St. Charles Lwanga Center, Archdiocesan Office of Black Catholic Ministries
Among the myriad of programs at the St. Charles Lwanga Center in St. Louis that promotes spiritual formation and leadership development is our teen program for the formation of the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Comprised of youth from various parishes, we have found a particular evangelizing strength when the formation happens with their peers. Not defeated by the pandemic, we completed the initial months long formation leading to the administration of the Sacrament in July. The next step beyond the celebration of the sacrament is what is often referred to as the mystagogy. The newly confirmed take time to reconnect and continually grow in assigning deeper and relevant meaning to the life of faith. As part of National Black Catholic History Month, the recently confirmed teens gathered for a celebration to ponder the meaning of a spiritual quilt and its various panels dating from 1886. Bringing to mind the significance of quilt making in the 18th and 19th centuries among the enslaved, there were experiences of prayer and and explanation of the stories being told in the panels. For instance, the participants were invited to make relevant the meanings of the dream of Jacob, the Last Supper, and the transaction of Judas in the Gospel, a sampling of the quilt's panels as displayed in the pictures. One might be inspired to ask how the Lord is speaking to us in our day and age in order to transmit the message of hope and God's love during these difficult times that we are living in and beyond. The event was well received.
The participants had already built a bond that they resumed upon encountering each other during the pandemic. We at the St. Charles Lwanga Center hope to be able to continue to provide these types of refuges for spiritual growth, both individually and communally.