Confirmation Program

                               A rite of confirmation takes place at Saint Thomas Church.

Catechesis of young people in our parish has as one of its goals their full sacramental initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist) into the Catholic faith.   Christian initiation remains incomplete without Confirmation.  Reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion and strengthening of baptismal grace.  At the same time, the grace of Baptism is a grace of free, unmerited election and does not need human ratification to become effective.  The effect of the sacrament is the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit as Gift.  Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace, which has the following effects: 
*     grounds us more deeply in our divine adoption
*     unites us more firmly to Christ
*     increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us
*     perfects our relationship with the Church
*     grants the special strength of the Holy Spirit for spreading and defending the faith by word and
       action as true witnesses of Christ.

Our formal Confirmation preparation program takes place during the 9th and 10th grade school years, culminating in reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation in the fall of 11th grade. 

During Grade 9 we will be using a DVD program, DECISION POINT, published by The Dynamic Catholic Institute, 2014.  The goals of this program are: to prepare young Catholics for Confirmation by presenting the genius of Catholicism in a compelling way; to demonstrate the relevance of Catholicism in every aspect of their lives; to help them develop a personal relationship with Jesus; to give young Catholics an appetite for learning more about Catholicism; to engage them in a dynamic conversation about their faith; and to convince them that no matter what happens, they should always give God and the Church a central place in their lives.  Dynamic Catholic was founded on the idea of "meeting people where they are...leading them to where God is calling them to be!" With this in mind, DECISION POINT covers everything that would be traditionally taught in preparing young people for Confirmation, but the program also covers a series of life issues, helping to make a powerful connection between preparing for Confirmation and the candidates' everyday lives.

In Grade 10 we use a DVD program, CHOSEN-Your Journey Toward Confirmation, published by Ascension Press, 2014.  CHOSEN will take the students on  journey through the entire Catholic Faith in all its richness and vitality.  The 24 lessons are filmed on location all around the world featuring some of the top youth experts in the Church today.  It keeps the teens' interest with the right balance of faith, fun and powerful videos that challenge their existing perspective on the meaning of their lives and their ultimate call to holiness.  For the second half of the year, we will also use the text, CONFIRMATION, Inspired by the Spirit, published by Sadlier, 2012.  This text provides immediate preparation on the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation.  It also enables the students to reflect on the meaning of the sacrament and to continue to celebrate and live beyond Confirmation.

Another essential component of the program is the opportunity for the Confirmation candidates to participate in meaningful service to their Church, community and world.  We would like to tap in to the energy and talents of the young adults in our program by giving them opportunities to serve others.  Over the two years, we will hold service projects and fundraisers to benefit various charities and organizations.  We also hope that the candidates will seek out Christian service opportunities on their own. 

During grade 9 and 10, candidates will meet with their individual classes for 1 ½ hours, twice a month.  A Final evaluation will be sent home in February of Grade 10.

In addition, there may be a meeting of the entire grade level in the fall or spring or a Special Mass which all students are required to attend.  These meeting dates and times will be listed on the Religious Ed. Calendar.  These sessions allow time for service projects, guest speakers, films and the fostering of a spirit of community. 

Early in the fall of the 11th grade, the Confirmation candidates will attend a one-day retreat.  Completion of a Confirmation Retreat is a requirement of the Archdiocese of Boston for all Confirmation candidates.

The Sacrament of Confirmation is usually celebrated in late October or early November in 11th grade.  The presiding bishop determines the date of Confirmation.  The Religious Education Office will notify the candidates of the date as soon as it is available.  Candidates are encouraged to participate as readers or gift bearers during the Confirmation liturgy.

The goals of our parish Confirmation Preparation Program are the same as those set forth in Preparing for Confirmation: Resources and Guidelines, Archdiocese of Boston, that is to

  • Foster a maturing faith in Jesus as Lord;
  • Invite the young to full membership and participation in the traditions and life of the Catholic community;
  • Empower the young to serve God’s Kingdom of justice and peace.
 

 
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