When celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation, the bishop signs the confirmand’s head with chrism — an oil also used at Baptism — and says, “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.” In late September, we were blessed to have 14 young men and women from our parish receive the Sacrament of Confirmation — five freshmen and nine sophomores.
The Confirmation students have been preparing since September 2021, and their weekly classes wrapped up in May 2023. The students walked through Chosen: Your Journey to Confirmation from Ascension Press. Parish catechist Lynda Zuege enjoyed being with the youth on this important sacramental journey. She led the class with Nick Wegener.
“All lessons and activities supported the most important goal of Confirmation preparation, and that is developing a personal relationship with Jesus, our Savior,” Lynda says.
The youth attended weekly Mass, studied and chose a saint, prayed the Rosary, and prayed both with a friend and in a group. They also attended Eucharistic Adoration, four YDisciple lessons, and two retreats, and also received the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In addition, they were required to participate in service opportunities for their family, our parish, and the broader community.
Several options were offered to the students to help complete the service requirement, including Feed My Starving Children and an annual breakfast. The breakfast is prepared and served by the Confirmation students as a fundraiser for the parish summer camps — all children of the parish benefit from this fundraiser.
Judy Kreczmer, Coordinator of Religious Education, believes it’s important for the students to learn the value of serving others.
“We work hard helping our students practice their faith not just at church, but everywhere they go,” Judy says. “The Sacrament of Confirmation is a once-in-a-lifetime event which prepares them to live their faith for the rest of their lives.”
Witnessing firsthand the youth’s transformations over the two-year program is rewarding for Lynda and all those involved. For Lynda, it is so special to see a lesson play out where the youth are engaged.
“Seeing individual growth and love for Jesus that happens over two years is the best reward,” Lynda says.
Lynda and Judy always hope to see the students continue with their involvement in the faith, whether that be through a youth retreat or the YDisciple Program. However, whether they go on to participate in more programs at the parish or not, they have received a very special gift at Confirmation — the gift of the Holy Spirit.
“The teens have prepared for two years and truly feel satisfaction for what they have learned and how they have matured into an adult member of the Catholic Church,” Lynda says.