SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION
Baptism, the Eucharist, and the Sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the “sacraments of Christian initiation.” Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. It is a sacrament that more perfectly binds the baptized to the Church. In Confirmation we become true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.
In Baptism, a person becomes a Christian and receives grace and life from the Holy Spirit. In Confirmation, the baptismal vows are renewed and the sealing of the Spirit serves as a preparation for a mature Christian life.
In Eucharist, the great sign of Christian unity, the faithful are nourished and strengthened. They are transformed into a more loving and united community of believers. Through these sacramental rites the faithful are officially acknowledged as Christians. They are commissioned to carry out the mission of Christ and the Church: to bring the Good News to all people.
Confirmation is a parish community celebration. It provides an opportunity for members of the parish family to renew their baptismal commitment. Confirmation time in the parish is a time when the community celebrates the gifts of the Holy Spirit among them.
The Holy Spirit is the animator of faith. Just as the apostles on the day of Pentecost received the Spirit and their fears disappeared and they were able to share the salvation of humankind by Jesus Christ to all people, we too receive these life-giving graces to share our faith with others.
Confirmation is not an ending of our faith development, but the beginning! Through the Gifts of the Holy Spirit we can hope to development Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude or Courage, Knowledge, Piety, and Reverence for God as we mature in our Christian lives. When we use the Gifts in our lives, we should then receive the fruit or rewards of being disciples of Christ: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity. It’s all part of God’s loving plan and care for each of us.
Confirmation allows us to examine and reflect on who we are and what gifts God has given us. Through service to others we grow in compassion for others, but learn about the unique call God gives to each us.
SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION
“Since parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal educators…. Parents are the ones who must create a family atmosphere animated by love and respect for God and man” from The Declaration on Christian Education, Vatican II.
As the primary educators of your children, you are fulfilling the responsibilities you have taken on as parents. We, as Catholic educators and catechists are here to assist you as your child moves toward the final initiation into the Church and the beginning of their journey toward mature Catholic Christian faith.
You will be asked to assist your Confirmation candidate in the following ways during this year:
- Attending parent-candidate meetings so that you can be informed about what is happening and to gather necessary information. This will indicate to your child that you support them and you will serve as a witness to your own faith. Click here for a calendar of this academic year.
- Students can reaffirm the name you gave them at Baptism (if it is the name of a saint) - that is, they can keep that name as their Confirmation name. Some students may choose the name of a new saint whom they admire and wish to imitate. Saints are people who put God first and had special qualities. The saint may be chosen from the Old or New Testament or a canonized saint. Students will research and write a paper about this saint…guidelines will be given on how to do this in class.
- Candidates will also choose sponsor. The sponsor may be a baptismal sponsor or may be someone your child has come to admire for his life as a practicing Catholic. The sponsor is someone who is willing to guide your child in his/her faith- by word and deed. The sponsor must be a fully initiated Catholic who is at least 16 years of age. Sponsors will be required to fill out an eligibility form, attend Confirmation rehearsal the week before Confirmation and be present at the Confirmation ceremony. Parents may not be sponsors.
- Candidates will be asked to complete 16 Confirmation service hours. Please assist your child in doing the service hours. Sign their service hour sheets. Encourage your child to serve others out of love and compassion. No money may be received for this service. Hours will be collected monthly and tracked in the Religious Education Office for both the I.C. Grade School and I.C. Religious Education programs.
- The Confirmation program requires that students attend classes, complete assignments, and fulfill service hours. We ask parents to attend Sunday Mass with your children. Parents also accompany the Candidate to the Confirmation Interview.
- Confirmation is a Church community activity. Our whole parish takes part in praying for and celebrating these wonderful young Catholics. Please pray for all of the candidates as they go forward in their faith journeys.