The nice thing about being Catholic is the various rites we go through in our lives. These rites or rather sacraments are all very rich in tradition and full of religious symbols. After birth, around 40+ days, a baby will be baptised, which symbolise being part of the church. At 9 years old (or around this age, depending on the church), the child will be accepted into the community and ‘have supper with Jesus’ in the First Holy Communion. (My #3 son first holy communion in 2005) At 16 years old (or around that age when a child is considered able to understand the purpose), he/she will go through Confirmation, or being confirmed as a Catholic.
This is the batch of youths who received their confirmation today at Cathedral of the Holy Spirit. There is another post on Confirmation 2006 for my eldest son.
At their confirmation, they are supposed to choose a Saint’s name as their middle name. A saint whom they want to look up to and emulate the saint’s life. My eldest son’s took his father’s Chinese name and changed to Eugene. I wanted my #2 son to use the same Eugene (as there are lots of St. Eugene) but he wanted to be named after Ninja Turtle. LOL. First, he wanted Michaelangelo. Since his name is Michael and surname is Loh, he said, “Hey, let’s take Angel as my middle name!” DOH. I asked Father Fabian if a boy can use a girl’s name and vice versa. He went, errmmm…*shrugs shoulder and laughed* So, I asked him if I can use the same middle name for all my children so that next time, in my orbituary, I can have ABC Eugene Loh, DEF Eugene Loh, XYZ Eugene Loh (alphabets are their real names lah). I told Father Fabian that there is uniformity in my orbituary, looks neater and nicer right? LOL. But my #2 has a better idea. Michael is the archangel’s name. There are two other archangels (or maybe more, I don’t know lah). One is Gabriel and one is Raphael. (pronounce as ra-fah-el and not ray-feel like how the Bishop pronounced). So, he took Raphael. Lucky he doesn’t want Donatello like Ninja Turtle.
Michael Raphael with Father Fabian. Actually, we can opt not to take a Saint’s name if our name is already a Saint’s name. I didn’t take a Saint’s name during my baptism/confirmation (conversion to Catholic) because there is already a Saint Lillian that I want to emulate.
The newly confirmed Catholic was extremely hungry because the mass was rather long. We went to have dinner at Mizi Bistro after mass.
I asked him what he remembered about the Bishop homily and he said, “Breastfeeding and wasting time.” LOL, it’s true. The Bishop preached that parents should breastfeed their babies and they should spend time, ‘wasting time with their children’. Praise God, I think I got ’em right, somewhat. ‘Cos my kids are all good boys mah….Heh.
It is nice having so many kids. I will go through all these sacraments, once every few years. By the time my youngest get confirm when he is 16 years old, I will be 54 years old. So, this photo is for keepsake. Too bad I didn’t take a photo with the eldest son, two years ago.
(the person with his hand on my son’s shoulder is the godparent. Godparents play an important role and they must be there during all these sacraments. You can see the godparent at Matthew’s baptism in 2003 on this post)
In closing, I wish Bishop would praised us parents more for bringing up these teens. (maybe Bishop did but I wasn’t paying attention LOL) In this modern world and some of us who are not born Catholics and have spouses not of the Catholic faith, I think we have done well by bringing up these 16 years old who willingly and excitedly embraced the Catholic faith. It is one of the hardest faith to embrace because there are so many challenges for the young people. So, every parent should be extremely proud, sitting there, witnessing the labour of their love and God’s grace. Mostly, God grace.
Tralallala…In another four years, my #3 son will be confirmed and my #5 who will receive his first holy communion.