Call Me Catholic

Confirmation with Raymond Cardinal Burke

Yesterday five of our seven children had the great privilege of receiving the Rite of the Confirmation in the Extraordinary Form by Raymond Cardinal Burke.

Here we are afterwards, meeting His Eminence.  Just about to kneel for his blessing.

The whole day was one marked by great beauty.  We were surrounded by our family and friends.  The weather, albeit a bit hot and sticky, was clear of thunderstorms.  And we were able to pray in the magnificent Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, WI.

The Traditional Rite of Confirmation began with the priests and Cardinal Burke chanting the Veni Creator Spiritus and then moved on to an Exhortation.

Cardinal Burke, seated on the faldstool, about to give his Exhortation.  Fr. Altman is seated to the right.

At one point, during his Exhortation, Cardinal Burke said, “Do not give way to cowardly fear, for you will face opposition and persecution.”  This being one of the reasons why one needs the Sacrament of Confirmation, as it increases sanctifying grace and gives us the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit.  (It also leaves an indelible mark upon one’s soul.)

He also repeatedly encouraged all the confirmandi to, “Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your particular vocation, as your vocation is the way to happiness in this life and in the life to come.”  And again, with strength, “Pray to know your vocation and respond to it with your whole heart.”

Following his brief words, Cardinal Burke outstretched his hands in prayer over the confirmandi, invoking the Holy Spirit.  Then the Cardinal confirmed them individually as he or she knelt before him with the sponsor standing behind.  This was the Second Laying on of Hands and the Anointing.  The confirmandi then received the acclaimed “Slap.”

The Slap, intended to be a reminder that one must be ready at all times to suffer for the faith, was our children’s favorite part.  It’s more like a “tap” and was given with the words, “Pax tecum.”  Or, “Peace be with you.”  One of my son’s remarked with a twinkle in his eye, “I was hoping for good whack.  He didn’t smack me hard enough!”

Here we are again.

In the end, we feel very blessed and are so very thankful for Cardinal Burke’s willingness to administer this most holy Sacrament, for it was just that–holy.

As an aside…one my my girls remarked, “Mom, he’s got a pretty hat.”  Yes, he does!*


*It’s called a mitre.

3 thoughts on “Confirmation with Raymond Cardinal Burke”

  1. Oooh I was hoping you’d post about this! Please tell your children that there were happy prayers here for them from Melbourne Australia where sadly our churches are still closed with Holy Communion being banned unless for final viaticum. Special prayers from my 9 year old for Paul too (my son was particularly impressed with his hospital Lego).
    May I ask what Confirmation makes the children choose?


    1. Dear Bernadette, I am so sorry your churches are closed. What an unimaginable hardship. May the Holy Spirit strengthen you all and give you courage and longanimity.

      Thank you so much for the prayers, especially from your little boy. My Paul is doing very well, but he’s still experiencing some abnormal swelling in his spine. It’s likely we’ll be visiting with his doctor again, if it doesn’t go down, by the end of the week.

      Lastly, you asked a question…did you mean Confirmation “names?” It was a bit unclear, but if so, here’s what they chose: Sts. Dorothy, Joseph, Philip Neri, Miguel Pro, and Lucy–pray for us!


  2. Thanks Kim, Yes, I did mean Confirmation names (don’t you just love autocorrect?!) and I rejoice with you all! I find so much joy in the saints and our membership in the Communion of Saints is so very consoling. As Paul doesn’t waste his sufferings I think I’ll offer up our closed churches for him and for you all, in gratitude too for your sharing. Makes me almost feel that I was in that beautiful church with its fearless shepherds! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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