St. Ray’s student receives Sacrament of Confirmation at school Mass


PAWTUCKET — As dioceses across the country prepare to welcome thousands of people into the Catholic Church at Easter Vigil Masses, a young man from Saint Raphael Academy in Pawtucket, has already taken this important step in his own faith formation.
Joseph Legault, a senior at Saint Raphael Academy, received the Sacrament of Confirmation at the Academy’s Mass celebrating the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in December. The Mass was live-streamed to all classes, including virtual-learning students at home, due to the current restrictions on church capacity because of the pandemic.
Despite those numerous restrictions on gatherings and meeting with people outside your household in 2020, Joey made an extra commitment to completing his Catholic initiation, a tall order for anyone this year, especially a high school student.
A parishioner at St. Robert Bellarmine Church in Johnston, Legault first met SRA chaplain Father Ryan Simas at a homeless sleepout at Saint Philip Parish in Greenville.
“He makes a big difference in my life,” said Legault.
Father Simas was pleased that Legault wanted to take this next step.
“Joey approached me earlier in the year and expressed an interest in being confirmed,” he said. “Over the past several weeks, [his classmate] Spencer Lambert and I have been tutoring him after school to prepare him to receive the sacrament.”
In a show of Saints solidarity, Legault’s good friend and classmate Anthony Marsella was his sponsor. Additionally, several of his friends were allowed to attend the Mass in person, socially distanced in the pews, to show their support. Legault’s family was unable to attend but watched the live-stream.
Asked how he felt afterward, Legault responded, “I feel great! I was actually nervous,” his smiling eyes apparent even though he was masked. “My family was happy that I have done it.”


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