Archbishop Bernard Longley pictured with Augustinian Friars, from left, Fr Laurence Brassil, Fr Michael Roche, Prior, and Fr George Donaghy, parish priest of St Mary’s Harborne

Archbishop Bernard Longley administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to 37 young members of the St Mary’s Harborne parish community in Birmingham during Mass on June 22, the Feast of St John Fisher and St Thomas More, writes Peter Jennings.

At the beginning of his homily the Archbishop of Birmingham invited the candidates to stand and the parents and sponsors to pray in silence for them as they prepared to receive the Holy Spirit.

Addressing the young people to be confirmed he said: “You are about to receive a gift that Our Lord promised to the apostles and one that will never be taken away from you.” Archbishop Longley added: “Know Our Lord as your friend and Master.”

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Confirmation, the Catechism says, “gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross”.

Archbishop Longley, 55, was installed in Birmingham on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8 2009.

He was born in Manchester and educated at the Royal Northern College of Music and New College Oxford.

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