Pentecost marks renewal of Archdiocese of Detroit's mission, given to each person, since graces of Synod 16, archbishop says
DETROIT — In his homily shortly before confirming dozens of adult candidates on Pentecost Sunday at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron had a word of wisdom to share.
The candidates were about to receive the same Holy Spirit that propelled Mary and the apostles to go forth on a mission to spread the Gospel throughout the world.
Now, it was their turn.
“Confirmation is the gift of the Holy Spirit to put you on a mission, just as it moved the apostles to open the doors of the upper room and begin their mission, which started in Jerusalem, and then went through all of Judea to Antioch and in the whole known world of that day,” Archbishop Vigneron said.
"Today, the Holy Spirit comes upon you with a particular fire and power,” Archbishop Vigneron continued. “It is appropriate that we take this time to consider prayerfully what it is God is doing in your lives and what you are inviting Him to do as you get out of the pew and present yourself for this anointing.”
Adult confirmations take place during Pentecost weekend in the Archdiocese of Detroit, a day after the ordination of new priests — both fitting reminders of the Holy Spirit's powerful presence in the Church.
The Archdiocese of Detroit had its own experience of Pentecost during Synod 16, which renewed the local Church's commitment to being sent on mission, the archbishop explained. The following Pentecost, Archbishop Vigneron released his landmark pastoral letter, "Unleash the Gospel," which has guided the local Church's mission ever since.
“We said that we would be this Church that God wants us to be, that we would put mission ahead of everything else because God does indeed want his world back,” Archbishop Vigneron said, repeating a saying he's repeated often since the synod. “It is for His glory and for the sake of others that we have been renewed in this mission. There have been many setbacks on our missionary path since 2016 — but we have retained our focus.”
The archbishop asked for prayers as the archdiocese continues to obediently carry out this mission, particularly for the upcoming Missionary Renewal Assembly, during which clergy and parish leaders will reflect upon the graces of the synod, to take place June 27-29 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.
With their confirmation, Archbishop Vigneron said the candidates would soon become part of this missionary future of the archdiocese, which will become “contagious,” just as the apostles' mission was.
“Peter, Andrew, John and James were filled with the Spirit and then shared the Spirit; you are receiving the Spirit so you can share Him,” Archbishop Vigneron said. “This is your ministry, your task: to take whatever part of the world God has entrusted to you, whether it be a piece of real estate in Monroe or up in Lapeer, wherever your family and work take you, and to make it new in the spirit of Jesus. To take it away from the power of the evil one and see that God’s will is done wherever you act.”
Through confirmation, all of the God-given gifts and talents one possesses from birth become consecrated to the mission of bringing the world back into the embrace of God the Father, the archbishop added.
Just as he did with the apostles in the upper room, Jesus will breathe the Holy Spirit into each person through confirmation, Archbishop Vigneron said.
“What is the strength that gives you the power to be on mission? It is the very strength of Jesus himself. He becomes your second soul, your new breath,” the archbishop explained. “When God the Father sees what you do, when He looks at your performance, your share in the mission, He sees that it is as worthy and noble, as good as if it were done by Jesus personally, because it is by this power of the Spirit and Jesus at work in you.”
Receiving this gift of the Holy Spirit is ultimately about spreading God’s love and banishing sin and death, the archbishop said.
“The world needs you to speak of the hope that is ours in Christ Jesus, the hope of being able to conquer sin and so live forever,” Archbishop Vigneron said.
Feast days Archdiocese of Detroit