Youths in Eugene take a selfie with Archbishop Alexander Sample.
Youths in Eugene take a selfie with Archbishop Alexander Sample.

EUGENE — Archbishop Alexander Sample was in Eugene for confirmation last week. There were 26 youths confirmed, half Hispanic.

Six parishes were represented at the rite: St. Mary, Eugene; St. Paul, Eugene; St. Peter, Eugene; St. Catherine of Sienna, Veneta; St. Michael, Oakridge; and St. Joseph, Roseburg.

Archbishop Sample told the congregation that the Chrism includes sweet smelling balsam and represents the fragrance of Christ.   

"I want you to smell like this oil,” he told confirmands. “Why? Because it is Christ oil. I want you to literally smell like Christ. That is your mission as confirmed Catholics, to be witnesses in the world today, so that people will notice you. The gift of the Holy Spirit will remain with you always."

“It is reassuring to me to see Hispanics in my community participate in this Sacrament,” says Julie Rutledge-Sanchez, director of religious education at St. Mary’s. “It strengthens my trust in God and gives me hope for the future. I makes me proud that our young people understand how important their faith is.”

The confirmation candidates have not just talked about faith. They have lived it out. They help the parish host homeless people, among other things.

“They will be the bridge between various components of the Church,” Rutledge-Sanchez adds, noting that the youths speak both Spanish and English.  

“It is so important to show our youth that they are vital to the community — we need them and what they have to offer,” she says, adding that it’s important to have the archbishop come.

“He is the visible sign of an invisible reality,” she explains.