Bishop Smith consecrates the host during the confirmation Mass at St. Francis Parish. A total of 31 young people — 24 from St. Francis and seven from St. Cyril Parish in Wilsonville — were confirmed during the Mass. (Courtesy Rick Keating)
Bishop Smith consecrates the host during the confirmation Mass at St. Francis Parish. A total of 31 young people — 24 from St. Francis and seven from St. Cyril Parish in Wilsonville — were confirmed during the Mass. (Courtesy Rick Keating)
SHERWOOD — It’s confirmation season, and at parishes throughout the Portland Archdiocese hundreds of young people are receiving the sacrament. Confirmation, one of three sacraments of Christian initiation, completes the grace received at baptism.

Archbishop Alexander Sample, Auxiliary Bishop Peter Smith and retired Archbishop John Vlazny travel across western Oregon to celebrate the confirmation Masses and anoint the confirmandi with sacred chrism.

On May 23, 31 young men and women — 24 from St. Francis Parish here and seven from St. Cyril Parish in Wilsonville — were confirmed by Bishop Smith.

Monica Conrow, faith formation coordinator at St. Francis, said most teens come to confirmation class begrudgingly in October out of an obligation to their parents.

“You would think that this scenario would be painful for those leading the classes,” said Conrow. “But it actually makes my heart so happy and excited to see their reluctant hearts, because I know who they are about to encounter during the nine months of classes — particularly when they receive the sacrament. This is grounds for miraculous transformations.”

Conrow said last year’s confirmation Masses at St. Francis were celebrated with the parish priest for just three to four confirmandi at a time. There was no music, limited family members in attendance and a fear of touching during the anointing.

“Juxtaposing that with confirmation Mass this year brought about a breath of fresh air and tears of joy,” Conrow said. “Sometimes God allows us to be without so we can truly appreciate his beauty in ‘normalcy’ and ordinary life.”