We are fortunate to have the book of Acts in our Bible. Out of all the New Testament books it is the closest to a history book we have at that time. It describes life in the first century. We do need to know its characters. Stephen was one of the seven selected by the Apostles and first century community to help guide and teach the first century people converting to the faith. The Apostles realized their number was growing and they needed men filled with faith and the Holy Spirit to aide them in their work. When the seven were selected, in the preceding paragraphs, the Apostles laid hands on them and blessed them. This reminds me of our ordination ceremony for priests and deacons.
At an ordination, Bishop does a special blessing. Then he will place his hands on the head of the individual to become a priest or deacon. After a short time of prayer, Bishop will invite other priests and deacons to do the same. Today we call it the imposition of hands. To give you a sense of the emotion in this event picture yourself kneeling and then forty or fifty priests will walk up to you, one at a time, place their hands on your head, and pray to the Holy Spirit on your behalf. Sometimes the person being ordained will look up at the next priest and some will keep their head turned down in prayer the entire time. There is no right or wrong way, but just to know you are involved in a process called the Apostolic tradition that has come to us from the time of Stephen is very awe inspiring and humbling.
That is one of the many reasons why the Catholic Church is so special. Our traditions come to us from Jesus and the Apostles. Because of this we are all blessed in many wonderful and mysterious ways.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen