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Rite of Confirmation

Confirmation 2017-2018
There are now two calendars for upcoming Confirmandi, these are split over two years. 9th Grade Track & 10th Grade Track.

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Structure of the Program

All meetings, unless otherwise noted, will meet in the Lower Church Hall and conclude at the Upper Church Following the 5:00 pm Mass. Parents and sponsors are encouraged to attend the 5:00 pm Mass with their teens.

Parents/Guardians and Sponsors

(The following is taken from the Archdiocese of Boston Preparing for Confirmation Resources and Guidelines)

At the sight of the crowds, [Jesus'] heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then [Jesus] said to his disciples, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest." (Matthew 9: 36-38)

In the early Church, a person might have been drawn to the Christian way of life by the example and lifestyle of Church members. One might have, out of curiosity, approached a member of the Church and asked reasons for their lifestyle change. After careful scrutiny of the inquirer and their motives, that Christian would then bring the questioner to the Christian assembly. The inquirer was then welcomed by the collective membership or community and enrolled in a long period of preparation and instructional formation for membership into the Christian community. The Christian who first brought and introduced the inquirer to the community was then charged (if he/she felt they were equipped) with the responsibility of serving as sponsor of the inquirer throughout this long period. Together they conversed about the Lord Jesus, His way of life, the community of believers, the need to change one's life, prayer, as well as some practices of the community. Over the course of the years, the catechumen was gradually introduced into the Christian life by the community and in particular, the sponsor. The sponsor witnessed to the community regarding the conversion of the candidate and then accompanied the candidate during ritual celebrations. When the person became a member of the faithful at the celebration of the sacraments, the sponsor was present. Together the sponsor and the candidate grew in friendship and in relationship as members of the faithful. (Walking Together In Faith: A Workbook for Sponsors of Christian Initiation, Thomas H. Morris p.49)

Role of the Parents/Guardians:

The following are guidelines for the Parent/Guardian of a candidate for the Sacrament of Confirmation as well as opportunities for adult religious formation:

1. Parents/Guardians ought to live out the commitment made at the child's baptism, when they accepted the "responsibility of training them in the practice of the faith." (Rite of Baptism for Children) Parents/Guardians should be open to continued and renewed growth in their own faith through participation in the sacramental life of the Church, especially in regular Sunday celebration of the Eucharist, and in daily prayer. Parents/Guardians should make every effort to be involved in the parish Confirmation preparation program for their children. (Archdiocese of Boston Pastoral Guidelines and Policies, Book II p. 6018)

2. Parents/Guardians take seriously their responsibility as primary educators of their children and raise them in the practice of the Catholic faith. This includes providing for a formal program of instruction in Catholic doctrine, and promoting family participation in the liturgical life of the Church. (Archdiocese of Boston Pastoral Guidelines and Policies, Book IL p. 6017 as taken from the National Catechetical Directory, #119)

3. Parents/Guardians ought to give prayerful support and encouragement to the candidate in matters pertaining to the practice of the Catholic faith.

4. Parents/Guardians should support the candidate through Confirmation preparation and continue that support in post-confirmation continuing faith development. This involves an appreciation of the sacramental life of the Church and an understanding of what that means in the candidate's everyday life (e.g., moral decision making).

Role of The Godparent/Sponsor

It is presumed that every effort will be made to engage a Baptismal Godparent in her/his role as Sponsor. The following are guidelines for the sponsor of a candidate for the Sacrament of Confirmation as well as opportunities to continue her/his religious formation:

1. The sponsor must be a confirmed member living a life in harmony with the Catholic Church (Code of Cannon Law, Canon 874), and be, if possible, the same person who served as the candidate's godparent at Baptism. (Code of Canon Law, Canon 893)

If there is a valid reason why the Baptismal Godparent is not available (e.g., death, a non-practicing Catholic) then a sponsor should be chosen with the following considerations:

2. The sponsor ought to be a living witness to the Catholic faith through regular participation in the sacramental life of the Church.

3. The sponsor should have an ongoing, caring relationship with the candidate, not only during the Confirmation preparation process, but also after the reception of the sacrament.

4. The sponsor ought to communicate to the candidate the importance of daily prayer, regular reception of the sacraments, Christian service, and all else that pertains to the preparation process, as well as to continued Catholic living after reception of the sacrament.

5. The sponsor should have a good working knowledge of the candidate's readiness for reception of the sacrament to testify in the candidate's behalf. (This presumes that the sponsor has met and discussed matters of faith with the candidate.)

6. The candidate is the proper one to choose her/his sponsor. The Confirmation catechist should not be appointed as the sponsor for a class by the parish pastoral staff and supplant the unique relationship that should develop through this process. It is however acceptable for a candidate to chose a catechist as sponsor. No one person may be used as sponsor for an entire group of confirmation candidates

How Can the Parents/Sponsors Assist the Candidate

1. Sponsors might be encouraged to write a letter to the Confirmation Coordinator expressing their willingness to participate fully in the formation journey with their candidate.

2. The candidate's chosen sponsor might write a letter stating said sponsor's willingness to assume the role of sponsor. This could include an acknowledgment that the aspirant for sponsor anticipates a continuing and/or renewed commitment to Catholic sacramental life.

3. Parents/Guardians and sponsors should be encouraged to take part in opportunities for personal spiritual enrichment that might include: days/evenings of prayer and reflection, workshops, retreats, service opportunities, adult education classes, collaborative programs with other parishes, regional events. Some of these occasions may be offered jointly with the confirmandi; others would be exclusively for the adult sponsors and/or parent/guardians. It is recommended that three such enrichment opportunities per year be offered for the sponsors and parents/guardians

4. The sponsor might be encouraged to keep a journal during Confirmation preparation, highlighting key moments of spiritual growth and understanding of their candidate that occur during this period.