Confirmation (One of the Sacraments of Initiation in the Catholic Church)
Personal Retreat Options
In the Sacrament of Confirmation, the Apostles and the Bishops, who are their successors, hand on to the baptized the special gift of the Holy Spirit, promised by Christ the Lord and poured out upon the Apostles at Pentecost. Thus the initiation in the Christian life is completed so that believers are strengthened by power from Heaven, made true witnesses of Christ in word and deed, and bound more closely to the Church.” Decree of Pope Paul VI, 8/22/71 The rites, Rite of Confirmation p. 289
At St. John’s, Confirmation is usually received at the 10th grade level, as diocesan norms indicate. However, any adult Catholic or one being received in the Church may also receive the sacrament. A class for an adult wishing to be confirmed is combined with our RCIA program.
Confirmation preparation is separate from ongoing catechesis, which needs to continue throughout our lives. The students will continue participating in CCD, home-school religious education, or Catholic School as usual.
What happens at Confirmation? In the Sacrament of confirmation, the Apostles and the Bishops, who are their successors, hand on to the baptized the special gift of the Holy Spirit, promised by Christ the Lord and poured out upon the Apostles at Pentecost. Thus the initiation in the Christian life is completed so that believers are strengthened by power from Heaven, made true witnesses of Christ in word and deed, and bound more closely to the Church.”
Decree of Pope Paul VI, 8/22/71 The rites, Rite of Confirmation p. 289
The Role of PARENTS: “The initiation of children (youth) into the Sacramental life is for the most part the responsibility and concern of Christian parents. They are to form and gradually increase a spirit of faith in their children, and, with the help of catechetical institutions, prepare them for the fruitful reception of the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist. The role of the parents is also expressed by their active participation in the celebration of the Sacraments.”
The Rites, p. 298
Parents will be expected to aid their son/daughter in preparing for the Sacraments of Confirmation.
The role of CANDIDATES: This can be one of the most exciting times along your faith journey! For this to happen, be open to the Holy Spirit by actively participating in all the sessions. You will also be participating in a retreat which immerses you into Christ and His Church, opportunities to live out the Works of Mercy, and growing in your knowledge and hopefully love for Christ.
The role of the SPONSORS: A sponsor has the privilege of guiding the candidate to a closer relationship with Christ and the Church he founded—the Roman Catholic Church. He or she must belong to the Catholic Church and have been initiated in the three Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, be 16 years of age and may not be a parent.
If you wish, one of your Baptismal sponsors may be chosen to be your Confirmation sponsor, provided a Christian relationship exists. This situation is most appropriate, and would stress the Sacraments of Initiation, and the relationship between Baptism and Confirmation.
Catechism of the Catholic Church #1311; Code of Canon Law, , # 893
Please make a commitment to PRAY DAILY for your candidate!
First Interview: During the first interview the candidate will be asked about the essay question they answered, their relationship with God, and any obstacles to faith they are experiencing. The candidate can bring a parent or sponsor if they choose. They will learn about and receive a One Year Bible (the bible divided into 365 pieces so you can read it in a year), a regular Bible of their choice, a Catechism of the Catholic Church, and a YouCat. They will also be asked about their daily prayer plan, and offered strategies for prayer time.
Disciple Packets: There are six packets candidates need to complete and turn in by the dates on the checklist. These will be given out at the first interview and available online. If the candidate joins a discipleship small group they do not need to complete these packets. These help them become familiar with key Catholic teachings and formation as a Catholic in the following areas:
· Works of Mercy & Virtue: Candidates will review the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy and moral virtues. During the course of the school year, candidates will need to share how they have become more like Christ by practicing the works of mercy and growing in virtue.
· Homily Notes: Candidates will be asked to take notes on a given homily. This is to help the candidate to focus on the message of the homily given at Mass. It is encouraged to ask clarifying questions of the priest following Mass if needed.
· YouCat Review: The YouCat is an engaging youth catechism that students will use to answer questions.
· Prayer Notes: Each candidate is asked to spend intentional time in prayer during this preparation and to answer some questions about it.
Discipleship Small Groups
This is an alternative option to the Disciple Packets, introduced this year. The purpose is to customize the content to student questions, and to make the process more relational. There will be nine 90 minute meetings of the discipleship small group. There will be two groups of 4 to 12 people. David Alcott will lead the male group, and Lori Greenwald will lead the female group. These groups will meet at a coffee shop or fast-food restaurant.
During the meetings the facilitator will lead a discussion on how to follow Jesus, become a disciple, and overcome obstacles. The candidates who choose the discipleship group are excused from the Disciple packets, but will need to complete the other components. The date and time will be set up based on the availability of the students interested. Students may miss up to three of the nine discipleship small groups. If a fourth meeting is missed, they will be removed from the Discipleship small group and required to complete the remaining Disciple packets.
Confirmation Preparation Agreement: All Candidates, Sponsors and Parents will sign an agreement which lists the expectations for all candidates wishing to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation. Candidates will be held accountable to this list during their two interviews.
Holy Hour: It is so important for us to spend time with Christ and realize the gift of Himself He has given to us. A devotion dating back to the earliest of time is Adoring Christ in the Blessed Sacrament for an extended period of time. During the Holy Hour of Adoration, you have the opportunity to simply be still and LISTEN to God. It is “Speak Lord, your servant is listening” and NOT “Listen Lord, your servant is speaking.” In Marshfield Adoration is available 24/7 in the basement of St. John the Baptist. It is unlocked between 5am and 10pm, and at other times a code is required. Please contact me if you need the code.
At Christ the King there is adoration once a month lasting 24 hours starting at 9am on the First Friday.
Coordinator of Evangelization Ministries