“Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit” — these are the words the celebrant says at Confirmation while signing the confirmand’s head with chrism, an oil also used at Baptism. Confirmation is one of three Sacraments of Initiation. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist “lay the foundations of every Christian life” (1212).
Confirmation will be celebrated at Sacred Heart on Sept. 24 for all eight parishes. Most of the students receiving the sacrament are in their junior and senior years of high school. They began preparing in the spring of 2023. Since then, the candidates have been working on completing their requirements — three service projects, an interview with one of our priests, praying about who to ask to be their sponsor, and which patron saint to choose. In July, they attended an all-day retreat, and regular classes began in August.
“My hope is that each candidate will say ‘yes’ to receiving the Holy Spirit on Sept. 24 because they understand the sacrament and have encountered the Lord in prayer and each other,” says Molly Laxen, ACC Discipleship Director and coordinator for the ACC’s Confirmation program.
Molly wants the students to develop fellowship with others so they have a solid community in the faith, as well as to be formed spiritually and intellectually. She also asks parents to support their confirmands as they prepare for this important sacrament. Most importantly, they should be praying for their child even more often.
“They should model with their own lives the importance of the sacraments by attending Mass weekly with their families and making Reconciliation a routine,” Molly says. “Parents can help by asking the question: What can I do to help?”
Our whole faith community should pray for the
confirmands as they prepare to receive the sacrament.
While Confirmation is often mistakenly regarded as the “end” of formation for teens, this is certainly not the case. Molly hopes to see more interest at all the parishes for weekly formation after Confirmation.
In the end, Molly hopes to equip all confirmands to spread the Word of God — even if it’s just among family and friends.
“All we have to do to be His witnesses is say ‘yes’ and pray for the Holy Spirit to be our strength, words, patience, and wisdom,” she says. “He is waiting for us. It is important for our teens to receive this sacrament because the Lord Himself is calling them to it at this time and this place — let us all pray they say, ‘Yes Lord, I will be Your witness even to the ends of the earth.’”
Molly uses an analogy for the Sacrament of Confirmation — without it, it’s like searching for a blue M&M in a pile of red ones in the dark without a flashlight.
“Eventually, or even by blind luck, you might find the blue M&M, but if a flashlight is available to you, it would help,” she says. “Receiving the Holy Spirit in Confirmation is when we turn the flashlight on so that He can show us the way and maybe save us a few missteps in our journey to heaven.”
Congratulations to all our confirmands as they receive this special sacrament later this month!
For more information on 2024 Confirmation preparations as it becomes available, contact Molly Laxen at 218-632-7319 or firstname.lastname@example.org.