CONFIRMATION HANDBOOK READINESS FOR CONFIRMATION

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1 CONFIRMATION HANDBOOK The following explains the process for St. Andrew s and St. Mary s Confirmation Preparation Program. At baptism our young people were welcomed into the church family. Through faith sharing and formal religious education they were given the opportunity to gain knowledge of the Catholic beliefs. The activities planned for the confirmation program are designed to help our young people to become responsible young adult Catholics. We hope that the program will be a transforming experience for them, their parents, sponsors, and our entire parish communities. READINESS FOR CONFIRMATION The purpose of the preparation program for the celebration of the sacrament of Confirmation is to assure the readiness of the candidate. Although it is tempting to determine the readiness of a candidate for the sacrament of Confirmation by simply basing that readiness on age, or grade, or other quantifiable criteria, there are many factors that need to be included in this assessment. The following outline is designed to help you understand what we hope to promote as the basic preparation requirements for celebrating the sacrament of Confirmation. Readiness for confirmation as defined by the Sioux City Diocese. A young person is considered ready to enter a program for sacramental preparation by meeting most of the following requirements: An understanding of the Sacrament of Confirmation as a commitment on their part to begin to assume fuller responsibilities to their parish and community. Demonstrate that they are presently living good, holy, Catholic lives of service, practice, and love; that they participate in the sacrament of the Church and are aware of what they are doing. An ability to recognize the spiritual dimension on their lives. Demonstration of moral integrity and responsibility. Readiness to bear witness to Christ through their Catholic Christian faith. An ability to explain their faith in their own words and whey they live Catholic lives. A willingness to support the church financially. The responsibilities that are asked of everyone in the program include:

2 ROLE OF THE CANDIDATE Participate in all sessions; arrange work and school schedules so that they are able to attend ALL the sessions. Complete all homework as assigned and turn in as scheduled. Participate in service projects: Complete 30 hours of service work, time should be divided between church, community and extended family (not for Mom or Dad). Be able to explain their faith: Talk about faith in their own words and why they wish to live as Catholic Christians Participate in an interview with the pastor and Director of Religious Education. Attend and participate in the two scheduled Candidate/Sponsor Meetings. Meet five times with their sponsor and work on a faith sharing project at each meeting. Attend the Youth Rally in October. Attend the Confirmation Retreat in January or February. Be open to participation in the events and instruction. Participate in parish life: Attending Mass on a regular basis and be involved in parish activities. ROLE OF THE SPONSOR Every Candidate must have his or her individual sponsor. The sponsor may be either male or female, regardless of the sex of the candidate. (Parents MAY NOT be sponsors for their own children. Siblings are not recommended. God Parent is preferred.) The sponsor is an invaluable assistant to parents in transmitting the faith. The sponsor needs to be able to fulfill several requirements. The Church requires that the sponsor be an active, practicing Catholic who has already celebrated the sacrament of Confirmation. The Church recognizes that a person cannot transmit what the person does not have. It is important that the sponsor is more mature, more informed, and more experienced in the ways of our faith and culture that the candidate is. The sponsor should be a person who already has a trusting relationship of some sort with the candidate. The sponsor needs to be willing to meet with the candidate and work on the assigned faith sharing projects prior to the celebration of Confirmation and to make a commitment to continue the faith journey after the celebration of Confirmation. The sponsor is one who is willing to share his or her faith with the candidate. The sponsor is an assistant to the parents as the prime transmitters of the faith. ROLE OF THE PARENT Assist in obtaining baptismal information if necessary. Participate in the scheduled liturgies, rites, and activities throughout the year. Be able to provide food and clean-up when scheduled. Attend parent meetings. Pray for the candidate and success of the program.

3 ATTENDANCE Confirmation candidates are expected to attend all Sunday sessions, candidate/sponsor meetings, rites, learning stations, penance and practices. Absentee policy: 1. If a candidate misses a confirmation session, he/she will be required to write a summary of the subject matter presented at the time the candidate was absent. Please contact the Director of Religious Education if your candidate will be unable to attend. 2. If a candidate misses a second session it will be understood as a decision on the part of the candidate to delay confirmation. 3. If a candidate is exhibiting behavior or attitudes that run counter to the Confirmation process the parents, DRE and teacher will meet with the candidate and the candidate will be evaluated regarding his/her readiness to continue in the process. HOMEWORK Confirmation candidates are expected to turn in homework assignments on their scheduled date. Homework policy: 1. If a candidate does not turn in an assignment on the scheduled date, the assignment needs to be made up and turned in when requested by the Confirmation Teacher. 2. If a candidate does not turn in an assignment for a second time, the candidate will be expected to remain after class and complete the assignment before they leave. A computer and books will be available to complete the assignment. 3. If a candidate continues to turn in late assignments, the DRE, Teacher and parents will meet with the candidate and evaluate his/her readiness to continue in the confirmation process. RITES AND LITURGIES As the youth move through the various stages of the preparation process there will be opportunities for them to be recognized by the parish community. These will be done through liturgical celebrations. The calendar will list these special rites. The Sponsor (or a proxy) is encouraged to be present at each rite. A brief description of these is as follows: RITE OF WELCOME This ceremony recognizes the candidates who have chosen to begin the preparation for Confirmation and allows the parish to formally welcome the confirmation candidates into the program. At the Rite, the candidates will present their signed Pledge of Commitment to the confirmation Program when the gifts are brought up.

4 RITE OF ACCEPTANCE This ceremony allows the candidate to inform the congregation of their progress in keeping their commitment to the Confirmation Program and for the faith community to accept their readiness for Confirmation. CONFIRMATION NAME There are two options concerning the choice of a name. The Diocese encourages the use of the baptismal name, however most candidates seem to choose another name. In deciding who is your Patron Saint for Confirmation, it is important to not only pick a saint whom you admire, but also to know what you admire most in the life of that saint. The candidate s present first or middle name as their Confirmation name IF IT IS A SAINT S NAME. Choose another name making sure that name is the name of a recognized Saint of the Church. INTERVIEWS Every candidate must have a personal interview with the Religious Education Board. During this interview the candidate will have the opportunity to have any questions about the Confirmation process answered. Areas to be discussed at the interview will be given to the candidate prior to the interview session. BAPTISMAL CERTIFICATE Before anyone can be confirmed the parish must have proof of baptism. If the student was baptized at St. Andrew s or St. Mary s the record is here. If the student was baptized in a parish other than St. Andrew s or St. Mary s the parent needs to contact the parish and request that a copy of the record be sent to St. Andrew s. PARISH INVOLVEMENT Confirmation is a parish celebration. Not only does the candidate celebrate membership in the Catholic Church, but he/she celebrates membership in his/her parish as well. Confirmation candidates are a sign to the other members of the parish community. They remind parishioners of the grace of their membership in the Church and the responsibilities as members. For this reason, the parish community will be involved in the entire program, through Church bulletin boards, prayer partners, and blessings used not only at the time of the celebration of the sacrament, but also at mass.

5 SERVICE PROJECTS The concept of service is not just a Confirmation project, but necessary to the life of the Church and required of everyone who professes to be Catholic Christians. Confirmation candidates at St. Andrew s must participate in a total of 30 service hours. Service and ministry projects are those opportunities that candidates participate in outside the home. These opportunities are to go beyond their day to day responsibilities. It is hoped that students would engage in these opportunities enthusiastically and in good faith. A variety of service activities are encouraged. Therefore, it is suggested that the candidates choose projects from each of the three categories listed below. Along with the categories are SOME suggestions. It is important that the candidates discover and act upon the real needs of their own parish and community. SERVICE/MINISTRY WITHIN THE PARISH COMMUNITY o Serving in a Liturgical Ministry Lector Usher Sunday Children s Liturgy o Assisting with Parish Activities: Bazaars Suppers Coffee Socials Vacation Bible School/Totus Tuus Caroling o Maintenance Service Leaf Raking Christmas Decorating Cleaning Painting SERVICE/MINISTRY WITHIN THE NEIGHBORHOOD COMMUNITY o Visiting and helping elderly and shut-ins o Organizing and helping the community clean-up projects SERVICE/MINISTRY WITHIN THE LARGER COMMUNITY o Visiting nursing homes and hospitals o Collecting food for the poor and delivering it o Assisting in meal programs for the poor and elderly o Baby sitting for families

6 VARIOUS INFORMATION TO KNOW FOR CONFIRAMTION A Sacrament is a sign of Jesus Christ, living, acting and working (LAW) through the priest and the people to give grace and to build up a stronger relationship with Jesus Christ. Grace In the sacraments we meet Christ and he gives us sanctifying grace. Sanctifying grace is a free gift from God which allows us to become children of God, to share in the divine nature and to inherit eternal life The Sacraments are o Baptism o Confirmation o Holy Eucharist o Reconciliation o Anointing of the Sick o Priesthood o Matrimony Mortal sin means a deadly sin because it kills the life of God in the soul: it results in the loss of sanctifying grace. This life of grace can be restored through the sacrament of reconciliation. Venial sin is a less serious sin which will not kill the life of God in the soul but will weaken the life of God in the soul. Covenant is an agreement between God and his people that says I will be your god and take care of you if you will be my people and obey m y commandments. In the Sacrament of Confirmation we receive the Holy Spirit. Gifts of the Holy Spirit are o Wisdom a desire for the things of God. This gift directs your whole life for God. o Counsel (Right Judgment) Perfects your judgment. o Fortitude (Courage) Strengthens you to do the will of God in all things. o Understanding Helps you to know more clearly the mysteries of our faith. o Knowledge Enlightens your mind. o Piety (Reverence) Enables you to love god as a Father. o Fear of the Lord (Wonder & Awe) Makes you fear to lose the love of God. The Bishop will ask what the readings are for that particular day of confirmation and what messages they contain. (These will be made available when we know them.) The Bishop usually asks something about the namesake of the parish church. o Sibley Saint Andrew is the namesake of the parish church in Sibley. He is one of the 12 apostles and was the brother of Saint Peter, the first Pope. His feat day is November 30. He was a fisherman. He was crucified on a cross in the form of an X since he felt he was not worthy to have died like Christ did. o Ashton The name of Saint Mary Church is Our Lady of Perpetual Help. A feast highlights our blessed Mother as one who will be with us through good times as well as bad times. Just as Mary was a strength to Jesus on the way of the cross and the crucifixion, Mary will always be there for us even in the toughest of times.

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