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.
Our Confirmation process is designed to prepare teens for a life of discipleship and for full initiation into the Catholic Church. Our process unfolds in three steps:
Stage 1. Discipleship semester
The Discipleship Semester is the first stage of the confirmation process and is offered during the fall semester. It is designed ideally for high school freshman while they transition into their new school community. Throughout the process, candidates are expected to be attending Mass on Sunday (or vigil Mass) and on Holy Days of Obligation.
Online Registration: Registration for Fall 2021 opens in June.
Encounter Retreat: The Discipleship Seminar starts with a full-weekend retreat that provides teens with the opportunity to reflect on their relationship with God and the different ways God interacts with us in our daily lives. To participate in the discipleship semester, students must be able to attend the entire retreat. Students are not allowed to arrive late or leave early.
Fall 2020 Date: Rescheduled due to Covid
Small Groups: Registered students will sign-up for a small group based on meeting time. Teens will meet with this group weekly after the retreat to develop the habits of living our faith and growing our personal relationship with God. These small groups conclude around Thanksgiving.
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. These meetings are held in public places. During this session, the student 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 are to continue putting the habits of discipleship discussed during the Discipleship Semester into practice.
Besides continuing to attend Mass on Sunday (or the vigil Mass) and on Holy Days of Obligation, teens are strongly encouraged to participate in the following activities:
- Life Teen and/or Summit
- Campus Ministry (Catholic High Schools)
- Retreats and Summer Camps
- Summer Mission Trip
- Ministry Service
- Community Service
One-on-Ones: To assist students during this stage, core team members will meet with students individually once a semester. These one-on-ones are held in a public place. Core team members 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 Discipleship Semester
- Habits grown during the Discernment Period.
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.