My heart is drawn to the profound significance of the Easter season—a time to immerse oneself in the beauty of the sacraments, a time for spiritual renewal and a time to uplift those embarking on their own sacramental journeys. It is during this period that we, as a faith community, come together to reflect on the promises made, the names bestowed, and the divine missions entrusted to us.

As I was preparing for my Confirmation in the 7th or 8th grade, I vividly remember the call to be a soldier for Christ, inspired by an image of St. Michael the Archangel, adorned in soldier regalia. This encounter sparked a decision that would shape my spiritual identity. I chose Michael as my Confirmation name.

John Patrick Michael Dolan became not just a name but a proclamation of faith, a good Irish name weaving together the earthly and the divine. A name given at Baptism, entwined with a name chosen at Confirmation—each carrying its own resonance in the sacramental symphony of my life. In this symphony, our names play a pivotal role, comprising the baptismal name selected by our parents and the saint-inspired Confirmation name chosen by our hearts.

Take a moment to reflect on your names, for they are not arbitrary labels but vessels carrying the weight of divine purpose. Our names become invitations, beckoning our patron saints into the ordinary moments of our lives. In choosing us, these saints become companions on our journey.

We see the importance of names through familiar stories in the Bible, where God bestows new names upon individuals, marking a transformation. Abram becomes Abraham, Sarai becomes Sarah, Simon becomes Peter, and Saul becomes Paul. In the act of renaming, a sacred mission is entrusted, a calling to embody the virtues of love, compassion, and fidelity. When we are initiated into God’s family through Baptism, we are gifted with a baptismal name, usually the name given at birth, but we are also given the name of Christian —a shared identity that binds us as soldiers for Christ and ambassadors of God’s love.

The Easter season is the perfect time to reflect on these sacramental truths. It is a season where we renew our baptismal promises—promises that bind us to the eternal covenant of grace. It is a time when we extend our prayers to those newly initiated into the Church, as well as to those receiving the sacraments of Confirmation and First Holy Communion. Their journey, like ours, is a sacred unfolding of purpose and mission.

On a specific day, within the sacred confines of a parish, each of us took on a new identity. We were given our baptismal names and collectively became Christians. I encourage you to find your baptismal certificate and celebrate the day that marks the beginning of your journey. Let it be a moment of reflection, gratitude and recommitment to the divine mission inherent in your Christian name.

Easter beckons us to dive deeper into the sacramental wellspring of our faith. It is a time to embrace our names, invite our patron saints into our lives, and reflect on the divine missions entrusted to us as soldiers for Christ. As we celebrate the Resurrection, let us also celebrate the sacramental tapestry that weaves our earthly names into the eternal narrative of God’s love.

Click here to see Facebook Photo Gallery from St. Elizabeth Seton First Communion and Confirmation

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