Confirmation: Chosen (Catch-Up Program)
Are you a high school student (or the parent of a high school student) who “missed” receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation in 8th grade? Well you’re in luck! This year, we’re kicking off a new initiative to help high school students prepare to receive Confirmation. By using the “Chosen” program, high school students will have the opportunity to form relationships with a small group of their peers while growing in faith and formation as they journey toward Confirmation.
Parents of eligible students should email Kait (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information. Please reach out to Kait as soon as possible to ensure your student is on track to receive Confirmation in the spring of 2020.
- October Session
- November Session
- December Session
- January Session
- February Session
- March Session
- April Session
- May Session
What is my role as a parent in Confirmation?
Your role is indispensable. While your child’s sponsor will help him or her prepare for Confirmation and offer encouragement to continue to grow in faith, as parents you are your child’s primary educators in the faith. This role began at your child’s Baptism, and it continues throughout his or her adolescence and young adult life. The Catechism calls the family “the domestic Church” because it is primarily within the family that your child will learn how to live the teachings of Jesus, which lead to eternal life. The two most important ways you can help form your child in the faith are to practice your faith and pray. Regardless of your faith practice up to this point, God is calling you now to a deeper relationship with him and the Church. It has been said, “The Church is not a museum of saints, but is a hospital for sinners.” So do not be afraid if you do not feel up to the task to leading your child closer to Christ. If necessary, renew your commitment to participate more fully in the life of the Church, through attending Mass every Sunday, going to Confession regularly, engaging in some form of service, and praying consistently for an increase of God’s grace in your life and the life of your family.
Your role as a parent in your child’s faith formation does not end with his or her Confirmation. Your prayers and personal example can exert a powerful impact on your child for his or her whole life. Accept the challenge—and it is a challenge—to establish a family habit of discussing faith, morals, and spiritual growth. Consider furthering your own religious education during your son or daughter’s sacramental preparation. Attend an adult faith-formation event or program at your parish, go on a retreat, or seek some solid reading material about Catholic life and faith.
Why do we need to attend Mass every week?
Having a parent who is personally committed to prayer and is participating in the sacramental life of the Church can have a profound effect on a teenager and can provide an important example that will stay with him or her for life. For this reason, and for your own spiritual well-being, make weekly Mass and regular Confession a priority in your family. Sadly, many Catholics do not attend Mass every Sunday, mission out on the most vital, basic element in the life of faith. A lack of commitment to Sunday mass has many serious consequences. Failure to attend Sunday Mass disregards the third commandment to “Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day” as well as Jesus’ command to “do this in remembrance of me.” These are not merely suggestions, but commandments that call us to full, conscious, and active participation in Mass every Sunday.
When we do not attend Mass, we miss receiving Jesus in the Eucharist, which is the source and summit of our Catholic faith. We miss out on the immeasurable grace given to us when we receive Holy Communion. At Mass, Jesus offers himself to us. God humbles himself and gathers our works, joys, and sufferings and transforms them. We are united to God’s love in the most powerful way. What could possibly be more important?
What can you do to make attendance at Sunday mass more of a focal point of your family life? If you have not been attending regularly, make a fresh start by going to Confession and Mass together, followed by a special meal at home or in a restaurant. If you already attend church on a weekly basis, thank about what you can do to help your family get more out of the experience. Go online and find the Mass readings for that week at USCCB.org, and read them together at dinner or before bedtime. Encourage your child to share his or her thoughts about the homily or weekly Scripture readings. Share your journey toward Confirmation with your teen. What was your preparation process like? How did your experience impact your faith and relationship with the Holy Spirit? Do you have any pictures or videos from your Confirmation you can share?
Why is going to Confession important? What if I have not gone in a long time?
In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we confess our sins to God through the priest, who has been given the authority to ac with the very authority of Christ himself. In Confession, the priest lends his whole being to Christ so that we may have the powerful experience of seeing and hearing, in the words of absolution, that our sins have been forgiven, and that our relationship with Christ and the Church has been restored. By requiring us to confess any serious sins to a priest, the Church is simply fulfilling the task Jesus gave to the apostles to forgive sins. Reassure your son or daughter that the seal of Confession is absolute. The Church binds the priest to absolute secrecy about any sins revealed to him in the Sacrament of Reconciliation even under the threat of imprisonment, physical injury, or death. A priest who breaks the sacramental seal incurs an automatic excommunication. So, don’t be afraid—you can return this week, even today, and experience for yourself how going to Confession will strengthen your own personal commitment to Christ. Again, consider your child’s Confirmation preparation as an invitation for you to grow spiritually. If possible, make a regular habit of going to Confession as a family. This will help you grow closer spiritually.
What if I don’t know how to answer a question?
In the midst of our increasingly secular culture, raising children in the Catholic faith can be a daunting and intimidating task. If you feel inadequate in your own faith life, see your child’s Confirmation as an opportunity for deeper conversion—to become who God has called you to be. Consider that God may be calling you to examine your own heart as you assist your son or daughter in preparation for this sacrament. Do not feel that you need a theology degree or that you need a spotless past to fulfill your parental mission. No one is as equipped as you are to be the spiritual leader of your child, simply by virtue of the fact that you are his or her parent. If you are authentic, your son or daughter will see your efforts and the importance you place on living the faith—thought imperfectly (as we all do)—and that will impact him or her more deeply than a lot of well-spoken theology.
That said, it’s important to take your child’s questions seriously, and you should know that it is relatively easy to discover what the Church teaches on any particular topic today. The Internet is a wonderful tool. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as other sources, will help you to deepen your knowledge of the faith, to answer questions you have, and to recommend ways you can guide your child to legitimate sources of Catholic teaching. Pray often for your children, and keep your own eyes fixed on Jesus. Don’t be afraid if you are not perfect. As you research the answers you need for your son or daughter, prayerfully ask God to enlighten the minds and hearts of your entire family. You are all on the same journey toward heaven, and it’s important to slow down and help one another over the bumps in the road. If you’re unable to resolve an issue, consider making an appointment with your pastor, a deacon, or your director of faith formation to discuss it.
How can I communicate with my son or daughter about Jesus, faith, and moral issues?
Listen. Whether your child has simple questions about the faith or loud objections to it, you need to listen genuinely to his or her concerns before you can answer them effectively. The best doctors devote a lot of time to observing and listening to their patients before they make a diagnosis or prescribe a treatment; parents should do the same with their children’s questions. As you may know from experience, conversations with teenagers can easily become impassioned. When this happens, neither side hears the other or feels heard. Resolve to listen without interrupting, and allow your son or daughter to ask questions openly. Teens sometimes ask questions that may seem crude or silly to adults, but you should assume every question is sincere and that your child may not yet have learned how to express questions about particular issues in a mature way. Your gestures of respect will foster real conversation. Avoid conversation-ending statements such as, “That’s just how it is,” or “You just have to believe it because that’s what the Church teaches.”
Witness. As Pope Paul VI observed, “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.” This is especially true between parents and children. Witnessing to God’s work in your personal life is more powerful than an “academic” lesson. Share your own experience in the life of faith. Be honest. Avoid presenting yourself as an expert, as a know-it-all, or as someone who never makes mistakes. Teenagers, despite their own often inconsistent behavior, are keen observers of others and will know whether you believe and live what you say.
Point to Christ and the Church. Remind your child that the Catholic faith is not your personal opinion, but the divinely revealed truth. Encourage your son or daughter to examine this truth by directing him or her to Scripture, the Catechism, and the lives of the saints.
Pray. Again, prayer is essential. Christ himself, the highest authority of all, attested to the power of prayer: “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). Jesus does not promise every prayer will be answered instantly or even quickly, nor does he say that every prayer will be answered in accordance with our hopes or expectations. We need to remember that God’s ways are not our ways, and that he answers every prayer in his time and in accord with his will.
Mon, Nov 4, 2019 @ 6:00 pm in the St. Timothy Room
All candidates are asked to mark their calendars to join us for our first full session on Monday, November 4, 2019.
Light snacks and drinks will be provided (but not dinner - please plan accordingly).
NB: A parent's participation in the session was only required for the Parent/Candidate meeting in October. All other sessions are attended by the candidate only.
Sponsor for Confirmation
We are asking Candidates to have chosen their sponsor by January 15. In order to secure a spot as sponsor, two items must be completed:
- Candidate/family must complete the online form found at the bottom of this page.
- If sponsor is *not* registered at St. Paul Parish, sponsor must request/obtain from their home parish a letter of eligibility for sponsorship.
Please note the following:
- Eligibility requirements for sponsors are listed below. Siblings who meet the requirements may serve a a sponsor. Parents may not.
- If a sponsor is not able to attend the Confirmation Celebration for some reason, a proxy sponsor may be chosen. The same requirements of eligibility apply to the person chosen as a proxy. If a proxy is necessary, please contact Kait directly (email@example.com)
Requirements for Sponsors:
According to Canon Laws (cc. 872-874, 893:1), sponsors for the sacrament of Confirmation must be:
- 16 years of age or older
- Fully initiated Catholic (having received Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist)
- Leading a life in conformity with the faith and the role of a sponsor
- Not bound by a canonical penalty (e.g., invalid marriage)
- Not a parent of the one to be confirmed
Additionally the sponsor may be:
- The same as the sponsor (or godparent) for Baptism
- Male or female (i.e., female candidates may have male sponsors; male candidates may have female sponsors)
Confirmation NameHere are some details about the choice of a name for Confirmation.
- May retain baptismal name or choose new name (Diocese of Trenton. Parish Religious Education Administration Manual, Section 507:A. rev. 2012).
- New name must be name of a recognized saint of the Church (Diocese of Trenton. Parish Religious Education Administration Manual, Section 507:A. rev. 2012).
- Newly chosen name does not need to be gender consistent (Diocese of Trenton. Parish Religious Education Administration Manual, Section 507:C. rev. 2012).
Please note: Candidates choose ONE name for Confirmation. For example:
My name is Kaitlyn Christine. When I was confirmed, I took the name Rose. I was confirmed as "Rose" (not "Kaitlyn Rose"). Had I chosen to retain my baptismal name, I would need to specify whether I would use "Kaitlyn" OR "Christine" as my Confirmation name. There is only one Confirmation name. When candidates receive their confirmation certificate, it will have their first name, confirmation name (if different than their first name), and last name.
This year’s Confirmation program is a tremendous success and we can't do it without those who worked so hard with us throughout the entire year. We want to continue to grow for the 2018-2019 year and are offering vary ways for parishioners to support our Candidates with different degrees of time and commitment. Training and support is offered for all of the positions - if you feel God calling you to any one of these roles but are intimidated due to lack of experience, step out in faith and trust God (and the training!) will equip you for these ministries! Anyone interested (don’t worry! You’re not committing to anything yet!) please email Kait (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(for teens and adults)
Teens - You can do this! Any high school teens (entering 9-12th grade this fall) are strongly encouraged to consider serving in this capacity. Teen leaders facilitate a discussion with their small group of Candidates at each of our sessions (questions/topics provided in advance). Service hours available.
Adults - You have the easy job! Each small group will have an adult leader as well as their teen leader. Adults are responsible for taking attendance at each group meeting and general supervision. Adults are also asked to help support the teen leader in the facilitation of the discussion.
Being a part of the leadership team is the biggest commitment there is to make to our program. We’re looking for dedicated group leaders who will prioritize our monthly sessions. If you feel called to this ministry but aren’t able to commit, please contact Kait about the possibility of being a substitute leader.
We need some prayer warriors on our side! This team would get together (at their convenience) prior to each of our sessions to offer prayer for the Candidates, for the Leadership Team, and for all involved in our program. This is the most important team that we’re assembling this year and likely the most flexible in regards to time commitment. Please conducer making a commitment to pray for us in a very intentional way as we embark on another year of preparation.