In an astoundingly beautiful ceremony - and one of the largest ever - 131 souls were made Soldiers of Christ in St. Marys, KS on April 22
On Saturday, April 22nd, Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the SSPX, administered the sacrament of Confirmation to 131 souls in St. Marys, KS. Although the majority were from Assumption Chapel in St. Marys, confirmands came from chapels in Oklahoma, Missouri, and Colorado as well to take advantage of this rare opportunity.
His Excellency later commented that it was one of the largest classes he had ever confirmed in his 29 years as a bishop!
The 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia explains the rite as follows:
In the Western Church the sacrament is usually administered by the bishop. At the beginning of the ceremony there is a general imposition of hands, the bishop meantime praying that the Holy Ghost may come down upon those who have already been regenerated: 'Send forth upon them thy sevenfold Spirit the Holy Paraclete.' He then anoints the forehead of each with chrism saying: 'I sign thee with the sign of the cross and confirm thee with the chrism of salvation, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.' Finally, he gives each a slight blow on the cheek saying: 'peace be with thee'. A prayer is added that the Holy Spirit may dwell in the hearts of those who have been confirmed, and the rite closes with the bishop's blessing."
In his sermon, Bishop Fellay commented on the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost, briefly explaining them to the confirmands. He also stressed the "military" nature of confirmation, the making of soldiers for Christ, reminding everyone that the Church on earth is known as Militant for a reason! All in all, it was a joyous occasion for the vibrant chapel and school in St. Mary's, with an outpouring of grace for everyone, especially those who were confirmed.
Since 1978, St. Mary's Academy & College and its parish has grown into a large traditional Catholic community, numbering approximately 4,000 souls. Catholics from all over the world have chosen to make St. Marys their home, drawn to this small town in rural Kansas by the schools and by the spiritual benefits of living in a Catholic community.