Confirmation is a sacrament of initiation which completes Baptism through sealing in the Holy Spirit. Preparation for Confirmation is a two year process which involves service to the church and the community, attendance of Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation, and religious education classes.
A Guide for Second Year Candidates and Their Parents
Welcome to your second year of Confirmation preparation at Good Shepherd Church. We are looking forward to sharing with you this journey of faith as you prepare to receive the sacrament of Confirmation. As you will know, Confirmation preparation involves learning, sharing, serving, fellowship, spiritual growth and fun! You will be given the opportunity to learn more about your Catholic faith and what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
What is Confirmation? Confirmation is one of the Sacraments of Initiation. While Baptism is the first step of initiation into the life of the Church, Confirmation can be seen as the completion of the Baptismal commitment. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace” (no. 1285). There are two primary effects from the sacrament of Confirmation: strengthening of one’s bond with the Church, and reception of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The following guide details the requirements and expectations of Good Shepherd Church for those youth enrolled in Confirmation preparation as well as the expectations of parents and sponsors. This commitment involves the whole family and we ask that you carefully examine the expectations.
WHO MAY BE CONFIRMED?
Confirmation candidates must:
EXPECTATIONS IN DETAIL
The following explains each of the Confirmation expectations in detail and in some cases, the reasons the requirements are important to the formation of the candidate. Please remember that while in many cases we list a minimum requirement for Confirmation, the candidates should be encouraged to make many of these activities a regular part of their faith practices.
The Confirmation Candidate (and hopefully the rest of the family) must have a sincere intention of participating in Mass every week. Participating in the Eucharistic life of the community is both a privilege and an obligation of baptized Catholics. This is also an important way that parents demonstrate to their children the importance they place on the faith they are handing on to their children. When we worship as a community, we build up the Body of Christ. If your family has not been attending Mass regularly in the past, we are confident that by doing so you will notice many benefits to your family by the time Confirmation approaches.
The interview with a candidate gives us a chance to meet you face-to-face and to get to know you. It helps to determine the readiness of the candidate to take on the responsibility of a confirmed disciple.
Attendance at the Confirmation classes is extremely important in preparing the candidates for reception of the sacrament. When a class is missed, the candidate loses time for fellowship and prayer as well as the educational material covered that day. We expect that you will make these gatherings a priority and therefore make a sincere effort to adjust your other obligations accordingly.
There may be situations (i.e. excessive absenteeism; lack of desire to be confirmed) where, at the Pastor’s discretion, it might be deemed prudent to temporarily delay the confirming of a candidate until the candidate is deemed ready. As the pastor must attest to the bishop that the candidates are ready, all final decisions regarding a candidate’s readiness are evaluated by the pastor and staff.
Retreats provide a unique opportunity for the candidates to spend an extended time in discernment and reflect on the gifts of the Spirit and reflect on their relationship with God and their faith life. It is therefore required that each candidate attend the Confirmation Retreat. This is the only Confirmation Retreat offered. We ask that you make it a priority in your schedule. This will take place in the fall of 2017.
The confirmation sponsor must be a Confirmed and practicing Roman Catholic and should be a person who has been a strong role-model as a faith-filled Catholic.
What are the qualifications of a sponsor? Pastors are charged with the responsibility of seeing that the sponsors (chosen by the candidates or their families) are spiritually fit to take on this responsibility.
A sponsor must have these qualities:
Note that only one sponsor may be designated. We can assist you in finding a qualified sponsor in the parish, if needed.
Along with this guide you will find a Confirmation Sponsor Interview Form at the end of this booklet.
This is to be submitted on or before March 1, 2016.
To be a Catholic Christian, we need to be more than people who participate in Mass on Sunday. We must be people of action, people of service. Preparing for Confirmation is a process of becoming a fully committed member of the Christian community, sensitive to how the Spirit is moving in one’s life. The Spirit moves us to make wise and fair decisions, moves us to pray, and to connect with others and build community. The Spirit also stirs us to serve one another and to free people from injustice as Jesus did. Service is a way of life for committed Christians.
Service cards are to be submitted on or before March 1, 2016.
All candidates and their sponsors (or another adult) are expected to attend the Confirmation rehearsal, which is typically the week before Confirmation.
Confirmation will be in the fall of 2016. The exact date and the celebrant will be announced (pending the Diocese’s scheduling).
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF PARENTS
“As the primary educators of their children: parents are to be intimately involved in the catechesis for Confirmation. This will help them renew and strengthen their own faith, besides enabling them to set a better example for their children.”(NCD, no. 119)
All parents are expected to: