56 girls were recently confirmed. Isn’t that too big a group? I would rather have smaller groups, and the Archdiocese of ___ has no shortage of auxiliary bishops and vicars.
There is no requirement in canon law that the number of confirmands be small.
I commend diocesan bishops who do confirmations themselves rather than delegate them to others – even to his auxiliaries!
For the vast majority of Catholics, the moment of their confirmation is the only time in their lives when they are face to face with their bishop.
A diocesan bishop who opts to do confirmations himself highlights both the importance of the sacrament and also his concern for the lives of those entrusted to his care.
In my own case, at my reception into the Catholic Church as a convert, the pastor chose not to confirm me. Instead, he wanted me to be confirmed by a bishop. Thus, I was confirmed by a former pastor of the parish who was by then the retired bishop of New Ulm in Minnesota, Bishop Alphonse Schladweiler. May he rest in peace. We should pray for the priests and bishops who baptized us and confirmed us. As a matter of fact, I suggest that when there are baptisms, you tie a label to the candle – indicating also the name of the priest who presided, and save it against the day when another priest may have to bring viaticum! But I digress. Being confirmed by a bishop made a big impact on me.
Let the minister of confirmation be at least a bishop!
Yes, I know that diocesan bishops have a lot to do. If the diocese is large, the confirmations could be quite demanding. Yes, I know that there are “good reasons” why the diocesan bishop can’t do all the confirmations. Yes, I know that some dioceses are waiting for a new bishops. Yes, I know that a person confirmed by a priest is not any less “confirmed” as far as the res et sacramentum are concerned.
But…what are is the local bishop for if not – first and foremost – to impart those sacraments for which – in the Latin Church at least – he is the primary ministers? Isn’t this really his role?