January 11 marked a significant event in UA&P history as Most Rev. Mylo Hubert C. Vergara, Bishop of Pasig, administered the Sacrament of Confirmation at the Stella Orientis Oratory.
Twenty-seven UA&P students and alumni (including this writer) received the Sacrament. Days before the rites, the confirmands underwent a preparatory catechetical seminar through the University Chaplaincy.
Bishop Vergara celebrated the Holy Mass with UA&P chaplains Fr. Roberto Latorre and Fr. Edgar Soria. Within the liturgy, the bishop administered the Rite of Confirmation with a renewal of baptismal promises, laying of the hands, anointing with chrism, and the slapping of the cheek (signifying fortitude).
The bishop encouraged the new ‘soldiers of Christ’ to stay true to their baptismal promises and defend their faith. He assured them that with this mission comes the grace of carrying out that mission, part of which is to win souls for Christ. He said people should learn that we love Christ by the way we live our lives.
According to Fr. Latorre, the last Confirmation rites in UA&P were held in 2008, but the January 11 event was the first time the Bishop of Pasig came to celebrate a liturgical ceremony at the University. He said it was also timely, considering it is the Year of Faith, a period in which so much grace is poured onto the Church.
Now the Chaplaincy Council and the Center for Student Affairs are looking into organizing the conferment of the Sacrament every three years at UA&P.
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