06/29/2017, 14.45
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Andhra Pradesh holds 74 confirmations and 40 first communions. Bishop Gallela tells youth to live free from sin

by Purushottam Nayak

The ceremony took place in Cuddapah on the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist in the presence of about 1000 faithful, 12 priests and 14 nuns. The bishop told the youth that "The sacrament of confirmation strengthens you in the faith."

Kadapa (AsiaNews) – On 24 June, Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, some 40 children received their first communion and another 74 received their confirmation in St Mary Cathedral, Kadapa (Andhra Pradesh). About a thousand people attended the service as did 12 priests and 14 nuns.

In his address, Mgr Prasad Gallela, bishop of Cuddapah (Kadapa), told the youth to "Be like Saint John the Baptist, prototype and forerunner of Jesus, whose voice echoed in the desert.”

The prelate explained why so many choose still today to follow the example of the Baptist. They do it "For God's sake, to live a life free from sin, far from distractions, temptations, foolishness and worldly pleasures. This way they can be more dedicated to God in prayer, silence, contemplation, and quiet work in the service of God."

“For the cathedral, it was a joyous day,” said pastor Fr Sagil Prakash. “The children prepared themselves to receive the sacraments over three to four months of catechism, during which they understood the meaning" of their action.

"I am really happy to receive the Lord in the temple of my heart,” said one of them, Madan Paul. “He is loving, gentle, merciful, and gives me knowledge and strength day after day. "

Sindhu Priya, another of the kids, said, "Today I am called to possess the virtues of honesty, simplicity, purity, sincerity and good character, which make me a good human being."

"May the Sacrament of Confirmation strengthen you in the faith,” Mgr Gallela told the children. “With the Holy Communion, we have the privilege of receiving the Lord Jesus, the Saviour, in our hearts. Thus, we shall be more united."

Lastly, he noted, "As Saint John grew in knowledge and wisdom, gifted with the Holy Spirit to be the forerunner, the voice of the Lord, may our lives be an example to others."

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