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Transcript of Confirmation
What is it?
Completes/perfects Baptismal grace
enriches us with a special strength of the Holy Spirit
roots us more deeply in relationship with the Trinity
strengthens our bond with the Church and associates us more closely with her mission*,
helps us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds.
imprints a spiritual mark or indelible character on the Christian’s soul;
more strictly obliges us to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.
(Catechism of the Catholic Church) *= The Church's mission = to evangelize.
What does the Church say about preparing for this sacrament?
"Preparation for Confirmation should aim at
leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a more lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit
- his actions, his gifts, and his biddings - in order to be more capable of assuming the apostolic responsibilities of Christian life. To this end catechesis for Confirmation should
strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish community
. the latter bears special responsibility for the preparation of confirmands." - Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1309
Who should be Confirmed?
"A candidate for Confirmation who has attained the age of reason must
profess the faith
be in the state of grace
have the intention of receiving the sacrament
be prepared to assume the role of disciple
and witness to Christ, both within the ecclesial community and in temporal affairs." - CCC 1319
The Thresholds of Conversion
What is a disciple?
DISCIPLE: Those who accept Jesus’ message to follow him, and share in his mission, his joy, and his sufferings.
Awareness, engagement, and exchange toward the person of Jesus Christ.
The most difficult: opening ourselves to the possibility of change. Giving God permission to move.
"God, I don't know if you exist, but if you are - I'm open to experiencing you."
Actively looking to encounter Christ.
"God, I believe this relationship with you is possible. I want you."
We know Jesus Christ, and have chosen to follow Him .
The 'dropping your nets' moment.
Encounter & Discipleship
Retreats provide unique opportunities for teens to step away from everyday life and places them in an environment where they can encounter God. Retreats can help them move more quickly through the thresholds of conversion and become disciples.
Service Projects and Sponsor Selection
Service Projects are opportunities to begin fulfilling what's expected of a Confirmed Catholic: a more intense obligation 'to spread and defend the faith by word and deed'.
We align their service projects with Works of Mercy to strengthen this connection.
At every Life Night, after the main message has been given, we break into small groups. This helps us to form intentional disciples because:
Relationships can be created with the adults who lead these groups. Crossing thresholds of conversion is impossible without relationship.
Adult leaders, as they get to know the teens, can ask the right questions to help their teens in the next step of their spiritual growth.
The newest resource for Catholic Confirmation prep featuring the best Catholic speakers in youth ministry.
seeking to win their hearts at a critical time with engaging, exciting content presentation
Challenges the norm of Confirmation as 'something Catholics do'.
Challenges teens to think 'what's next'? in their walk with God
over 2 years, topics like: "Does God Exist", "Salvation History", "sin", and "Gifts of the Spirit"
our retreat opportunities include:
-Steubenville Youth Conferences (summer)
-Confirmation retreats hosted with area parishes
We help the teens to make a carefully considered choice of Confirmation sponsor.
This can't just be someone they are close to, but needs to be a disciple of Jesus who will help them to 'step up' in their faith walk.
How do the changes to Resurrection's Confirmation better answer the Church's call for sacramental preparation?
A disciple of Christ will manifest the 'fruit of the Holy Spirit' in their life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, long-suffering, mildness, faith, modesty, self-control and chastity.
CCC 1131: "The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us... They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions."
This means: if a teen doesn't profess the faith, isn't in the state of grace, doesn't intend to receive the sacrament, and/or isn't prepared to assume the life of a disciple of Christ,
receiving Confirmation will not bear fruit in their lives
. It is reduced to 'hollow ritualism' (Pope John Paul II 'On Catechesis in Our Time).
What it isn't: Church graduation, a cultural ritual, or the end of faith formation.
must have a positive association with something identifiably Christian
Forming Intentional Disciples by Sherry Weddell
Catechesis is designed to foster the maturation of disciples, not the initial conversion of those who aren't yet disciples. (FID, pg. 125)
Although most Catholics crank through the 'sacrament machine', only about 10% are intentional disciples of Christ.
This means we have to change the way we prepare for sacraments.
To BEST prepare teens for Confirmation, we have to create environments where teens can move through the thresholds of conversion.
Common Questions, Concerns, and Objections
Why is our program every
week for two years? It used
to be 9 once-a-month meetings.
We don't meet
week. Confirmation students have 12 meetings per semester.
The diocese requires 31 hours of preparation. We are doing more than that because we believe the teens deserve more.
We also spread the preparation over a 2-year period so that we could provide MORE opportunities for teens to cross thresholds , and so that occasional absences wouldn't be detrimental to receiving content.
The status quo was not producing committed disciples.
Why can't my teen just get their sacramental preparation at the Catholic school they attend?
Preparation for receiving a sacrament is not the duty of a school. We prepare them in the parish because they receive their sacraments at their parish, and this is how
the Church asks us to do it (CCC #1309).
Also, this is the only sacrament for which a pastor must tell the bishop he believes the recipients are ready to receive. It is a 'bigger deal' in that way.
My teen is complaining and/or says they aren't learning anything.
Our meetings aren't focused on the quantity of content at this moment, but of building relationship to foster evangelization. However, workbooks ARE coming and there will be more content once they've arrived and our Life Night expands from 70 minutes to 90 (Advent Mass Time Change).
Other Possible reasons:
- Teens do this. (Have they ever answered 'nothing'
when you ask them what they learn at school?)
-They miss the message because they weren't listening to the 'Proclaim' portion of the Life Night.
- They are struggling with change.
-Their hearts are not yet open.
The answer to these challenges is not to:
- change our format - meet less often
- cram as much content as possible -give up
to have parents and parish partner to create irrestible environments that will allow teens to encounter God, experience conversion, and open their hearts to receive the grace of Confirmation.
Why are Confirmation prep sessions happening during the Life Nights? Shouldn't they have their own night and time?
We are choosing to place the Confirmation prep
within the Life Nights for a several reasons:
- LIFETEEN is the best parish environment for evangelizing teens, and 90% of Catholics, including teens, are in need of basic evangelization.
- They are around other teens, many of whom are already disciples, and environments where peers can witness to each other is powerful.
-For teens who would attend both Confirmation and LIFETEEN, we kill two birds with one stone (especially for those who drive a long distance).
-We want to retain teens in our youth ministry after they're Confirmed.
Our best shot at that is for them to develop relationships
so that they WANT to keep coming.
How can Parents and Parish partner together?
: Come and observe a CHOSEN night, join our Intercessory or Life Support Team and assist with Set-Up/Teardown, Hospitality, or Pastoral Care. Bring food -always welcome.
Ask yourself 'Where am I
on the path to being an intentional disciple of Jesus?' If you realize you aren't there yet yourself, it's easier to be patient with teens for not being there either.
Lead your teen by example
and go deeper in your personal journey of conversion (great 'starters' for this include: The Alpha Course! Starts on Wednesday).
Ask Guine for more resources
on developing family spirituality and sharing the faith with your teen. Your impact is infinitely more powerful than ours, so our #1 goal is to empower and assist you. We'll share the best that's out there with you.
-Be patient with changes and positive toward your teens
. Change is hard and change takes time, and growth in church is a lot like bamboo.
to your priests and parish staff - get to know them (If you invite Guine to your home for dinner, she will cook for your family - just sayin').
Parent Life Ministry
: LIFETEEN provides support to parents through an entire ministry component dedicated to them. It is on the docket to develop this at Resurrection. If you want to help get it started sooner, let us know!
Rites of Welcoming
Also -Opportunity for Confession
Mimicing the RCIA process, these liturgical rites will provide a way for the wider parish family to journey with the teens, and give teens some milestones to mark their progress throughout the year.