St. Anthony s Catholic Church Confirmation Preparation

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1 St. Anthony s Catholic Church Confirmation Preparation

2 Dear Confirmation Candidate, Parents, and Sponsors, We welcome you as you journey toward the Sacrament of Confirmation. This Sacrament completes the Sacraments of Initiation, which are Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. As is said in the Youth Catechism: Baptism joins us with Christ. Confirmation gives us his Spirit (YOUCAT 193) and the Confirmand receives the strength to witness to God s love and might in words and deed (YOUCAT 203). This sacrament is extremely important and it is our wish that you be fully prepared. In the coming months, you will journey with others and share your own experiences and questions about your faith. It is our hope that you will see Confirmation as an important commitment. This sacrament is not something you simply receive, but a sacrament you live. Preparation for Confirmation is the process of realizing that God chose you first. God made you unique with special gifts. At the moment of your Confirmation, it is essential that YOU, as a young adult, have entered it freely and without pressure. Therefore, it is also essential that YOU, as a young adult, make the decision to pursue Confirmation. Mom or Dad or your friends should not make this decision for you. YOU need to decide if you are willing to: 1) Live as a committed Christian. 2) Continually update your faith. 3) Put into practice what Jesus taught us. Confirmation is not a one shot deal, but an ongoing part of your life. It depends on you to continue to develop your faith. You need to accept it for yourself. Work to make a better Church; participate; make a change and remember the Greatest Commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. Welcome to the journey, Fr. Cary Reniva Pastor

3 ROLE OF THE PARENT(S) IN CONFIRMATION It was the parents who began the initiation process for the confirmandi by bringing him/her to the Church for baptism. Family serves as the first community of faith. Parents are also the primary religious educators; both are responsible for forming and informing the faith of the confirmandi. Faith is a gift, freely given by God, to which each person must respond for him/herself. Confirmation offers the opportunity to sacramentally celebrate one s personal acceptance of God s gift of faith and to acknowledge one s desire to share in the worship, life and mission of the Catholic Church. The role of parent shifts from primary motivator to one who:... invites... encourages... affirms... supports listens... shares... prays... The teen will benefit best when the parent role expresses itself as spiritual companion. A parent who wants to participate more directly in the confirmation process is invited to become a program volunteer or a sponsor for a candidate other than his/her own child. Parents are always welcome to attend any and all confirmation classes.

4 The sponsor is: SPONSORS A model of how a person of faith lives in today s world. A person who knows the candidate and can witness to the maturing faith of the candidate before the community. A guide, confidant, and listener. A learner who is interested in his or her own growth as he or she walks the faith journey with the candidate. A person who will continue after confirmation to walk the faith journey with the candidate and invite him or her into fuller participation in parish life and service. Who can be a sponsor? Canon Law: Minimum requirements for the role as identified by canon law. Sponsors must have the following qualifications (based on canon 893, which in turn refers to Canon 874, a description of the qualifications for baptismal sponsors): A sponsor must be at least 16 years old. A sponsor must be a fully initiated Catholic (one who has celebrated Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation) who leads a life in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken. A sponsor must not be bound by any church penalty. A sponsor is not the parent of the one to be confirmed. What are sponsors being asked to do? 1.) To commit to a lifelong faith relationship with the confirmandi. 2.) To meet with their candidate on a regular basis and discuss the candidate s spiritual journey. 3.) Be a listener, guide, and confidant. 4.) To represent, in a personal way, the witness and support of the Parish community. 5.) To participate in the celebration of Confirmation (attending both the practice/mini retreat and celebration). Confirmation Mini Retreat and Practice May 10, 2014, Saturday from 10am to 12noon Confirmation May 22, 2014, Thursday at 7:00pm Candidates must choose a sponsor by December 15, All sponsor addresses, and phone numbers must be received by then.

5 Expectations and Explanations of Requirements for Confirmation Candidates Registration & fee Baptismal Certificate Attendance and participation in classes & special liturgies and rites Regular attendance at Mass Regular participation in the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation Two Retreats Interviews Sponsor Service component Attend Confirmation rehearsal Confirmation Mass The Confirmation process at St Anthony s Catholic Church is a one-year program. Classes are held in the Fireside Room from 10:45am to 11:50am. Typically, classes will meet every Sunday (with some exceptions) starting October 20th. Please mark your family calendars with the dates posted in this handbook to be assured of when classes occur. See the Calendar included in the packet for specific dates, times, and locations. The following is required of the candidates: Regular weekly attendance at Mass Regular participation in the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation Registration and fee: We need the registration form filled out and turned in immediately. The cost for participation in the confirmation process is $30 per confirmandi. This is to help offset the costs of Confirmation materials as well as the reception following the Confirmation. There are additional fees associated with retreats. Baptismal Certificate: We need to have a copy of your baptismal certificate immediately, but no later than by Nov. 17th. It is your responsibility to provide it. It is important that you start the process of getting a copy now, if it is out of state or country. If there are any problems, please let us know and we will do everything we can to aid you. Attendance and participation in the classes: Confirmation classes are scheduled on various Sundays (see calendar). Each person is important to the community. Each teen makes a difference! If it is necessary to miss a class or Confirmation Rite, it is the confirmandi s responsibility to contact Fr. Cary prior to the class and to receive a make-up assignment. Lack of followup indicates lack of commitment. If two confirmation classes are missed, it will be necessary to schedule an appointment with Fr. Cary to discuss the teen s state of readiness for confirmation preparation. Failure to do so will be interpreted as the teen s termination of the Confirmation preparation

6 process. We understand things happen, but it is the responsibility of the candidate to address this appropriately and not the parents. Behavior Expectations: This is part of class participation. 1. To be on time. 2. To be courteous and respectful to catechists and other candidates. 3. To be an active participant. 4. To do additional assignments and additional reading, as required. 5. To turn in materials when requested. Parish Component: It is important to understand that we are a community. We are a Eucharistic people. Together we are called to serve and strengthen each other. You are being Confirmed in a faith community - our parish community, not a school or sports community. Therefore, it is important to participate and be involved in the parish life and ministries. How are you connected to the parish family? Sunday Mass once a week? This is a faith journey we are all on and it isn t isolated to just Sunday Mass and classes. Candidates are asked to participate in sharing their gifts with the ministries of the church, not just during this time of Confirmation preparation, but after as well. Remember, it is a life-long journey. You don t graduate, but continue in the process. Retreats: Retreats are a part of the Confirmation preparation. Each candidate needs to choose a minimum of 2 retreats during the year to attend. See attached dates for retreats. Please mark your calendars now, so that you can avoid conflicts. Sponsor: The purpose of having a sponsor is to have someone who will walk with them on the way (Luke 24:32) in their life-long journey of faith. Choose a sponsor NOW! Our hope is that the sponsor will lend support to the candidate in the coming years as well as today. Choosing a sponsor is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly. Do not choose a sponsor because he or she is a friend or relative. Instead, seriously consider a member of the faithful who is a role model for Christian discipleship. He or she should be a person who will offer wisdom and counsel, as well as offer challenge and an example of commitment to the Catholic faith. Such a person should be someone who will be a part of your entire life, not just someone who will be with you in the confirmation process. If you plan to choose a sponsor who lives out of town or cannot attend activities with you, you must pick a proxy. This person (proxy) should meet all of the qualifications listed on the Sponsor page and can also be a co-sponsor. Service component: Confirmation, as a final step in the initiation process, is directly related to community service. If one only attends the Mass on Sunday and contributes financially, but never demonstrates community service, they miss a fundamental call of the Gospel. Confirmandi are expected to give of their time, talent, and treasure to their community. There should be a minimum of 25 hrs of service spread between in-parish service and then in the larger community. Confirmandi will be required to submit,

7 in writing, a reflection paper describing their service, how it impacted them and how they plan to continue sharing their faith through ongoing service. It should be typed and no longer than two pages. In order to aid in this process, a community service log sheet should be kept by the candidates and signed by adults leading the service or project. Service projects will be offered to each Confirmandi in order to facilitate more ideas for service. All service projects hours and the reflection paper should be completed by the time of your second interview. Attend Confirmation rehearsal: This night will include both sponsors and candidates. Its purpose is to offer a final moment of preparation as well as practice for the celebration itself. May 10, Saturday, 10am to 12 noon. Confirmation Mass: Come on time. Be dressed appropriately. May 22 at 7pm, Thursday.

8 CONFIRMATION NAME In ancient societies, the act of naming a child was very important and usually had a religious significance. The name was intended to express the very essence of the person and was thought to direct the person s destiny. Because many of the converts in the early Church came from pagan religions, they had been given pagan names by their parents at birth. Often they had been named after a pagan deity. When they rejected their pagan religion and were reborn into the community of the Church, they rejected their old name and took a new one that had a Christian quality to it. It was one more sign of starting life all over at their Baptism-Confirmation. When, during the Confirmation ceremony, the Bishop addresses the confirmation candidate, he does so by name. Since you were already given a Christian name at your baptism, there is no need for you to take on a new one. Some people, however, do take a Confirmation name to add to their Baptismal name. The names chosen by the newly converted pagans usually had great significance for them. Through the chosen names, they sought to express something of the inner self and/or what they hoped to become - the ideal or goal they set for themselves as persons. One named Peter ( rock ) hoped to become courageous like the apostle, or immovable in faith. One named Agatha (Greek for beautiful ) hoped to acquire inward, spiritual beauty or to become beautiful in the eyes of God. In much the same way, the name by which wish to be called when you are sealed with the Spirit should have true significance for you. This is your chance to choose your own Christian name, the name of a saint or someone from the Bible. What saint or bible hero speaks to you? Who s life would you like to emulate? Think that over for a while.

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