Among the many questions the COVID-19 pandemic brought to Zoe Apodaca’s life this year was — “will I still be Confirmed?”

The Highland teen had to wait for this important milestone in her faith life, but it finally came — in a slightly different setting — on Aug. 4. She and 13 others received the Sacrament on an athletic field at The Holy Name of Jesus Parish, joined by a small contingency of family and friends.

“I didn’t think it was going to happen this year,” Zoe admitted. “But this was very nice. It went pretty smoothly.”

All over the diocese teenagers (and some adults) are experiencing a new normal of Confirmation Masses as parishes follow safety and social distancing directives to prevent the spread of the virus.

“It definitely was weird, like not what I was expecting,” said Jaden Vasquez-Smith, a parishioner of St. Paul the Apostle in Chino Hills. She and 20 others were confirmed Aug. 4 in the parish courtyard. “I was still happy that I was able to be confirmed even under these circumstances and just to feel closer to God and to make that final step to be with him.”

After the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in March, Confirmation Masses previously scheduled to begin following Easter were postponed. On July 20, the diocese issued guidelines for the celebration of outdoor Confirmation Masses, including the stipulation that no more than 100 people may attend, six-foot social distancing is maintained, and face coverings are worn by all.

The 100-person limit will require parishes to hold many more Confirmation Masses. In the first two weeks of August St. Paul the Apostle has scheduled 13 Masses to confirm its 221 teens and more than 46 adults. In response, Bishop Gerald Barnes issued a decree allowing parish pastors and administrators to fully confer the sacrament of Confirmation upon youth for the period of July 21 through October 21. Bishop Barnes, Coadjutor Bishop Alberto Rojas and Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Rutilio del Riego are still active in celebrating Confirmation Masses….

This year approximately 5,600 youth and 2,100 adults were scheduled to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in the diocese.

The above comes from an early August story in the Inland Catholic Byte.