What is Confirmation?
Confirmation perfects Baptismal grace. It is the sacrament which gives the fullness of the Holy Spirit in order to:
- root us more deeply as children of God and incorporate us more firmly into Christ
- strengthen our bond with the Church and associate us more closely with its mission;
- help us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds.
A candidate for Confirmation who has attained the age of reason must profess the faith, be in the state of grace, have the intention of receiving the sacrament, and be prepared to assume the role of disciple and witness to Christ, both within the Church community and in the world.
How does a teen prepare to assume the role of disciple and witness?
Rather than narrowly focusing on preparing to be Confirmed, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton we offer a holistic apprenticeship in discipleship where along the way, if they so choose, teens receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Our desire is to accompany young people and help them to:
- explore what being a Christian, a Catholic and a person of faith means;
- develop their own personally-held faith and own it;
- grow in response to the Gospel challenge to be a disciple of Jesus and a member of the Church;
- discover the unique way God is inviting them to work for peace and justice in the world.
One year of regular attendance at our High School Sunday Night Gatherings is a prerequisite to entering into Immediate Preparation for Confirmation, which is done as a family team consisting of parent(s), sponsor and the young person.
But my teen attends Catholic School...
Every year we are asked, “My teen attends Catholic School so won’t Seton's preparation process be redundant with what my child is already getting in their religion classes?”
Many teens who attend various Catholic schools have told us they receive “religious education” in school and “faith formation” in our program. One does not supersede the other; on the contrary, they communicate with one another. Teens tell us that our program really helps them to connect the information they learn in school with consciously choosing to live as a disciple of Jesus in the 21st Century.
Also, Catholic school students are used to seeing the parish as a place where they go to Mass on weekends, but they typically identify their school as their "spiritual home." Eventually they will graduate from school and when they do, many times they feel “spiritually homeless.” As Catholic adults their spiritual home will be their parish, and parish life is so much richer than just Mass on Sunday (although Mass on Sunday is critical). Let's start learning that and appreciating it now.
Finally, our culture has developed a powerful sense of individualism – that my life is all about ME. This is completely contrary to the Gospel message, the teachings of Christ. We need to intentionally work on developing a sense of US. Catholic school students have been given a great gift in having religion or theology on a weekly or even daily basis at school. We would encourage them to see what they have as a gift that needs to be shared with other teens - to ask themselves, "How can I share what I am learning at school with my peers?" What a great way to Evangelize!
Teens who wish to prepare for Confirmation register in our High School Ministry Program both their First Year AND their Second Year.
Attending our Sunday Evening Gatherings and making at least one retreat is part of the Confirmation preparation process.
For more information, please contact John Russell at 410-721-5770 x229 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore offers the sacrament of Confirmation for adults twice a year; once on the Feast of Pentecost, and once in October. If you missed Confirmation as a youth, and would like to prepare for reception of this sacrament; please contact John Russell at email@example.com.