Today is Pentecost, one of the most solemn feasts of the year. Christ, having ascended to the fullness of heavenly glory, together with the Father, sent the Holy Spirit upon the Church. The reality of God Himself, the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, being poured into our souls and upon the Church should be for us a continuous point of reference and a continuous source of grace. We have received our share in the grace of Pentecost especially through the Sacrament of Confirmation. Like Baptism, Confirmation, imparts a “character” or “indelible mark” upon our soul, conforming us more fully to Christ. This mark can never be removed and will remain even after death. This mark gives us a deeper share in Christ’s work of offering himself to the Father in sacrifice. Thanks to the “indelible marks” we receive in Baptism and Confirmation, we can offer ourselves to God as members of Christ; we do this especially by uniting ourselves to Jesus in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. These characters also, in a certain sense, call to God for grace. They mark us as belonging to God. Confirmation gives us special grace to profess our Catholic Faith publically, even in difficulty. It even gives us the strength to suffer for our Faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that “the confirmed person receives the power to profess faith in Christ publicly and as it were officially (quasi ex officio)” (CCC 1305). “Quasi ex officio,” carries the sense of this profession being something like our proper job, or office, as Christians. Finally, we need to recall that like Baptism, Confirmation is not just a transient grace. Rather it is a sacrament that remains with us. With any sacrament, we receive more grace insofar as we are more open to receive it. So in order to draw strength from our Confirmation, we should continually ask God to increase in us the grace of the Holy Spirit (asking, itself, can prepare us to receive) and we should continually purify our hearts by renewing our hatred of sin and our love of God, especially by regular use of the Sacrament of Confession. The Sacrament of Confirmation concludes with the “sign of peace.” This “sign of peace” “signifies and demonstrates ecclesial communion with the bishop and with all the faithful” (CCC 1301). Our communion with Christ involves communion with our bishop. I exercise my priesthood, in fact, as an extension of the ministry of our bishop. I want to let you know that our bishop, the spiritual father of our diocese and of each one of us, has appointed me, beginning July 1st, as parochial vicar (“associate”) of Sacred Heart in Aberdeen. I am deeply grateful for my time at Holy Spirit Parish and I look with forward in serenity to what God has planned in days and months to come.