Confirmation is celebrated in the eighth grade for both Catholic and public school youth. The date for the Sacrament of Confirmation to be celebrated in our parish is usually in April with +Bishop Thomas John Paprocki.
The sacrament of Confirmation is the final step of initiation for these young adults. They have been clothed in Christ at Baptism, are receiving Eucharist, healed in Reconciliation and now ready to affirm their commitment at Confirmation.
This journey starts with a Confirmation information meeting in September with parents and students. The meeting is lead by the pastor, CRE, catechists and chairman of the homeless shelter dinners. Information packets are given to each family. The pastor shares with the students and parents the meaning of Confirmation, the importance of choosing a sponsor and of the formation evenings with the Confirmandi. The formation dates are one Sunday in February starting at 6:00pm until 8:00pm in the gym WITH the sponsor. The second formation evening is one Sunday in March starting at 6:00 until 8:00pm in the cafeteria. Sponsor is welcome, but does not need to attend this one. Who can be a sponsor you ask? A sponsor is a Catholic male or female designed by the confirmandi and parents, must be 16 years of age, confirmed, receiving the sacrament of Eucharist and leads a life in harmony with the church teachings. The mother or father can NOT be a sponsor for their son/daughter. The Baptismal Godparents is the preferred Confirmation sponsor. However, some other person may be chosen to act as sponsor. It is important that the candidate be able to identify with the sponsor in terms of Christian living. The sponsor will need to be able to spend sometime with the candidate, as well to attend the formation evening in February and practice for Confirmation, and of course, celebrating Confirmation in April. Each family receives a list of responsibilities of the sponsor and Confirmation Sponsor Form (needs to be returned) in the packet to share with the sponsor. Catechists share about the preparation book used in the classroom called Confirmation: Gifted with Spirit . They also inform the parents and students about dress code, priest interviews, forms to be filled out for the bishop, choosing a Confirmation name, attending mass on Sundays, and retreat at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in February. The CRE explains the service projects, log sheet for the 25 service hours, registration form for candidate,and parent volunteer sheet. One service project all candidates must do is making a dinner for a men’s shelter. Candidates will do the shopping with the chairman of this project or CRE, cook the meal under the supervision of the chairman, serve the meal and clean up the dishes. Candidates experience with the homeless men is eye opening for them. How easy someone can become homeless and how they can be regular folks down on their luck. Other community service projects can be Knights of Columbus, nursing homes, group home, elderly neighbor, etc.
Candidates preparing for confirmation look within themself to see how the gifts of the Holy Spirit, that they received at Baptism, are working in their life. Service projects help them to develop these gifts and give them a better understanding what God may be calling them to do in life.