Decision of the Student
View this Confirmation Video, which has been produced by U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. It explains the history, theology and rite of confirmation clearly and consisely.
Along with Baptism and Eucharist, Confirmation is a sacrament of Christian Initiation. It represents a sealing of Baptism and the celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Confirmation program is designed to help our young people to explore, deepen and strengthen the seeds of faith they were given at baptism. The candidates, themselves, are choosing the Catholic faith as a way of life. The two-year preparation process is designed for seventh and eighth grade students. The purpose of the program is as follows:
- To empower young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ
- To encourage them to participate in the life, mission, and work of the Church
- To promote their spiritual growth
The candidate must:
- Participate in six years of formal religious education in either parochial school or the parish Religious Education Program
- Be knowledgeable about the basic teachings of our Faith. Participate FULLY in the Parish Confirmation Program
- Attend and participate in class and attend Mass on Sundays
- Participate in the service projects
- Participate in the confirmation retreat
Beginning in September, classes are held in the school on Sunday evenings from 7:20-9:00 p.m., after the 6:00 p.m. Mass. A schedule of class dates will be given on Book Day at the end of August. The expectation is that this time of preparation will be given a high priority, and that all classes will be attended. However, we understand that there may be times when sickness or a pressing family need causes the student to miss a class or two during the year. The maximum number of acceptable absences during a school year is three. Absences in excess of this will mean that the year will have to be repeated. Mike Keenan, in consultation with Fr. Rizzo, will determine on a case by case basis if any exceptions are to be made to this rule.
We are pleased to say that the behavior of our students in general has been exceptional.
Students are expected to courteously and actively participate in classroom discussions and activities. Disrespect will not be tolerated whether directed at the teacher or other students.
Students who present a discipline problem or are consistently inattentive will be removed from the program.
Confirmation candidates must complete fifteen hours of service work each year and keep track using the journal that will be provided. Classes are encouraged to do a service project together. If they do, this will count as five hours of service to everyone who participated. This work is to be done without pay, to benefit someone in need; and it should be for someone outside of your own family. Although serving at Mass does not fit the criteria entirely, a total of three hours of service will be given to someone who serves at Mass regularly. Any questions regarding what qualifies as service should be directed to Mike Keenan.
Each year, the second year Confirmation students have a retreat day in the parish. It will last for the most of the day, usually from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Attendance is mandatory! Please make all the necessary arrangements with sports and other activities so that we do not have a problem.
It is allowed, and indeed preferred, to use a baptismal name for confirmation; but it is also allowed to choose the name of another saint. Students should know what names they are going to use by the February before their reception of the sacrament.
The sponsor has an important position in the life of the confirmation candidate. It is essential that such a person be a true example of Catholic life. It is contradictory to the entire purpose of confirmation in the Church to have a sponsor who does not attend Holy Mass, or who in some way lives contrary to what the Faith guides us to live. Please do not ask someone who does not practice the Faith to be a confirmation sponsor. It is appropriate for godparents to be confirmation sponsors.
The Decision of the Student
It should ultimately the recipient's free will decision whether to be confirmed or not. The sacrament is never to be conferred against the will of the student. Only one with a living faith who wishes to be "sealed with the Holy Spirit" can be the recipient of that gift. It should be clear, therefore, that while young people might be required by their parents to go to classes, they should not be forced to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. This sacrament is ultimately about their relationship with God for which they have to take the responsibility.
For more information, contact Mike Keenan at 847-885-7703
Adult Confirmation Classes are offered at various locations around the Archdiocese of Chicago. Adult Catholics (ages 18 and older) who fit the following criteria may attend these preparation classes:
- Are baptized as Catholics
- Have received First Communion
- Are practicing their faith, but are not yet confirmed
Interested adults should email or call Father Rizzo at 847-885-7700 x106 to make an appointment.
Watch our bulletin for dates of when classes are offered in our area. You may also check the Archdiocese of Chicago website for more information.