20year

Our community has more than twenty years of history in Dallas. What began as five or six families coming together to study the Bible and pray together, quickly became a community that regularly gathered at nearby churches for Masses and meetings. As the numbers grew, they requested that the Diocese of Dallas help establish a permanent Chinese Catholic community in 1990. In 1992, we put our money together and purchased a small office building in Richardson, Texas. By the end of 1993, we had renovated it to become our sanctuary and activity hall. With the guidance of priests seconded from Taiwan and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, our small community grew stronger in numbers and in faith.

A Word from the Pastor

 

The Sacrament of Confirmation

Friar Paul P. Pang, O.F.M.


Before His death and resurrection, Our Lord Jesus said something very important to the future lives of the apostles. Here is what He said to them during the Last Supper: “I did not tell you this from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to the one who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts. But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For it I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you….I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth” (Jn. 16:4b-13). Despite the three years they were with Him, Jesus knew that his apostles could not comprehend the mystery of His passion, death and resurrection. They needed to wait.

It is true the apostles needed the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, to enlighten them about the whole puzzling reality before they could go out to preach the truth of salvation. They could not understand, much less explain, the mystery of the suffering Messiah before the coming of the Advocate. This we will see only on the day of the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Day. St. Luke gave us the full account of this fact: “When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim” (Acts 2:1-4). This is the birthday of the Church! And the Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church!

Of the seven sacraments that Jesus instituted, the sacrament of Confirmation could be the least understood. Normally the baptized children will wait until they are seven or eight years of age before they are instructed to receive their first Holy Eucharist. Then in more or less two more years they receive instructions for the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation. After Vatican II, the Church restored the RCIA and RCIC courses. This renewal has greatly contributed to the understanding of this sacrament. In the past it was quite safe to say that for all the seven sacraments the rules of the Church for this sacrament (especially in some local Churches) were the least strict. And yet, theologically speaking, or even practically speaking, Confirmation is a very important sacrament because it marks the coming of age of the believer. Once you receive this sacrament, you are considered an adult believer and you are expected to live a full spiritual life in the Church. In fact there are many beautiful and meaningful descriptive titles of such a Christian: the courageous soldier of Christ, the receptacle of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the active member of the body of Christ, the conscientious member of the believing community and so on.

Talking about receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit, Confir-mation almost repeated the words of our Saviour when he spoke during the Last Supper about how only the Holy Spirit could teach them the truth. And that is the charisma that the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit mean to the confirmand. These gifts were first mentioned in The Book of Isaiah: “wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, respect and fear” (11:2-3). These gifts are meant to make the believer a perfect follower of Christ. There are also the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit which accompany whoever receives this sacrament (Gal. 5:22-23).

We wish also to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly congratulate our sixteen brothers and sisters who were confirmed when our Bishop came to our church for the first time to administer this sacrament on April 6th 2008. May they continue to enjoy the fruits of the Holy Spirit as they become fully- fledged members of our parish community!

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