Confirmation Preparation Program
Welcome to the Confirmation Process at Blessed Sacrament! We are excited to have you join us! The Confirmation process begins for teenagers in 10th grade and is a year-round process. A lot of people have questions about Confirmation, and some of this stems from a lack of understanding of what the Sacrament of Confirmation is. There are three typical misconceptions about Confirmation: becoming an adult, choosing to be Catholic or graduating from religious education.
- Misconception #1: You Become an Adult in the Church with the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Sacrament used to be celebrated at birth and now varies in age as to when someone is confirmed. It marks a sign of spiritual maturity, but not being an “adult” in the eyes of the Church.
- Misconception #2: The Sacrament of Confirmation is about “choosing to be Catholic” by “confirming” your faith. The Sacrament of Confirmation is about strengthening and completing the grace given at Baptism. While you must discern if you are ready for this sacrament, you are not “choosing” to become Catholic or making your faith your own. Your baptism made you a Catholic forever. The Lord gives us free will every day to “choose” if we are going to be Catholic or not.
- Misconception #3: You graduate from religious education once you are confirmed and can now choose what is right for you in your faith. Confirmation is a sacrament of initiation. Our faith is a lifelong journey. We can always experience deeper conversion, and Jesus is continually calling us to a deeper relationship with Him.
So then, what is Confirmation?
- It’s Transformative: This is the last of the Sacraments of Initiation. This sacrament leaves an indelible mark, which means it’s unremovable. You are marking your soul for eternity. You are activating the grace you received at your baptism and becoming the person Christ created you to be.
- It’s Missionary Training: By being Confirmed, you are taking the mission of the Catholic Church on as your own: “to go and make disciples of all nations” – Matthew 28:20
- It’s Life Changing: This process has the power to change your life. Many teens have begun the Confirmation process unsure if they wanted to be Confirmed or even wanted to remain Catholic after being Confirmed. Many have ended up falling deeper in love with the Lord despite their initial reservations.
Please know the whole CORE team is here to help you! We are here to serve you and your family!
What is Required for Confirmation?
We don’t have requirements for Confirmation because you can not earn the right to receive a sacrament. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “the sacrament is not wrought by the righteousness of either the celebrant or the recipient, but by the power of God.” (CCC #1128)
A teenager who wants to be Confirmed needs to have the basic Christian faith because receiving a sacrament strengthens that faith (CCC #1123).
Our goal through the One Eight Confirmation is to provide experiences that will deepen a teenager’s faith so that the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation has the intended effect in their soul: to make them missionary disciples (CCC #1122).
The experiences we ask candidates to participate in are:
- Ten Confirmation Sessions designed to foster a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the church community
- Be enrolled in Youth Ministry*
- Attend the Confirmation Retreat**
- Choose a Sponsor and attend our Confirmation and Sponsor Session
- Write a letter to your Pastor
- Pick a Saint Name
- Complete a Pre-Confirmation Interview and a Secondary Interview with your pastor^
- Attend our Confirmation Rehearsal and Mass
*This is a Diocesan requirement. In addition to Confirmation sessions, your youth should be attending the parish Youth Ministry sessions.
**This is a Diocesan requirement. Any youth seeking the Sacrament of Confirmation MUST attend a retreat specific to Confirmation. This CAN include the parish Confirmation Retreat or a Diocesan Confirmation Retreat. It DOES NOT includes retreats like DYC, Discovery, etc…
^This is a requirement of our Pastor. Each youth seeking the Sacrament of Confirmation MUST attend a Pre-Confirmation interview with a Confirmation Core Team member and a Secondary interview with the Pastor.
Do I have to do the entire Confirmation process in one year?
No! We understand that families are very busy, and we hope Confirmation does not just become one more thing to get done. We want your teen’s Confirmation Preparation to be an encounter moment with Jesus Christ and not a mad dash to complete a list of requirements.
Whatever experiences your teenager has during a cycle of Confirmation will carry over into the next cycle if he does not finish during that particular cycle. For example, if John attends his Confirmation retreat but chooses to wait until the following year to continue his formation he would not need to go on another Confirmation retreat.
If your teenager wishes to complete the Confirmation process in a year, that is also an option. We only want to stress that receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation is making an eternal commitment to God, and we want to encourage your teen to not to feel rushed into making that decision.
When are Confirmation sessions? What are they like?
Confirmation Sessions take place on Sunday evenings at the regular Youth Ministry time, 6-8pm. On the evenings of Confirmation, only students going through Confirmation attend (see Schedule for more details). Everyone else who is not going through Confirmation can take this time to pray for those preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.
What is the interview process like?
We ask that you complete two interviews for your Confirmation experience: a pre-Confirmation interview and an interview with your pastor.
Complete your pre-Confirmation interview before attending your first Confirmation session. The purpose of this interview is to get a baseline on your spirituality. It will allow us to understand your unique spirituality and what the Core Team can do to help you grow spiritually. This interview is a simple questionnaire and discussion with a Core Team member.
The interview with your pastor should be scheduled after you have completed your Confirmation retreat.
There is a common misunderstanding that the interview process is meant to be a test of your knowledge of the Catholic faith. Rather, the goal is to talk about who Jesus Christ is to you and how your formation as a disciple is going. Some teenagers have questions, and the interview is a great chance to discuss that. Some teens are a bit fearful and need reassurance. Some teens are feeling like they might not be ready to be confirmed and need affirmation that it is okay to make that decision.
When and Where is the Confirmation Retreat?
The Confirmation Retreat is March 1-3 at Camp Overlook. More details to come.
Who can be a Sponsor?
The Catholic Church provides three criteria a person has to meet to be a Sponsor:
- They have to be a baptized, confirmed and practicing Catholic
- They are 16 years or older at the date of Confirmation
- They are not the biological parent of the candidate receiving the Sacrament
We also encourage you to consider picking someone local as that will make their role in the candidate’s life more prominent, however this is not a requirement.
What does a Sponsor do?
The reason a candidate picks a sponsor is to have a spiritual mentor. In any great story or movie, the hero always has a mentor or guide to help them. When you make this decision, it’s important to select the right person. Don’t choose your “uncle mark” because he’s the only Catholic you know and he’s cool because he plays Xbox with you. Rather, you want a sponsor to be someone that you feel is holy and can inspire you to be holy as well.
If you’ve ever seen the Star Wars movies, think of it like this: Luke Skywalker has Yoda as his mentor, not Han Solo. Han is pretty awesome, but Yoda is the only person who can train Luke into being a Jedi.
We ask sponsors to commit to doing three things: being a representative, acting as a companion and being prayerful.
- A REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE CHURCH: Although the responsibility to sponsor Confirmation Candidates belongs to the whole church, it’s hard for a large group to minister personally to each person. As a sponsor is a personal representative of the Church to those who desire to be confirmed. With a sponsor’s help, the candidate will begin to feel welcomed by the Church, and embrace all that the Church has to offer.
- A COMPANION: Being a sponsor means that you serve as a companion, and sometimes a guide. As a companion, a sponsor must be available to help. Most of the time the help will be support when there is hesitation, understanding when there is doubt, or comfort when there is an inner conflict. A sponsor is called to be a friend whom a candidate can talk with and trust. A sponsor is not a catechist and is not responsible for imparting all the teachings of the Church. It is very common for a sponsor to be asked questions by their candidate. Sponsors should be comfortable to answer the questions they can and to find the answers they don’t know from a reliable source.
- PRAYERFUL: A sponsor often prays, recognizing that he or she is an instrument whom God uses to touch the life of a candidate. Being a sponsor should inspire you to deepen your own prayer life. If you’re not going to Mass on a weekly basis, you need to start for the sake of your candidate. It is not uncommon for a sponsor to develop a deep sacramental life of their own through this process and grow deeper in their commitment to live an authentic and holy life.
If being a sponsor seems daunting, the Youth Ministry office is here to help you! We have many fantastic resources including our Sponsor and Candidate session, a sponsor guide and our Confirmation Rehearsal to make this a great experience.
Why do I need to pick a Saint name?
Choosing a Saint Name is not a required part of Confirmation. You’re allowed to keep your Baptismal name if you wish. You are encouraged to do because you are picking that person as a “spiritual guide.” By choosing that person, you are saying you want to imitate them and try to be as close to God as they were.
Names may also be selected if you have a particular devotion to a saint. Candidates can also choose a saint of the opposite sex. For instance, a girl can choose the name “Francis” to represent her devotion to St. Francis of Assisi.
There are over 10,000 saints in the Church so picking one can be a daunting task! Check out Catholic.org. You can search for saints by names, by their patronage (patron saint of football, the internet, band, drama, etc.) We also highly recommend you check out LIFE TEEN’s biggest best list of Confirmation saints. Don’t forget to ask your sponsor for advice too!