May 10, 2024 // Bishop

St. Henry Confirmands Called to ‘Remain in God’s Love’

By Alicia Guzman

On the evening of Saturday, May 4, Bishop Rhodes confirmed 53 candidates from St. Henry Parish in Fort Wayne, and 10 students received their first holy Communion. This is in addition to the 14 youths who received the sacraments of initiation at the Easter vigil in March.

Since the parish began offering Mass in Spanish, the number of students getting confirmed has doubled. Families are searching for more opportunities to grow in their faith and sending their students to prepare for their sacraments. Each Sunday from September to May, the students received two years of preparation through formation from their catechists, including Deacon Huberto Vazquez, Marcos Romero, Leah Lashure, and Ana Cortez.

Bishop Rhoades confirms Valarie Garcia – one of 53 candidates to receive confirmation – during Mass at St. Henry Church in Fort Wayne on Saturday, May 4.

During the confirmation Mass, Bishop Rhoades peppered the candidates with questions about the saints they chose to be their personal patrons and about the various fruits of the Holy Spirit.

“Joy is a fruit of love,” Bishop Rhoades said. “When we have love, we have joy and peace. Because love, joy, and peace are fruits of the Holy Spirit. And in confirmation, it strengthens these fruits of the Holy Spirit. If we live by the Spirit, we have joy, peace, and love in our life. And if you don’t remember what this homily was about, I want you to always remember [these words]: ‘Remain in my love.’ This is what Jesus is telling us to do, to remain in His love, because no matter what happens, He loves us, and He wants us to remain in Him.”

Several of the confirmands shared with Today’s Catholic about their confirmation saints and how they believe these holy men and women will help them on their faith journey.

Photos by Alicia Guzman
Eridan Zetina, left, and Alejandro Guzman pose with Father Matthew Coonan, Pastor of St. Henry Church, after the parish’s confirmation Mass.

Yamilet Casarrubias chose Our Lady of Guadalupe as her patron saint. She said she admires the fact that the Blessed Mother said “yes” to God and believes Our Lady is an example for her to trust Christ completely with her life.

Josselyn and Jaquelyn Garza, two sisters, each chose different saints. Josselyn said she chose St. Michael because she knows that the enemy wants to take us down as we grown in faith, so she knows St. Michael will protect her like a soldier throughout her life. Jaquelyn chose St. Cecilia because she was a martyr. Jaquelyn hopes to model the faith and courage St. Cecilia showed in her short life, and she hopes the saint will inspire her to persevere in her faith no matter the obstacles she will face.

Kimberly Guzman chose St. Catherine of Siena because she is the patron saint of nurses. Guzman aspires to become a nurse, and for this reason, hopes to ask the intercession of St. Catherine to help her in her career.

Photos by Alicia Guzman
Sisters Josselyn, left, and Jaquelyn Garza pose in front of the altar at St. Henry Church after being confirmed by Bishop Rhoades.

Alejandro Guzman chose St. Peregrine Laziosi because he is the patron saint for those who suffer from cancer and other illnesses. He told Today’s Catholic he felt a personal connection to the saint during a difficult time in his life.

Eridan Zetina said he chose St. Matthew because he was good with finance. Zetina wants to start his own company in the future and feels St. Matthew can help inspire him in his career and help him grow in his relationship with Christ because he was one of the closest friends of Jesus. Something that stuck with Eridan from Bishop Rhoades’ homily was to keep Jesus in your heart no matter what the situation is because He will always be with you.

Ximena Cabrera shared that she chose St. Agnes because she is the patron saint of chastity and Girl Scouts. Despite her young age, she was deeply devoted to God – even dying for her faith. Cabrera said St. Agnes is a holy example because the saint was honest, chaste, respectful, and very courageous.

From what each student shared, they were all touched by the life of the saints and are now called to go out into the world to live out their faith. And, as Bishop Rhoades mentioned, all are called to remain in God’s love.

Bishop Rhoades confirms Brayon Del Cid during Mass at St. Henry Church.

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