guidance from Bishop Buckon and partake in refreshments.
In conclusion to Bishop Buckon's visit to Fort Hood he stated his admiration for all those who serve.
"In the military we often find ourselves in places that may bring discomfort. Be brave and stead fast."