As someone who was born into the Anglican Church I was accustomed to the Sacraments of Initiation being conferred in the following order: Baptism, followed by Confirmation and then First Holy Communion. When I converted to Catholicism, in 1987, I became aware that this order was different in the Catholic Church.
Today however I read that Bishop Samuel Aquila of the Diocese of Fargo had restored the order of the Sacraments of Initiation in his diocese to that of Baptism, then Confirmation, followed finally by First Holy Communion.
Bishop Aquila met with Pope Benedict XVI on the 8th of March 2012 as part of the “ad limina” visit. During the meeting with the Pope, Bishop Aquila said he was: “very surprised in what the Pope said to me, in terms of how happy he was that the sacraments of initiation have been restored to their proper order of baptism, confirmation then first Eucharist”[i].
Other Catholic bishops are apparently now also considering the restoration of the order of the Sacraments of Initiation. Good for them! I have always felt uncomfortable with the current order of the Sacraments of Initiation. I think it causes uncertainty about what the Sacrament of Confirmation is. This restored order will help reaffirm to Catholics that the Sacrament of Confirmation seals and completes the Sacrament of Baptism.
This restored order will also help to place greater emphasis on the fact that the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation lead to the Eucharist, which completes the Sacraments of Initiation.