Confirmation Is …

Our orientation for Youth Confirmation was held on the Liturgical Feast of the Sunday was the Exultation of the Cross.
We began our session with a Prayer Video to the music, “Here I am to Worship” (at the end of this post). The video was interspersed with quotations from the Sacred Scripture and Saint Magdalene of Canossa (the Foundress of the Canossian Sisters, Sr Lisa Marie’s religious family) touching on various themes of the Cross.
Part I:  Introduction by Monsignor Voorhies
Monsignor Voorhies then prayed a blessing over all the candidates and their parents, and shared some thoughts about what Confirmation is, and its relationship to our Baptism:
  • Confirmation is like a phone one buys. He had us imagine buying a new phone and calling home, only to realize that we can hear the other person, but they cannot hear us! Our phone had a receiver, but no transmitter.  With this in mind, he explained: Baptism is the receiver –  the opening communication with the Holy Spirit; Confirmation, which completes what began in Baptism, is the transmitter in the analogy. Just as a transmitter and receiver are both necessary for a functioning phone, so in our spiritual life, we need both Baptism and Confirmation in order to have the Spirit fully alive in us. It is through Confirmation, we can then “transmit” the message of God’s love more perfectly in our lives.
  • Confirmation is like making a good glass of chocolate milk. Monsignor also used the analogy of making chocolate milk. When we pour Hershey’s chocolate syrup in our glass of milk, the chocolate goes straight to the bottom and needs to be stirred up. Just so, the Holy Spirit needs to be “stirred up” in us. The process of Confirmation assists in that ‘stirring up’ of the Holy Spirit, but our own participation is essential to making that happen.
  • Saint names. Monsignor encouraged the candidates to consider first their Baptismal names, and the Saints we were already named after. Get to know them, and, if they inspire you, to consider using your Baptismal name as your Confirmation name. However, if you were named “Buffy” – which to my knowledge is not a Saint name, you will need to seek out a saint that inspires you.
  • Service. Are there ways you can live out your Baptism in your daily life of service? Even simple things, like anticipating what your parents would like you to do, and do it without being asked. Is there an elderly person you see that needs help? Keep your eyes and ears open, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you.
  • Prayer. Be sure to pray every day.
  • Bible. Monsignor highly encouraged the candidates to read the Gospel of Mark this year. Just a paragraph of the Gospel each day, and let that paragraph be a part of your life throughout the day.
Part II: Faith Sharing
We then had a brief faith sharing based on our opening prayer: “What is the Cross to You”
  • Sacrifice for us
  • Suffered for love of us
  • Because of the love we find in Jesus’s sacrifice, we want to love in return
  • Our love is an act of gratitude
  • The love we have found in Jesus, we want it for others – our families, friends and strangers
  • Jesus’ example gives us courage to make right decisions when it is difficult.
  • We learn trust because of Mary’s example at the foot of the Cross.
Wonderful responses by our candidates! Thank you!
Part III: Traditions
Then, we discussed traditions in our families, and how these parallel traditions in the Church. They are meaningful to us, and we pass them down to our children. Some of the responses regarding family traditions:
  • Habit of praying with the children before leaving the house in the morning
  • Going to Mass together, and then doing something special following
  • At Christmas, attending midnight Mass together, having hot cocoa afterwards
  • How we pray at meals
  • Having breakfast together on special days
  • Cooking together

All of these things – and more – help shape the culture of our home. The same is true about our Church. We have ‘traditions’ in our local church that help bring us closer to the mystery of Christ and to one another.

 

Part IV: Confirmation Requirements
As listed on the last page of the Youth Confirmation Calendar 2014-2015:
  • All Sunday Sessions (2x’s/month), 3:00 – 5:15pm;
  • and the Spirit Night Mass that follows the Sunday Sessions at 5:30pm;
  • JPII Ala Carte Nights (4 of 7, but you can attend more); you must sign up for the ones you will attend on the website
  • At least two retreats (one being the weekend before Confirmation). Candidate can choose to attend either:
    • the Lock-in retreat in November, or
    • True Strength, True Beauty (a four-part workshop beginning October 24th), or
    • a Youth retreat offered by the Archdiocese.
    • They will also participate with their Sponsors in a Confirmation Retreat in April.
More detailed information regarding these opportunities is available on the website.
  • Service projects
    • (1) We will coordinate a rosary making project and the annual Living Stations of the Cross. and
    • (2) Candidates will also propose one personal project that will require 10 hours of his/her time in serving someone else directly. Please check in with us to verify if your service project will be ok.
We acknowledge that high school students are kept very busy, and that there may be valid needs to have other alternatives to completing the requirements. We are open to discuss these on a case-by-case with parents and teens.
Part V: Questions and Answers

1  Minimum requirements to Sponsor a Confirmation candidate (according to the Archdiocesan policy):

  • Be at least 16 years of age (HOWEVER, we strongly recommend that the sponsor be out of high school, so that their experience can help guide the teen to understand more fully their faith).
  • Be a confirmed Catholic who has received the Sacrament of Eucharist and leads a life in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken.
  • If married, the sponsor must be living a sacramental marriage and cannot be cohabitating.
  • Cannot be the parent of the candidate.
  • Only one sponsor permitted per candidate unless the sponsors are the godparents from Baptism.
  • The Sponsor should be selected by the candidate in dialogue with the candidate’s parents. Assistance in finding a sponsor may be requested of the Confirmation Team.

    2  Participation Days by Sponsors:

    • Sunday, November 2: Session 4:  The Jesus Question (Community Center, 3:00 – 5:15PM)
    • Sunday, December 14:

      • Session 8: The Holy Spirit (Community Center, 3:00 – 5:15PM)
      • RITE of WELCOME – Church, 5:30PM (Mass)
    • Sunday or Saturday, April 25 or 26 – Confirmation Retreat, Location TBD, 10:30AM – 6:30PM
    • Monday, April 27 – Confirmation Rehearsal & Penance Service (Church, 5:30 PM)
    • Tuesday, April 28 – CONFIRMATION Ceremony (Community Center, 6:00 PM)

    ACTION NEEDED:

     Please find enclosed an Affidavit, to be read and signed by the Sponsor, and validated by the Parish where the Sponsor is registered. Due to Sr Lisa Marie no later than October 15th!
    COMING UP FAST!  First A La Carte this coming Friday, September 26 (Power of Choices)
    Please let me know if there is anything we can do to help your teens make this an even more meaningful process!
    Now, enjoy the video!

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