The Sacrament of Confirmation is the final Sacrament of initiation and it is an excellent time for a young Catholic and their family to grow in faith and renew their Catholic commitment. At St. Thomas More Parish, those Catholics who are in grade seven or older are invited to begin the preparation process for receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation.
*** The next preparation process begins in September 2017 ***
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
These were the last words Jesus spoke to His disciples to prepare them to receive the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and these are the words Jesus speaks to the candidates as they prepare to receive a fuller out-pouring of the Holy Spirit at their Pentecost, Confirmation. The Confirmation program is not just catechesis but a path to holiness that continues on from the Sacrament of Baptism.
Relationship with our Catholic Schools
Our Catholic Schools and those who work for them certainly remain great gifts. The Sacraments, however, are about a faith relationship found within the community of the Church. At some point in their life, students graduate from their school; they may visit, but their school will not be the place they go back to for healing in a moment of crisis, for sacramental care in a time of joy, or for direction on occasion when they are called to grow and mature in life. When they graduate school they leave to return as only as a visitor. A Parish, a faith community, is a place you never graduate from, and Confirmation is a Sacrament that says “I want to be a member of a community of faith – for life – not to graduate from it – but to grow within it!”
Candidates for the Sacrament of Confirmation are also required to provide a copy of their baptismal certificate. Baptismal certificates can be obtained by contacting the parish where the candidate was baptized and can be sent directly to St. Thomas More Parish or brought to the first session. Candidates who were baptized at St. Thomas More Parish do not need to provide a Baptismal certificate.
Families living within the boundaries of, and registered and worshiping at, St. Thomas More Parish are welcome to complete an enrolment form online. If your family is registered and worshiping at another parish, please consult with your Pastor regarding celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation for your child. For those families worshiping at other parishes wishing to have their children celebrate Sacraments at St. Thomas More Parish, please provide a letter of blessing from your Pastor.
Two weeks before the first preparation session begins, specific dates for all sessions, as well as the day for Confirmation itself, will be sent to candidates and families. Additionally, candidates and parents will receive a letter of commitment and consent to review, sign and bring with them to the first session.
To do now:
- Complete the online Enrolment Form
- Wait for enrolment email from parish (sent out at least two weeks before the first session)
To bring with you to the first session:
- Baptismal certificate – for those who were not baptized at St. Thomas More Parish
- Letter of blessing from the pastor – for those who normally practice at another parish or who live outside the boundaries of St. Thomas More parish.
- Signed letter of commitment and consent
The preparation process
As they work to become adults in the eyes of the church, Candidates will be expected to take on a larger role in developing their own faith life. The Holy Spirit will definitely help to guide the candidates, but the preparation process also has a number tasks that candidates are asked to fulfill, including:
- Attending an information session
- Attending ten preparation sessions
- Select a sponsor
- Attending a retreat
- Completing assigned homework
- Offering eight hours of service to the community
- Completing a saint project
- Complete several ‘Mass Journal’ entries
- Composing a letter to the bishop
- Having an interview with the pastor
Details about each of these tasks will be given out throughout the course of the preparation period.
To the Candidate: Are You Ready?
Your initiation into the Christian community began when you were born! Your parents presented you for baptism, and continued to support you in celebrating Holy Communion for the first time. Confirmation completes the initiation and you become a full member of the church. Here are a few things to think about:
Confirmation is the beginning of a new and deeper kind of commitment. This is now all the support from your parents, guardians, community and school culminating in your decision to claim your faith and renew and recommit yourself to the promises that were made on your behalf at baptism.
Do you have to know everything about being Catholic to be Confirmed? Not at all! Your faith journey is a lifetime path; you need only understand the kind of commitment you are making and be willing to have a deepening relationship with God.
How do you know you are ready? The following questions may help you discern if you are ready to celebrate Confirmation:
- Why do I want to be Confirmed?
- If everyone else in my peer group/class/friends, etc. was choosing not to be Confirmed, would I still choose to be Confirmed myself?
- Am I willing to be a person of love and compassion, serving others in the way that Jesus did?
- Are I ready to commit to living a Christian way of life?
- Am I willing to make an effort to deepen my spiritual life through private prayer and public worship?
- Is participation in the Christian community, particularly through my parish, important to me?
If you do not feel able to make such a commitment, we encourage you not to be Confirmed at this time. Confirmation is about celebrating one’s full, conscious and active participation in the Christian community. It doesn’t make sense to celebrate the ritual if we do not intend to live out the commitment. When you feel you are ready, that is the time to be Confirmed!
This is a grace-filled time for candidates and family members alike. The best spiritual preparation for the candidates and the best example by the parents involves faithful Catholic practice. God bless you as you continue on your journey of faith. If I can be of any assistance please do not hesitate to call or email me.
While this will undoubtedly be an exciting time for you, please know the entire parish community shares in this excitement. It will be an opportunity for all of us to deepen our Christian faith, and to strengthen our commitment to serve one another and the world.
Ready to enrol?