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St Joseph's, Harrogate, Confirmation Celebrant by Rt. Reverend Marcus Stock

St Joseph's, Harrogate, Confirmation Celebrant by Rt. Reverend Marcus Stock

St Joseph's, Harrogate, Confirmation Celebrant by Rt. Reverend Marcus Stock

Tuesday evening, (5th May 2015, saw Bishop Marcus' first celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation as a Bishop in front of a full congregation at St Joseph's, Bilton, Harrogate; starting off their 90th Anniversary celebrations in style. Bishop Marcus confessed it was his first ever visit to Harrogate so it was a special occasion and like all firsts it should be a joy and the memory should stay with us for the rest of our lives.

In his homily Bishop Marcus spoke of the personal Pentecost in receiving the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. He recalled his own confirmation at the hands of one of his predecessors as Bishop of Leeds, Archbishop George Patrick Dwyer, and his immediate predecessor as the last Bishop to be ordained in St Anne's Cathedral, Leeds. He remembered being quizzed on the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and getting a rather robust slap on the face as part of the ceremony; he hoped the 18 confirmandi would find his touch gentler.

Bishop Marcus spoke of the message in the Gospel reading from St John of the Holy Spirit as an Advocate sent by the Father to be with the Disciples forever. ‘The test of love' he said ‘is that another will stand with us no matter what; the gift of the Spirit will be with us forever'. He spoke of a personal engagement in the mission of the Lord strengthened by the gifts of the Holy Spirit and concluded by offering the prayer of St Paul for the Confirmandi;

‘Give them the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of right judgement and courage, the Spirit of knowledge and reverence. Fill them with the Spirit of wonder and awe in your presence. Amen'