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 on September, 4, 2014 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 date is on Sunday, February 22, 2015 starting at 6:00pm until 8:00pm in the gym WITH the sponsor. The second formation evening is on Sunday, March 22, 2015 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 themselves 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.
The Sacrament of Confirmation will be celebrated at St. Paul Church on Tuesday, April 26, 2016. Sponsor and candidate will meet in the gym. A group picture will be taken at in gym. The sponsor and will go into church. Candidate will meet their sponsor in church before mass. Mass will begin at 6:30pm.
Confirmation will be celebrated within the Mass. A reception will follow in the Parish Center Cafeteria. Families and friends of the confirmandi are invited.
A practice will be held for students and their sponsors on April 21, 2016 at 6:30pm in St Paul Church. If the sponsor cannot be present for this practice, another adult is asked to attend the practice with the candidate and give the necessary information to the sponsor.
Dress must be appropriate for church.
BOYS: Dress pants, dress shirt, (tie and sport coats, optional), dress shoes (no tennis shoes), socks.
GIRLS: Modest dress or shirt and blouse, dress shoes (no tennis shoes), socks or stockings.
Each student will take part in an interview with the pastor. The purpose of this interview is to allow the students the opportunity to ask questions about the Sacrament of Confirmation and/or to express their concerns. The interview will be determining the student’s preparedness for the Sacrament of Confirmation. At the time they must know the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. Learning them is not just to pass a test but to always be aware of the Gifts that are to be installed into their hearts from this Sacrament for them to USE, and then the Fruits that come forth from using them.
The candidate will be required to write a letter to Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, formally requesting the Sacrament of Confirmation. The sponsor will write a formal letter to the pastor and the parish family requesting the Sacrament of Confirmation and giving testimony for their candidate.
Each candidate will choose a special name for Confirmation. The preferred name is the baptismal name which expresses the relationship between the Sacrament of Baptism and Confirmation. If a new name is chosen it should be the name of a recognized saint of the Church. Students will be required to write a report on the name they have chosen.
Confirmandi must attend two formation sessions that are set for Sunday Evenings.
The “Sponsor Program” is a way for the sponsor to participate more fully in the candidate’s preparation for receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. It is for the sponsor to see that the Confirmandi acts as a true witness to Christ and faithfully fulfills the obligation connected with this sacrament.
To be admitted to the role of sponsor, a person must:
1. be designated by the one to be confirmed, by the parents or the one who takes their place, or in their absence, by the pastor or minister and is to have qualifications and intentions of performing this role;
2. must be sixteen years old at the time the sacrament is conferred;
3. be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the sacrament of Eucharist and leads a life in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken;
4. not bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed on declared;
5. not be the father or the mother of the one to be confirmed.
It is preferred that one’s Baptismal Godparents be the Confirmation sponsor. However, some other person may be chosen to act as sponsor. The practice of having a sponsor by proxy is discouraged.
There is no longer any specification with regard to the sex of the sponsor. It is important, however, that the candidate be able to identify with the sponsor in terms of Christian living.
assist in determining the candidate’s readiness for the sacrament
present the candidate to the minister of Confirmation
Although the parents have the primary responsibility of the Christian initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) of their child, the sponsor is expected to be a model and a mentor. The student should be able to look to the sponsor to observe how a mature, committed member of the faith community lives. As mentor, the sponsor should be willing to give advice and to challenge the student to witness his/her faith.
You have been chosen to be a Confirmation sponsor! This is an honor that carries with it responsibilities. The candidate has chosen you because he/she admires your Christian witness. He/she wants to learn from you and share with you what it means to be a Catholic in a more adult manner. You will be a guide through the preparation and a support throughout the days that follow.
During the preparation time, your candidate will be asked to look seriously at his/her faith and then to affirm it as a positive part of life’s experiences. As sponsor you will be there to affirm the young person: to see, rejoice and point out goodness that you see present. It is also a chance to discuss some of those topics dear to our hearts but often omitted from ordinary conversation.