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Tuesday 25 June 2019

Fr. Hunwicke makes it ABUNDANTLY CLEAR!

Adding Water to the Chalice

Is it essential for a priest to add a drop of water to the Chalice at the Offertory?

Well, it all depends on what one means by 'essential'. It is not essential to validity. If a priest fails to do this, bread and wine are still transsubstantiated into the Lord's Body and Blood; the Holy Sacrifice is still validly offered. In general terms, it is very difficult for a priest to render a sacrament invalid.

Sometimes anxious Catholics wonder whether a Mass is invalid if the celebrant (for example) does not actually believe in the Mass. "How can he intend to offer Mass if he does not believe in the Mass?". It sounds like plain common sense, but in fact  it is contrary to the teaching of the Church. This is why an atheist or a Moslem can, in emergency, baptise a weak newly born baby, even though he/she does not believe in Christianity, still less, in Baptism. The basic intention to 'do the thing that Christians do', is sufficient. (And, of course, the use of water and the basic words.)

The Holy Office once had to decide on the validity of Baptisms performed by a nut-case priest who believed that by baptising a baby he was consigning it to the Devil!! The answer was that his Baptisms were valid. However misguided his views, as long as he was intending to do the thing called Baptism, it was valid. On another occasion, it came to light that Methodist missionaries in Oceania were actually saying in the course of the Baptism Service that it was merely a symbol and did not confer Regeneration. The Holy Office declared that even this public declaration of blasphemous heresy did not invalidate the baptisms.

The basic reason for this is that the Sacraments are the Sacraments of the Lord, and He is faithful to His promises.

The only way a priest could invalidate the Mass would be to use substances other than wheaten bread and wine of the grape; or to omit the crucial words of Consecration; or to form an intention deliberately not to consecrate ... out of hatred, perhaps, for the congregation or for the Lord ....

The apprehension among some Traddies that Novus Ordo Masses may often be invalid, because of a defect in the priest's 'Intention', is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. S Robert Bellarmine explained carefully that if a validly ordained priest became a Calvinist, and, believing that the Church of Geneva was Christ's True Church, intended to celebrate the Lord's Supper as the Calvinists had received it, his (dreadful and sacrilegious) service would still be a valid Mass.

Heresy, or even complete unbelief, on the part of a Minister does NOT invalidate his sacraments. Not ever.

Tuesday 18 June 2019

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd -- Information Meeting: Sunday, June 23 at 1:30 p.m.

This is a gathering for parents and other interested adults to explore the joint initiation of an Atrium (after school programme) for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a multi-faceted experience of the Catholic Faith for children.  

Please come with your questions as we explore possibilities along with our sister parishes of St. Vincent de Paul and Holy Family for the Western region of Toronto.

Sunday 16 June 2019

Pray for imprisioned bishops and priests in China.

Excerpted from the CATHOLIC HERALD

Bishop James Su Zhimin of Baoding, in China’s Hebei province, southwest of Beijing has been held jail for 23 years by the Chinese Communist government. 
In 1996, the bishop was arrested during a procession, and charged with conducting “unregistered” religious activities: Su had refused to join the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, the government recognized Catholic Church in China, and was instead a member of the “underground” Church- in communion with Rome, and appointed a bishop by Pope St. John Paul II, but unrecognized by the Chinese government as a bishop.

It was not the first time Su was arrested. According to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Human Rights Commission, Su has spent 40 years in prison, “without charge, without trial.”

Su reportedly escaped Chinese detention in 1997, but was rearrested.
“In November 2003, his family discovered him by chance at a hospital in Baoding, surrounded by police and public security. He has not been heard or seen from since, despite repeated international inquiries,” according to the Human Rights Commission.

In September 2018, Beijing and Vatican officials signed a provisional agreement on bishop appointments, that was intended to unify the underground Church and the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association.

According to Su Tianyou, neither Vatican nor Chinese officials have indicated whether Su might now be released.

In October 2018, Hong Kong’s Bishop Michael Yeung said that his diocese continued to pray for Su, and hope for his release.

“Whether he is in prison, or kept secret in some other place, or whether he has already died, nobody really knows,” Yueng told Reuters.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom’s latest report, issued April 29, noted that despite last year’s Vatican-China deal on the appointment of bishops, “repression of the underground Catholic Church increased during the latter half of the year.”

The commission, known as the USCIRF, is a bipartisan group that advises the President, Congress, and the Secretary of State on international religious freedom issues.

Among the report’s inclusion of commissioners’ “individual views” were those of Johnnie Moore, who called the deal “one of the most alarming incidents as it relates to religious freedom in the entire year.”

“Within days of the Vatican negotiating its deal, the Chinese used it as cover to embark upon the closure of several of the nation’s largest and most prominent unregistered church communities,” Moore wrote.

Moore believes the Vatican “now bears a significant moral and legal responsibility to help solve the problem which it helped create—albeit inadvertently—by providing China license to viciously crack down on Christian communities (as cited in this report) 

“While I am entirely for direct engagement on these issues, including with the most severe violators in the world, that engagement must not result in these types of unintended consequences, as has been the case in China. The Vatican made a terrible mistake, which it must take seriously. This debacle must be dealt with urgently and seriously.”

Wednesday 12 June 2019

Reefer Sadness by Peter Hitchens

Excerpts from a First Things review of a recent book which calls into question the Liberal Government policy of providing cannabis through provincially controlled stores.

May 2019

Tell Your Children: 
The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence
by Alex Berenson
Free Press, 272 pages, $26

The smoking of marijuana, with its careful preparation of the elements and the solemn passing around of the shared joint, was the unholy communion of the counterculture in the late 1960s, when our present elite formed its opinions. Many of them allowed their children to follow their bad examples, and resent that this exposes their young to a (tiny) risk of persecution and career damage. As a result, those who still disapprove of marijuana are much disliked. The book I wrote on the subject six years ago, The War We Never Fought, received a chilly reception and remains so obscure that I don’t think Alex Berenson, whose book has received much friendlier coverage, even knows it exists. As a writer who naturally covets readers and sales, I find this mildly infuriating.

But let me say through clenched teeth that it is of course very good news that a fashionable young metropolitan person such as Mr. Berenson is at last prepared to say openly that marijuana is a dangerous drug whose use should be severely discouraged. For, as Berenson candidly admits, he was until recently one of the great complacent mass of bourgeois bohemians who are pretty relaxed about it. He confesses in the most important passage in the book that he once believed what most of such people believed. He encapsulates this near-universal fantasy thus:

Marijuana is safe. Way safer than alcohol. Barack Obama smoked it. Bill Clinton smoked it too, even if he didn’t inhale. Might as well say it causes presidencies. I’ve smoked it myself, I liked it fine. Maybe I got a little paranoid, but it didn’t last. Nobody ever died from smoking too much pot.

These words are a more or less perfect summary of the lazy, ignorant, self-serving beliefs of highly educated, rather stupid middle-class metropolitans all over the Western world in such places as, let’s just say for example, the editorial offices of the New York Times. Thirty years from now (when it’s too late), they will look as crass and irresponsible as those magazine advertisements from the 1950s in which pink-faced doctors wearing white coats recommended certain brands of cigarettes. But just now, we are in that foggy zone of consciousness where the truth is known to almost nobody except those with a certain kind of direct experience, and can be ignored by everyone else.

One of the experienced ones, thank heaven, is Alex Berenson’s wife Jacqueline. She is a psychiatrist who specializes in evaluating mentally ill criminals. One evening, the Berensons were discussing one of her cases, a patient who had committed a terrible, violent act. Casually, Jacqueline remarked, “Of course he was high, been smoking pot his whole life.” Alex doubtfully interjected, “Of course?,” and she replied, “Yeah, they all smoke.” (She didn’t mean tobacco.) And she is right. They all do. You don’t need to be a psychiatrist to know this. You just have to be able to do simple Internet searches.

Most violent crime is scantily reported, since local newspapers lack the resources they once had. The exceptions are rampage mass killings by terrorists (generally in Europe) and non-political crazies (more common in the United States). These crimes are intensively reported, to such an extent that news media find things out they were not even looking for, such as the fact that the perpetrator is almost always a long-term marijuana user. Where he isn’t (and it is almost always a he), some other legal or illegal psychotropic, such as steroids or “antidepressants,” is usually in evidence. But you do have to look, and most people don’t. Then you have to see a pattern, one that a lot of important, influential people specifically do not want to see.

You’ll only find out if you’re susceptible by taking it. It is not soft. It is not safe. It is one of the most dangerous drugs there is, and we are on the verge of allowing it to be advertised and put on open sale. Berenson has gotten into predictable trouble for asserting that the connection is pretty much proved. Alas, this is not quite so. But the correlation is hugely powerful. The chance that it is meaningful is great. Who would be surprised if a drug with powerful psychotropic effects turned out to be the cause of mental illness in its users? Correlation is not causation, but it is one of the main tools of epidemiology. Causation, especially in matters of the brain, is extraordinarily difficult to prove, and so we may have to base our actions, or our refusals to take action, on something short of total certainty.

Tell Your Children is filled with persuasive, appalling individual case histories of wild violence, including the abuse of small children. It also lists and explains the significance of powerful, large-scale surveys of Swedish soldiers and New Zealand students, which connect the drug to mental illness and lowered school performance. Berenson provides facts and statistics about violent crime in places where marijuana is widely available, and anecdotes so repetitive that they cease to be anecdotes. The puzzle remains as to why it is necessary to say all this repeatedly when a sensible person would listen the first time. Perhaps it is because of the large, and very well-funded, campaigns for marijuana legalization described by Berenson. People who drink fair-trade coffee and eat vegan, who loathe other greed lobbies—such as pharmaceuticals, tobacco, fast food, or sugary drinks—smile on this campaign to make money from the misery of others.

Berenson also witheringly describes the propaganda devised by those who want to legalize the drug, from the mind-expanding zealots who view drug use as liberating to the hard-headed entrepreneurs and political professionals. Argue against them at your peril. Your audience may learn something, but your opponents will not. Willful ignorance is the most powerful barrier to communication. It seals the human mind up like a fortress. You might as well read the works of Jean-Paul Sartre to a hungry walrus as try to debate with such people. I have attempted it. They don’t hear a word you say, but they hate you for getting in their way.

Berenson gives a fairly thorough account of the “medical marijuana” campaign, an almost comically absurd attempt to portray a poison as a medicine. This campaign is so bogus that it will vanish from the earth within days of full legalization, because in truth there is very little evidence that marijuana-based medicines are of much use. Berenson quotes one refreshingly candid marijuana defender as admitting, “Six percent of all marijuana users use it for medical purposes. Medical marijuana is a way of protecting a subset of society from arrest.”

Legalization campaigners are working like termites to undo the 1961 U.N. Convention that is the basis of most national laws against narcotics, using all the money and dishonesty at their command. They have plenty of both. So, besides the two disastrous, irrevocably legal poisons of alcohol and tobacco, we shall before long have a third—and probably a fourth and fifth not long afterward. If marijuana is legal, how will we keep cocaine and ecstasy illegal for long? Next will come heroin and LSD.

One reason for the default in favor of legalization and non-enforcement is the false association made by so many between marijuana and liberty. The belief that a dangerous, stupefying drug is an element of human liberty has taken hold of two, perhaps three generations. They should know better. Aldous Huxley warned in his much-cited but infrequently read dystopian novel Brave New World that modern men, appalled by the disasters of war and social conflict, would embrace a world where thinking and knowledge were obsolete and pleasure and contentment were the aims of a short life begun in a test-tube and ended by euthanasia. He predicted that they would drug themselves and one another to banish the pains of real life, and—worst of all—come to love their own servitude. In one terrible scene, the authorities spray protesting low-caste workers with the pleasure drug soma, and the workers end up hugging one another and smiling vaguely before returning to their drudgery. (Soma, unlike its real-life modern equivalents, is described as harmless, something easier to achieve in fiction than in reality.) What ruler of a squalid, wasteful, unfair, and ugly society such as ours would not prefer a stupefied, flaccid population to an angry one? Yet somehow, the freedom to stupefy oneself is held up quite seriously by educated people as the equal of the freedoms of thought, speech, and assembly. This is the way the world ends, with a joint, a bong, and a simper.

Whatever was wrong with my intense little segment of the 1960s revolutionary generation (and plenty was wrong with it), we believed that when we saw injustice we should fight it, not dope ourselves into a state of mind where it no longer mattered. But my tiny strand of puritan Bolsheviks was long ago absorbed into a giggling mass of cultural revolutionaries, who scrawled “Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll” on their banners instead of “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity,” or even “Workers of All Lands, Unite!”

While Berenson’s facts are devastating, his own response to the crisis is feeble. He opposes marijuana legalization—and what intelligent person does not? He babbles of education and warning our children. But he declares that “decriminalization is a reasonable compromise.” Actually, it is not. It cannot be sustained. If matters are left as they are, legalization—first de facto and then de jure—will follow, because there will be no impetus to resist it. Unless the law decisively disapproves of and discourages the actual use of the drug, it is neither morally consistent nor practically effective. The global drug trade would be nowhere without the dollars handed over to it by millions of individuals who are the end-users. We search for Mr. Big and never catch him. But we ignore or even indulge Mr. Small, regarding him as a victim, when in truth he keeps the whole thing going. In the end, the logic leads relentlessly to the stern prosecution and deterrent punishment of individual users. It is because I recognize this grim necessity that I remain a pariah. It is because he doesn’t that Alex Berenson is still just about acceptable in the part of the Western world that believes marijuana is a torch of freedom. 

Peter Hitchens (brother of Christopher)  is a columnist for The Mail on Sunday.

New document from the Congregation for Catholic Education says that gender theory is a 'cultural and ideological revolution'

The document calls on Catholic schools to resist 'attempts to negate the male-female duality of human nature.

“In all such [gender] theories, from the most moderate to the most radical, there is agreement that one’s gender ends up being viewed as more important than being of male or female sex,” the Congregation for Catholic Education issued it’s magisterial teaching on June 10, in a new document entitled “Male and Female He Created Them.”

“The effect of this move is chiefly to create a cultural and ideological revolution driven by relativism, and secondarily a juridical revolution, since such beliefs claim specific rights for the individual and across society.”

The document aims to set out an intellectual framework “towards a path of dialogue on the question of gender theory in education.”

“There is a need to reaffirm the metaphysical roots of sexual difference, as an anthropological refutation of attempts to negate the male-female duality of human nature, from which the family is generated,” the document explains.

“The denial of this duality not only erases the vision of human beings as the fruit of an act of creation but creates the idea of the human person as a sort of abstraction who ‘chooses for himself what his nature is to be.’”

Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi s the prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education. The document outlines the philosophical origins of the gender theory movement, and notes the broad movement to enshrine its unique and recent anthropology in policy and law.

Beginning in the middle of the twentieth century, a series of studies were published which claimed that external conditioning determines personality. These studies were applied to human sexuality claiming that sexuality identity s more a social construct than a given natural or biological fact.

“These schools of thought were united in denying the existence of any original given element in the individual, which would precede and at the same time constitute our personal identity, forming the necessary basis of everything we do.”

“Over the course of time, gender theory has expanded its field of application. At the beginning of the 1990s, its focus was upon the possibility of the individual determining his or her own sexual tendencies without having to take account of the reciprocity and complementarity of male-female relationships, nor of the procreative end of sexuality,” the document says.

The result is a “radical separation between gender and sex, with the former having priority over the later.”

“The propositions of gender theory converge in the concept of ‘queer’, which refers to dimensions of sexuality that are extremely fluid, flexible, and as it were, nomadic.”

The result of this ideological trend is an undermining of the family.
“[In gender theory] the only thing that matters in personal relationships is the affection between the individuals involved, irrespective of sexual difference or procreation which would be seen as irrelevant in the formation of families.”

“Thus, the institutional model of the family (where a structure and finality exist independent of the subjective preferences of the spouses) is bypassed, in favor of a vision of family that is purely contractual and voluntary.”

The document calls for protection of human and family rights, decried unjust discrimination, and noted points of unity among people of divergent perspectives on gender ideology.

“For instance, educational programs on this area often share a laudable desire to combat all expressions of unjust discrimination, a requirement that can be shared by all sides.” 

The aim of the Church at the institutional and individual level must be the education of children in line with authentic principles which defend and instil authentic human dignity.

The document goes on to say:
“In practice, the advocacy for the different identities often presents them as being of completely equal value compared to each other.”

“The generic concept of ‘non-discrimination’ often hides an ideology that denies the difference as well as natural reciprocity that exists between men and women.”

For Christians working in schools, both religious and secular, the radical individualism of gender theory should be avoided in favor of teaching children “to overcome their individualism and discover, in the light of faith, their specific vocation to live responsibly in a community.”

The document says, the family remains “the primary community” to which the students belong and the fundamental vehicle for preserving, understanding, and transmitting human dignity.

“The school must respect the family’s culture. It must listen carefully to the needs that it finds and the expectations that are directed towards it.”

In the modern context, however, the essential alliance between school and family “has entered into crisis,” the Congregation notes.

“There is an urgent need to promote a new alliance that is genuine and not simply at the level of bureaucracy, a shared project that can offer a ‘positive and prudent sexual education’ that can harmonise the primary responsibility of parents with the work of teachers.”

“Although ideologically-driven approaches to the delicate questions around gender proclaim their respect for diversity, they actually run the risk of viewing such difference as static realities and end up leaving them isolated and disconnected from each other,” the document concludes.

Dialogue between the Church and those advancing gender theory principles must be accomplished in a manner that respects “the legitimate aspirations of Catholic schools to maintain their own vision of human sexuality,” based on “an integral anthropology capable of harmonizing the human person’s physical, psychic and spiritual identity.”

The magisterial document concludes by insisting on the rights of the Church, the family, and of Catholic educators to defend authentic teaching and understanding in the face of an increasingly exclusivist approach to education in line with secular progressive principles.

“A democratic state cannot reduce the range of education on offer to a single school of thought, all the more so in relation to this extremely delicate subject, which is concerned on the one hand with the fundamentals of human nature, and on the other with natural rights of parents to freely choose any educational model that accords with the dignity of the human person.” 

Tuesday 11 June 2019


Sunday, June 23rd, after either the 11am or the 12:30 pm Masses 

Location: St Vincent de Paul parish hall

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program was founded 60 years ago in Rome and offers to the youngest children the most essential aspects of our faith, knowing that these truthswill nurture their need to love and be loved and their capacity to enjoy God’s presence intheir life. From the time of its founding, the program reminds us to look to the child for that sign of a deeply religious life: Joy.

The Gospels teach us how to embrace that sign:
Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do nothinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program responds to Christ’s instruction by creating aMontessori-style environment, called the Atrium, where children are able to come to God in their own way and at their own speed. In the Atrium, children from the age of three onward are introduced to the essential truths of the faith through handmade materials that encourage meditation. The program normally runs in a small group setting, once a week, in a dedicated space.

If you are interested in finding out more about the program for your children, about the process of becoming a CGS catechist, or if you would be interested in helping us establish an Atrium with the Ordinariate parish of St. Thomas More and the Church of St. Vincent de Paul, please join us in the parish hall for a presentation after the 11:00 am Mass or after the 12:30 pm Mass on Sunday June 23 to see some of our materials, and to learn more about the program.

This CGS formation session is for all who are interested or already involved in caring for the spiritual lives of children; in the home, parish or school. If you would like to RSVP, please contact Leslea Verver at leslea.verver@gmail.com.
We are in need of so many different talents: wood working, painting, sewing, crafting, secretarial skills, and of course, being with the children either as a Catechist or as an assistant.

Monday 10 June 2019

Chaplains at D-Day

This article was posted five years ago on the 70th anniversary of D-Day.  It is worth another look as the last of the greatest generation returned to Europe for one final commemoration.

With the troops on all of the landings of D-Day were Chaplains. Here are the stories of some US and Canadian Catholic Chaplains.

Father Joseph Lacy spent much of D-Day in France providing Last Rites to Catholic soldiers and spiritual comfort to non-Catholic soldiers. Father Francis L. Sampson became known as the “Parachute Padre” serving in the 501st parachute regiment. Father Sampson was captured at Normandy by the German SS and almost executed until saved by a German Catholic soldier.

Eventually freed by American troops and awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Father Sampson would go on to survive the famous jump into the Arnhem pocket in Holland also known as “the bridge too far,” and was later recaptured by German troops during the Battle of the Bulge. This time Father Samson would remain a POW in a Stalag until the end of the war, but remain busy aiding the sick and saying Mass. Father Sampson would survive to serve as a Chaplain in the Korean War and later become the U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains from 1967-1971. Father Sampson also wrote a memoir of his World War II experiences appropriately titled Look Out Below in 1958.

Father Guy Laramee, a well-known Jesuit youth pastor from the Montreal region was appointed chaplain in October 1939. He took this time to prepare his soldiers for the hardships ahead. Some officers were continuously preoccupying themselves with the spiritual well-being of their soldiers, and were pleased with Laramee's ability to bond with these young men. 

In a sermon, Laramee implored officers and soldiers to "confide in the Virgin Mary for this war will be fatal for many among us. Never can we have too much love for the Virgin Mary and never can we have too much confidence in her protection." 

In May and June 1944, as Allied troops prepared for D-Day, chaplains were instructed to prepare their soldiers for combat by "furthering the comfort and general welfare of the men."  Despite the tragedy of the Dieppe Raid, the lessons learned proved useful. For example, for the first time, chaplains received explicit instructions on conducting mass burials. With such information in hand, the padres acknowledged the upcoming hardships, prepared their men spiritually as best as they could, and offered them the sacraments. A few weeks after D-Day other regiments joined the fighting in France, with a "great number going to communion" before leaving for the battlefield. 

The most intense battles against the Nazis took place from June 1944 to May 1945 in a war of constant movement. As the intensity of the fighting continued, soldiers and officers lived every hour knowing that their lives were in constant danger, and they turned to their padre in unprecedented numbers for the sacraments of communion and confession. 

Between June and December 1944, some Canadian regiments lost nearly one-third of their men. A telling example: in September 1944, the Second Canadian Infantry Division conducted 441 burial services, laying to rest thousands of its own soldiers -- this contrasts vividly to the less than 25 burial services per month conducted between January and May 1944. 

As for those who survived, they turned to the Church in greater number than ever before for comfort: September 1944 saw the number of communions quadruple and the number of confessions double compared to April of the same year. 

STM 7th Annual Patronal High Mass

Sunday, June 30 at 12:30 p.m.

Refreshments will follow in the parish hall.

Parking in the parish school parking lot off Westminster Street (one-way) east off Roncesvalles.

Saturday 8 June 2019


PENTECOST C    2019                                                           STM, TORONTO

At the Jewish feast of Pentecost devout Jews went to Jerusalem to affirm that they were God’s chosen people by the covenant given to Moses at Mount Sinai.  The giving of the Holy Spirit to us, the new people of God, crowns the mighty acts of salvation history. This action is renewed for each person in the Sacrament of Confirmation as we are sealed with the Holy Spirit with the olive oil blessed by the bishop, scented with the freshness of balsam.  The chrism conveys and confirms God’s anointing love. 

In the First Reading today, the mysteries prefigured in the OT are fulfilled by the pouring out of the Spirit on Mary and the Apostles (Acts 1:14).  The Spirit seals the new Law and new Covenant brought by Jesus, written not on stone tablets but on the hearts of believers just as the prophets had promised (2 Cor. 3:2–8; Romans 8:2).

The Spirit is revealed as the life-giving breath of the Father, the Wisdom by which God made all things. In the beginning, the Spirit came as a “mighty wind” sweeping over the face of the earth (Genesis 1:2). And in the new creation of Pentecost, the Spirit again comes as “a strong, driving wind” to renew the face of the earth.

Those offering themselves for the Sacrament of Confirmation are already baptized i.e. incorporated into the Body of Christ – the Church.  Now this promise is sealed and each person responds to God in service to the Father, in the Son and by the power of the Holy Spirit.  As God fashioned the first man out of dust and filled him with His Spirit (Genesis 2:7), in today’s Gospel we see the New Adam (Christ) become a life-giving Spirit, breathing new life into the Apostles (1 Cor. 15:45, 47).
This past week millions watched the 75th anniversary observances of the landing of young Canadian soldiers at Juno Beach in Normandy. These young men had pledged their allegiance to the cause of human freedom by entering the armed services; but it was by plunging into the waters off Juno beach that they were transformed by the Spirit into a dedicated force sworn to fight the Nazi occupation and for the freedom of the nations of Europe. 
It was in the heat of the battle that they were sealed and confirmed in their service by the Spirit of freedom, truth and goodness. The inscription on the Victoria Cross says simply “For Valour.”  That highest military honour was won by some that day for their valour.

So it is today that each one who has been baptized as Christ’s own, each one is called into spiritual battle (as The Order of Holy Baptism puts it)  “valiantly to fight under [the banner of Christ] against sin, the world, and the devil, and to continue Christ’s faithful soldier and servant unto life’s end.  It is after this prayer that the Priest makes the sign of the Cross upon the forehead of each baptized person where he or she will be sealed with chrism at Confirmation and anointed in Unction, the Sacrament of the sick administered as part of the last rites of the Church

We receive that Spirit in the sacraments, being made a “new creation” in Baptism (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15), drinking of the one Spirit in the Eucharist (1 Cor. 10:4) confirmed by the sealing of the Holy Spirit. We are the first fruits of a new humanity — fashioned from out of every nation under heaven, a people born of the Spirit.