The Sacrament of Confirmation completes and increases the graces received at one’s Baptism. In one sense, it marks the movement into a mature faith — but in another sense, it is only the beginning of one’s adult life of faith. Through anointing and the laying on of hands, those who receive the Sacrament of Confirmation receive the Holy Spirit and many graces to strengthen them in their journey of faith.
At St. Joseph and Nativity, the process to prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation takes two years. Students in the seventh grade begin catechesis specifically to prepare them for Confirmation and will receive the sacrament near the end of their eighth-grade year. Angela Eads, principal of the Parish School of Religion, prepares the curriculum that the students will follow with the instruction of their teachers and catechists.
“Confirmation allows for all of us to become fully initiated members of the Church,” Angela says. “We can call upon the grace of this sacrament throughout our lives.”
Confirmation is a huge milestone for the students who are preparing to receive the sacrament. While most of the students were baptized as infants at their parents’ request, Confirmation is an opportunity for them to complete that choice for themselves. Along with the Sacraments of Baptism and First Holy Communion, Confirmation is the final Sacrament of Initiation. Fully initiated young Catholics are prepared to take their faith out into the world, filled with the Holy Spirit, to do that to which God calls them.
Those two years of formation are crucial in helping our young people understand their place in the Church and their maturing relationship with God. We use a curriculum called Chosen, from Ascension Press, to guide our students as they grow in faith and are grounded in the teachings of the Church.
“Each lesson focuses on a topic where the students reflect on videos and stories to learn how these topics apply to their own lives,” Angela says. “The topics are all rooted in the Catechism of our Church.”
In addition to the guidance of teachers and catechists, students choose a sponsor who can be a support and mentor to them through their formation and beyond. Students also choose a Confirmation saint and take that saint’s name. This saint will be a constant source of prayer for them throughout their lives.
Our next class of confirmandi will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation on March 9, 2024.
In one of his general audiences, Pope Francis reflected on the Sacrament of Confirmation. “Sealed with the Holy Spirit, we are configured more closely to Christ and strengthened to bear witness to Him in our world,” the pope said. “May each of us grow in gratitude for the gift received at our Confirmation and open our hearts ever more fully to the creativity of the Spirit who makes all things new.”