Confirmation - What GOD Wants to Do For YOU
With This Sacrament
Confirmation, what is it? Why would you want it? And how do you prepare for Confirmation at St. Therese Parish?
Confirmation is God's Gift of Self to you in His Holy Spirit. It is one of 3 Initiation Sacraments within the Catholic Church along with Baptism and Eucharist/Holy Communion. Through it, you gain the strength to bring your gifts and the light of Christ within you out into the world as His witness. And it helps you to live within the joy of knowing your purpose no matter what life throws at you.
Are you willing to be a witness for Christ? Here you'll find answers that will help you on your journey:
Join Us and Learn More About Confirmation, the GIFT of the Holy Spirit
Raymond D. Deang, Director of Youth Ministry
WHERE: In Fred's Place attached to St. Therese Social Center
WHO IS THIS FORMATION PROCESS FOR?
High school-aged youth. If you are an adult please link over to our Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults page for more information.
You don't go through this process alone. You'll be surrounded and encouraged by supportive peers, your sponsor, parents, and the entirety of St. Therese Parish.
What Is the Sacrament of Confirmation?
Confirmation is a Sacrament of Initiation and is linked directly to Baptism and Eucharist. During Baptism you received God's Grace and were marked as one of His. Through Holy Communion, you are nourished by Christ's presence to share His Love with others. In Confirmation you accept God's gift of the Spirit so that you have the strength to live life more fully and develop your innate gifts in faithful witness to His Love.
What Confirmation Is NOT
A coming of age ceremony
Ratification of your Baptism
A rite of passage that makes you a 'full' Catholic
When you make a choice to continue with life in the Catholic Church
Graduation from Church or from Religious Education/Faith Formation
How Long Does It Take to Prepare For Confirmation?
"The Parable of The Sower" - Events of the Bible Series by Rebecca Brogan.
It takes as long as it takes. But quite often our youth discern that they are ready after 2 years.
Preparation for Confirmation is more than checking boxes of required knowledge and assignments.
It's developing a committed relationship with God, with Jesus and the Church. Close friendships don’t evolve on a timetable. They grow as you get to know who the other one is, what they are not, and explore what your commitment means for the rest of your life.
How Do You Prepare for Confirmation?
It's Different for Everyone. That's why there's no 'checklist' and no defined timeline. Like St. Matthew in the above painting by Caravaggio, everyone gets an individual, unique call to live their discipleship.
And like his experience, it may make us uncomfortable. St. Matthew's face alone at the table is illuminated by the intense light of God's call. Christ beckons in an invitation. But Matthew is conflicted, his legs lean towards Jesus, but his body points away. And to top it off, his hand forms a gesture that almost shouts, "You can't be calling me! You must want this other guy over there."
Our Confirmation preparation process helps you discern what the Gift of the Holy Spirit means to you and how you will live your life within it. The various youth ministry groups and activities interweave to assist you and those who journey with you. You will create a forever life-affirming tapestry with your intentional discipleship, your family and your parish community.
Group SAUL - For all high school teens and their families who are willing to begin the process to prepare for the sacrament of Confirmation.
In this group, we are a bit like Saul. We know some things about Jesus; but we are not yet ready to commit to Him. We learn more about:
Who is Christ?
Developing your unique practice of Works of Mercy
What intentional discipleship is
Once teens have discerned that they are ready to 'cast their nets' and follow Jesus as His intentional disciples, they are ready for Group PAUL...
Group PAUL - More in-depth preparation for Confirmation for those who have had their 'Damascus' moment. These sessions for intentional disciples cover specific topics for a greater understanding of our faith. Some examples are:
Catholic Practices - Prayer, Scripture, Sacraments
What accepting the Holy Spirit means for us; the
consequences, responsibility, and joy!
You are also encouraged and helped to further develop two spiritual practices that will hopefully stay with you for the rest of your life:
The habit of discernment
Witnessing for the Lord
Saul's Conversion on the Way to Damascus-Caravaggio (1600-1).
Experience God's Love in Community
Candidates for Confirmation are highly encouraged to encounter Jesus and experience God's Love at Youth Ministry events both onsite and away from St. Therese Parish to receive support, deepen faith, and have fun in a community of their peers.
Dates and details will be shared throughout the formation year and in the Parish bulletin!
An ongoing faith experience for youth. You don't have to be preparing for Confirmation to participate. At ENCOUNTER we:
Experience catechesis, faith leaders share Catholic traditions
Engage in a fun, but meaningful activity
Share our faith within small groups
When: Bimonthly. Sundays. 6:30 - 8:00pm
Where: Social Center
When: Monday nights at 7-8:30pm (doors open at 6:30pm)
Where: Fred’s Place
If you are looking to grow in faith, make friends, and learn more about how Christ has impacted our lives, this is the place for you! Refuge is designed to help our youth to pray in community, read Scripture, and offer guided faith discussions.
ONE PARENTAL MEETING PER YEAR
...at a minimum. The Youth Director and/or Coordinator discuss and work with each family to discern how open their child is to receiving the Holy Spirit.
RETREATS FOR REFLECTION & FELLOWSHIP (both Group SAUL & PAUL).
Retreats are a chance to step away from the stresses and distractions of teen life and find a quiet place to be with God and fellow seekers.
5-Day Leadership Camp at Whispering Winds (usually in June- Monday to Friday)
Steubenville Youth Conference at USD (usually in July - Friday to Sunday). About 4,000 youth attend
Los Angeles Youth Day in Anaheim (usually in February). About 14,000 youth attend
San Diego Youth Day Saturday after Easter
Laser Tag and In-N-Out
Skate San Diego and In-N-Out
Community Service (poor, disabled, orphans, elderly, veterans, children, etc.)
Food packaging event
Build a house in Mexico, Tijuana
Social justice night
Visiting residents at St. Madeline Senior Center
Helping with Vacation Bible School (VBS) during the summer
What Parents & Teens Need to Know
Commonly Asked Questions about Confirmation. Frequently children have doubts about why they need this sacrament at all. And even if they are able to regurgitate a sentence or two about why Confirmation is theologically important, they don't know why it takes so long to prepare for it. Isn't there a Cliff Notes, Blinkist or SharpNote prep version?
Why do I have to do this?
These types of questions are actually a good thing. Because it indicates that your teen is genuinely thinking about how this is going to impact their life. It's a good opportunity to start talking about why this sacrament is important, what is about to happen and where God may be leading them.
But really, why do I have to do this? Possible responses...
Because I said so.
Because that's what our family does.
Because God says so.
These are not necessarily the flippant, dismissive answers that they appear to be. There's a bit of truth in them all.
Because I said so...at your child's Baptism you as a parent promised to train your child in the practice of your faith.
Because that's what our family does...and our family is a LOT bigger than just our nuclear family. Through Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation we are welcomed into God's family, the mystical body of Christ. That includes all your baptized relatives along with people like St. Theresa of Calcutta and St. Peter. Going through Confirmation preparation is a great opportunity for your child to learn more about saints in our greater family.
Because God says so...God never forces anyone to do anything. But we're not left alone either. And with Confirmation, God is offering to give us himself. Life isn't all about what you know, or even whom you know. It's also about having the strength and grace to embrace what God has put in front of you and living with joy no matter what your circumstances are.
Dodgeball games and lock-ins are dumb. Why do I have to go to "youth group"? Especially when I've got better things to do like SAT prep, sports practice, homework or...(fill in your child's latest obsession here).
Youth groups give your child an opportunity to socialize, pray together and discover Christ in others. And those silly games help some kids get over their shyness. And even if games are not their thing, there's more than likely something that your child can get out of these gatherings. These might be sharing meals, listening to speakers, making new friends or visiting old ones, or just having some quiet time to pray and think.
Why do I have to do this if I already go to Catholic school? Confirmation is one of the sacraments of initiation into the life of the Church. Your child eventually graduates from school. But we never graduate from the Church, even when we die.
Confirmation strengthens the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It helps us use wisely the skills and knowledge we gain in school. It helps us face the world's challenges and make it a better place.
How many sessions can I miss? Maybe I could study at home, independently, instead? It's nearly impossible to reduce the call to discipleship and the Gift of the Spirit to a formula or a list. Each of us is called to lifelong discipleship in different ways, using the individual gifts God gave us within his Church and ultimately the rest of the world. It's not something that can be imparted just by reading a book and passing a quiz. It must be lived and experienced.
That's the reason why your Youth Director has planned such a varied Confirmation preparation process. They've planned a variety of opportunities for learning and exploring catechesis, study, spiritual practices, sharing, praise, and other worthwhile experiences. Being ready for Confirmation is not just about individual knowledge of Christ, it's about discovering a rich life within God's family, the Church.
What happens on retreat? I have a soccer game (or AP test or homecoming or something else that's important in my life) that weekend. Jesus tells us, "Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while" (Mark 6:31). A retreat gives us a chance to 'decompress.' We all need to find a quiet place to be with God to heal and fill us with grace. It also gives you an opportunity to share your experiences as a disciple of Jesus with others who feel the same way.
What happens on a retreat? Typically there are opportunities to spend time in adoration, receive Reconciliation and pray Sunday Mass. There are often talks and presentations, small group discussions, games, skits and more.
Take the Next Step...
Now that you have had a few questions about the Sacrament of Confirmation answered, click the registration button below to get started. If you have more questions contact:
Raymond D. Deang, Director of Youth Ministry
...or come into the parish office to discuss this Sacrament.