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Diocese of Antsiranana
(Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean)
Bishop Roger baptising one of the candidates
Photo No. : P071217-1
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Deacon Marie Jeanne baptising one of the candidates
Photo No. : P071217-4
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The bishop and dean with the confirmands
Photo No. : P071217-5
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The group of confirmands surrounded by family members
Photo No. : P071217-6
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First Confirmation Service in New Cathedral
By Bishop Roger Chung Jaomalaza
 
ANTSIRANANA 071217-1
December 17, 2007

[Diocese of Antsiranana - Indian Ocean] The first confirmation service in the newly built cathedral took place on Sunday 17th Dec 2007 with nearly 700 present in the congregation. The Dean of the Cathedral of St Matthew, the Very Revd Jaona Lehibe, was assisted by the two deacons, Revds Marie Jeanne Befeno and Rinaldo Bory, in planning the service. The 22 adult confirmands performed two Malagasy praise songs for the occasion.

In his sermon, Bishop Roger Chung Jaomalaza reminded the church of the centrality of the faith in Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, using the text in the Gospel of John, Chapter 14, verse 6.

He also used the verse from 1 Peter 2: 9 to describe his vision for the Diocese of Antsiranana for the coming years, as a new spiritual identity is forged for mission and evangelisation: "but you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light ''.
Or, in Malagasy: "Fa ianareo kosa dia taranaka voafidy, fanjakam pisorona, firenena masina, vahoaka natao ho fananan'Andriamanitra mba hitory ireo asa lehibe vitan'Andriamanitra izay niantso anareo hiala tamin'ny haizina ho any amin'ny fahazavana mahagaga."

Among the 22 confirmation candidates were two men, Rasoamanana Guy and Kotra Tongatsara, who desired to join the Anglican Church. They were the technicians who put up the electrical system of the Cathedral and were touched by the Spirit of the Lord during that time. This is another wonder of the Holy Spirit of God in touching and in transforming the lives of ordinary people through the witness of the Living Church. Praise the Lord!