|Joe (holding the Bishop's staff), Bishop Sklba and John (Joe's sponsor)|
"To be anointed is to be Christed, since the name Christ means "anointed." ~Bishop Richard Sklba
My son Joe received the Sacrament of Confirmation on April 13th, conferred upon him by Bishop Richard Sklba. Bishop Sklba is known to use a lot of Chrism when he Confirms teenagers. When he Confirmed Joe, he rubbed it in his hair as if he were washing Joe's hair with the Chrism. Then he rubbed some onto John's hand that was resting on Joe's right shoulder. You can easily see the Chrism in Joe's hair in this picture, and even after he washed his hair the next morning, the heavenly fragrance of balsam continued to fill the air around Joe.
In his homily, Bishop Sklba offered an explanation as to why he has a reputation for being generous with the Chrism. He said, "To be anointed is to be Christed, since the name Christ means "anointed." The oil makes you beautiful because it causes you to shine. I say "be sealed with the Holy Spirit", and the "seal" makes it official like a seal on a diploma. You are anointed and sealed to become witnesses to how God works in the world."
"In your letters to me, some of you wrote that you wanted the Sacrament of Confirmation because you wanted to become adults in the faith. But today's Gospel reading contradicts that. We heard: "And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." ~Matthew 18:2-4 Children are very honest and open. You, too, are called to be honest and open about witnessing to Christ and to your Catholic faith."
He went on: "When you are Confirmed in the faith, I use enough Chrism so that it gets in your hair and when you sleep it gets in your pillow so you can dream about what God can do with you and for you. I use it on the sponsor's hand as a sign of the impulse of the Spirit. The fragrance is to remind you of God's very real presence in your life."
Then, as Bishop Sklba stood right in front of Joe, he stressed the fact that no two people are alike, that everyone is unique, and he used Joe as an example, telling him that there is nobody in this world who is exactly like him. And he said, "Now this Sacrament of Confirmation is not just for you alone; it's for everybody. The Sacrament is for mission, it's to send forth. On Monday you will all go back to your respective high schools and your schools will now be better places because of what we do today. The gift of the Spirit sends us forth to improve the world around us."