San Rocco Oratory

of the Archdiocese of Chicago

Cardinal George, Liturgy of the Word
Now begins the Liturgy of the Word. Above, on the right, Mayor Angelo Ciambrone proclaims the First Reading, from the Book of Isaiah. God says he comes to gather people of every nation. They shall come, he says, and see his glory.

Gospel proclaimed by Deacon Bob Bonta
At the microphone, Deacon Bob Bonta proclaims the Gospel. Christ says we should "strive to enter through the narrow door" and that people will come from all over to share the banquet in the kingdom. Some who are last will be first, and some are first who will be last.

Cardinal George walking down to people.
After the Gospel, Cardinal George walks down to the front of the congregation, so that he could be heard easily. Most of the people are seated in the tent; some are standing along the edge.

Cardinal George beginning his sermon.
Close to the people, Cardinal George gives the Sunday sermon. He says that the Gospel fulfills the Old Testament. Now, Christ brings all people into his kingdom. This takes place in the Church, in our midst.

Cardinal George preaching to the people.
He emphasizes that in the sacraments and especially in the Eucharist, it is Christ who acts, Christ who is always the principal agent of grace, Christ who brings us to his Father.

Jac.kie Petrelli professes her faith
Having completed three months of instruction, Jackie Petrelli here professes her faith to Cardinal George. Her sponsor, Joe, her husband, stands with her. Father John McDonnell is on the right.

Confirmation of Jackie Petrelli
Having been baptized as a child, Jackie Petrelli now receives the sacrament of confirmation from her bishop, Cardinal George. This is the second sacrament of Christian initation. Later in the Mass, she will receive her first Holy Communion, as a member of the Catholic Church. Deacon Ray Deabel assists the bishop.

General Intercessions
The Liturgy of the Word concludes with the singing of the General Intercessions, led by Deacon Gene LaBelle, on the right. As usual, the people respond, "Lord, we beg you, hear our prayer" in four-part harmony. Yes, they really do sing in four parts, Sunday after Sunday.

The Bishop as First Minister of the Sacraments of Initiation

Here is another excerpt from the Ceremonial of Bishops, numbers 404 and 1182:

The bishop is the chief steward of the mysteries of God and the overseer of all liturgical life in the Church entrusted to his care. He therefore regulates the conferral of baptism, which brings with it a share in Christ's royal priesthood; and he is the primary minister of confirmation. The bishop also has responsibility for the entire process of Christian initiation, a responsibility he carries out personally or through the presbyters, deacons, and catechists of his diocese.

Ecclesiastical tradition has viewed pastoral responsibility in this regard to be so peculiarly the bishop's own as to declare without qualification, in the words of  St. Ignatius of Antioch: "It is not permitted to baptize without the authorization of the bishop."

There is special reason for the bishop to be involved in the Christian initiation of adults and to celebrate its principal steps. He should exercise his ministry in the sacraments of initiation for both adults and children at the solemn celebration of the Easter Vigil and, as far as possible, during pastoral visitations.


It is recommended that during the pastoral visitation the bishop confer not only the sacrament of confirmation but other sacraments as well, particularly in his visits to the sick. In this way he will more clearly appear to the faithful as the chief steward of the mysteries of God and as the overseer and guardian of the entire liturgical life in the Church entrusted to his care.

Reception into Full Catholic Communion (from the National Statutes for the Catechumenate, nos. 30-35, passim)

Those who have been already been baptized in another Church or ecclesial community should not be treated as catechumens or so designated. Their doctrinal and spiritual preparation for reception into full Catholic communion should be determined according to the individual case, that is, it should depend on the extent to which the baptized person has led a Christian life within a community of faith and been appropriately catechized to deepen his or her inner adherence to the Church.

Those baptized persons who have lived as Christians and need only instruction in the Catholic tradition and a degree of probation within the Catholic community should not be asked to undergo a full program parallel to the catechumenate.

The reception of candidates into the communion of the Catholic Church should ordinarily take place at the Sunday Eucharist of the parish community, in such a way that it is understood that they are indeed Christian believers who have already shared the sacramental life of the Church and are now welcomed into the Catholic eucharistic community upon their profession of faith and confirmation, if they have not been confirmed, before receiving the Eucharist.

The "Rite of Reception into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church" respects the traditional sequence of confirmation before Eucharist.

Rite of Christian Initation of Adults (nos. 473-486)

This is the liturgical rite by which a person born and baptized in a separated ecclesial community is received, according to the Latin Rite, in the full communion of the Catholic Church. The rite is so arranged that no greater burden than necessary (see Acts 15:28) is required for the establishment of communion and unity.

(In the case of Eastern Christians who enter into the fullness of Catholic communion, no liturgical rite is required, but simply a profession of Catholic faith, even if such persons are permitted, in virtue of recourse to the Apostolic See [Rome], to transfer to the Latin Rite.)

The rite should appear clearly as a celebration of the Church and have as its high point Eucharistic communion. For this reason the rite should normally take place during Mass.

Reception into Full Communion with Confirmation

(the candidate:) I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.

(the bishop:) Jacalyn, the Lord receives you into the Catholic Church. His loving kindness has led you here, so that in the unity of the Holy Spirit you may have full communion with us in the faith that you have professed in the presence of his family.

My dear candidate for confirmation, by your baptism you have been born again in Christ and you have become a member of Christ and of his priestly people.  Now you are to share in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit among us, the Spirit sent by the Lord upon his apostles at Pentecost and given by them and their successors to the baptized.

The promised strength of the Holy Spirit, which you are to receive, will make you more like Christ and help you to be a witness to his suffering, death, and resurrection. It will strengthen you to be an active member of the Church and to build up the Body of Christ in faith and love.

. . .  All-powerful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by water and the Holy Spirit, you freed your sons and daughters from sin and gave them new life. Send your Holy Spirit upon her, to be her helper and guide. Give her the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence.  Fill her with the spirit of wonder and awe in your presence.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.

(all:) Amen.

(the bishop:) Jacalyn, be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.

(newly confirmed:)  Amen.

Next page: Cardinal George Pastoral Visit: Liturgy of the Eucharist

St Rocco Oratory

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