Like the Disciples at Pentecost, Confirmation is a Sacrament in which we receive a new deeper outpouring of the Holy Spirit into our hearts in an extraordinary way. This process is an opportunity for teens to be "strengthened by power from heaven, made true witnesses of Christ in word and deed, and be bound more closely to the Church" (Apostolic Constitution). Confirmation is not a "graduation from religious education" or a rite of passage during high school.
Preparing for any Sacrament involves both Remote Preparation and Immediate Preparation. Remote Preparation involves instruction and development of the basic knowledge and skills needed to succeed in any endeavor. For example, remote preparation for the game of basketball would include learning the skills of running, shooting, passing, and dribbling. For the faith, this includes a regular pursuit of our parish’s mission statement: Seek Christ, Know Christ, Become Christ.
Remote Preparation features an intensive semester (like a sports camp) to focus on instilling the skills followed by a discernment period. This discernment period is a time for candidates to prayerfully reflect on whether they desire to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation while continuing to develop the habits of discipleship.
Immediate Preparation is the process for students who have discerned that they desire to seek the Sacrament of Confirmation. Immediate Preparation involves instruction in and practice of the specific skills pertaining to a particular endeavor. In basketball, this would include the rules of the game, running plays, and planning for various game situations. For Confirmation, this includes instruction about the Sacrament itself, its effects on the soul, and how to cooperate with the grace it imparts.
Stage 1. Discipleship Intensive
Remote Preparation begins Freshman Year of high school and accompanies students in their pursuit of our parish’s mission statement: Seek Christ, Know Christ, Become Christ...
Remote Preparation starts with a semester long intensive process. This process is uniquely designed to help students grow in the habits of living our faith while transitioning into their new school community. As such, it is offered annually during the Fall Semester (August - December).
Online Registration: Registration for Fall 2021 opens in early July.
Seek Christ: Remote Preparation includes a full-weekend retreat that provides teens with the opportunity to seek and encounter Christ. Candidates reflect on their relationship with God and the different ways God interacts with us in our daily lives. Students must be able to attend the entire retreat. Students are not allowed to arrive late or leave early.
Fall 2020 Dates: Rescheduled due to Covid (Dates TBA)
Fall 2021 Dates: September 24-26, 2021
Know Christ: Remote preparation focuses on the Habits of Discipleship - the basic skills of living our faith (Prayer, Worship, Sacraments, Community, and Service). The confirmation process has students join weekly small group communities of peers with 1-2 core team members to discuss and develop these habits in their lives. Sign-up for these small groups happens in mid-August.
Initial One-On-One: At the completion of the small group sessions, the core team member will schedule a one-on-one meeting with each member of their small group and their mentor. These meetings are held in public places. During this session the student, mentor, and core team member will develop a Discipleship Plan to help the student continue to grow in their relationship with Christ during the next stage of the process.
stage 2. discernment period
After completing the Discipleship Semester, teens move into the second stage of the process: the Discernment Period. The length of this period can vary on the individual: often lasting a year or longer. During this time, students seek to Become Christ by further putting the habits of discipleship into practice.
Besides attending Mass on Sunday (or the vigil Mass) and on Holy Days of Obligation, teens are to be participating in the following activities:
- Life Teen and/or Summit
- Campus Ministry (Catholic High Schools)
- Retreats and Summer Camps
- Mission Service (Community Service, Summer Mission Trip, etc.)
- Ministry Service
One-on-Ones: To assist students during this stage, students should meet with their mentor individually once a semester. These one-on-ones are held in a public place. Mentors will revisit the discipleship plan the students created and help students get connected or make adjustments to the plan as needed.
stage 3. Immediate Preparation
Students who have discerned they desire to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation and meet the following criteria are eligible to enter into the third and final stage of the process: Immediate Preparation for the Sacrament. The criteria for the final stage include:
- 16 years old and entering Junior year of High School
- Completed Remote Preparation
- Demonstrate further grown in the Habits of Discipleship.
Application Process: Teens desiring to enter the immediate preparation apply for the process, often during the fall of Junior year. The application process includes a form to designate desire to enter this stage and an interview. The application process looks at how the student has grown as a disciple through the process.
Immediate Preparation: Immediate Preparation prepares a candidate to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. This will be done either as four half-day sessions or a weekend retreat experience. These sessions will examine the Sacrament itself and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The process concludes with a rehearsal and reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation.