St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church Confirmation Orientation packet 2009

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1 St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church Confirmation Orientation packet 2009 For more information contact: Jeremy Miller ext. 224 Is Now the Time?

2 Teens, if you have not taken the time to truly ask yourself why you wish to go through the Confirmation preparation process, take a few QUIET moments and use these guidelines to help. 1. Have I ever though about why I am signing up to receive this sacrament? Why am I? 2. Is this my parents wish or my own? If it is my parents, am I willing to set that aside and at least explore the possibility as my own? 3. Does my schedule this year lend to my participating the way that God is calling me to? 4. Am I doing this just because my friends are? 5. Would it mean more to wait until I m more adjusted to high school? 6. Have I been actively involved in my faith long enough where I feel that I have a good foundation to be initiated? 7. Have I always thought of Confirmation as the end of having to go to class? Am I ready for a life long journey of faith? 8. Am I willing to be known as a Confirmed Catholic? Am I willing to live as a Confirmed Catholic publicly? Am I willing to be open to what God has in store for my life? Please know that even after receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, you will not have all the answers. We are called to be open and to learn throughout our life. In our lives, we fall. However, as children of God, we pick ourselves up, reconcile, and strive to try again.

3 Confirmation perfects Baptismal grace; it is the sacrament which gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us more firmly into Christ, strengthen our bond with the Church, associate us more closely with her mission, and help us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds. -Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 1316 Confirmation, like Baptism, imprints a spiritual mark or indelible character on the Christian s soul; for this reason one can receive this sacrament only once in one s life. -CCC 1317 Preparation for Confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a more lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit his actions, his gifts, and his biddings in order to be more capable of assuming the apostolic responsibilities of Christian life. To this end catechesis for Confirmation should strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish community. The latter bears special responsibility for the preparation of confirmands. -CCC 1309

4 Why a Sponsor? From the earliest days of the Church, specific people chosen from the community supported those seeking communion with the Church. At our Baptism those significant people were your parents and godparents (your baptismal sponsors) who promised that you would be raised in faith. The professed their faith because you could not speak for yourself. Your parents accepted the responsibility of training you in the practice of the faith. Your godparents promised to help your parents; you will renew your baptismal promises. Your sponsor is a person who will support you throughout your preparation, and stand with and present you for Confirmation. Choosing a Sponsor The Church encourages you to choose, if possible, one of your baptismal godparents to be your sponsor for Confirmation because this expresses more clearly the link between your Baptism and Confirmation, but is not required. It is also a good idea to choose someone that has been close enough to you to have been supportive in your life so far. A Confirmation Sponsor must: Be fully initiated in the church, meaning they are baptized, and have received Eucharist and Confirmation. Be a practicing Catholic, meaning they regularly receiving communion and other sacraments. Is at least 16 years of age When choosing a sponsor, you may want to ask yourself: Is this person someone with whom I feel comfortable? Does this person live near enough to me to be able to truly guide and support me? If not, will they be committed to communicate regularly with me despite the distance? Will this person be willing and able to be my sponsor to take an active role in my life? Will this person be able to fulfill all or most of the responsibilities of a sponsor? (on next page)

5 Sponsor Information A sponsor must be a practicing confirmed Catholic of at least 16 years of age. He or she may not be the candidate s parent. A godparent is an excellent choice. It is encouraged for the sponsor to live in the area. A Sponsor s Role is to: Accompany the candidate to the Covenant Ritual and Potluck. Pray for and with the candidate Share the sponsor s faith story with his or her candidate. Spend time getting to know the candidate, possibly taking him or her to a special dinner or having him or her over to the sponsor s home. Help the candidate choose a Saint name. Present the candidate during the Rite of Confirmation. The Confirmation Liturgy is scheduled for Sunday, May 3 rd at 11:30am. Sponsors will be asked to come one hour before mass and if possible to be present for the rehearsal Saturday, May 2 nd at 10:30am. Continue to be there for the candidate and lend spiritual support. If the sponsor would like potential activities and discussion starters, St. Vincent de Paul has sponsor guidebooks that coincide with session materials.

6 Diocese of Austin The Catholic Church of Central Texas Policy on the Age of Confirmation effective January 1, 2006 Religious education and faith formation is a life-long process. The sacramental preparation process is in addition to regular participation in the parish or school religious education programs. It is understood that each parish is responsible for providing the faith formation of the middle school and high school age members of the community. At certain times in the life of the youth, they are more involved in school and employment activities. To serve the people of God in their desire to participate in the sacramental life of the church, the Diocese of Austin has established the following: 1. The age for the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation will be the early years of high school, between 14 and 16 years. 2. A minimum of two years of formal religious education in a parish or Catholic school program precedes preparation for the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation. 3. Because the primary faith community is the local parish, preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation is to take place in the local parish Sacramental preparation for Confirmation has a distinct catechesis with its own focus and elements. (Challenge of Adolescent Catechesis (1986), no. 46) This study and preparation should take place within a period not to exceed 9-12 weeks and include the following: the elements of the Rite of Confirmation, the meaning of the Baptismal Promises, the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah and Galatians) the meaning of Be Sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. the action of the laying on of hands and anointing with the Sacred Chrism the Lord s Prayer because it is the Spirit who prays in us and in the Spirit the Christian says, Abba Father. (Rite of Confirmation, no. 14) the rights, responsibilities, duties and obligations of full initiation in the Catholic community Word, Worship, Community and Service 5. All persons involved in the preparation process are required to study the introduction, the full prayer texts and Scriptures of the Rite of Confirmation and to understand the theology of Christian Initiation, especially the Sacrament of Confirmation. 1 Preparation for confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a more lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit his action, his gifts, and his biddings-in order to be more capable of assuming the apostolic responsibilities of Christian life. To this end, catechesis for Confirmation should strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish community. The latter bears special responsibility for the preparation of confirmands. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1309)

7 Class Requirements Diocesan Requirements Diocesan Requirements are within the packet. St. Vincent de Paul is diligent in making sure requirements are followed. However, exceptions can be made on recommendation by the Youth Minister to the Bishop, with whom the decision ultimately falls. If your previous education was from another parish, have that parish write a simple note confirming your involvement from Attendance Candidates are expected to attend all Confirmation classes, the Confirmation retreat, Covenant Ritual, rehearsal, and of course the Confirmation Liturgy. Youth group attendance if highly encouraged, but will only be taken into account if conflicts arise with the formation classes. If you are unable to attend the retreat, you will need to make it up with another parish. DO NOT MISS CLASS Class Participation Candidates are expected to arrive to class on time and to be fully prepared to actively participate in large and small group sessions. All due dates are expected to be followed. All youth group rules apply. Teens are expected to be respectful of teachers and other students. Class Materials Each candidate will be given a textbook and any necessary additional materials. Materials may occasionally be sent home, in which case each person is responsible for bringing the materials to the next class. Additionally, it would be beneficial for each teen to have personal access to a Catholic translation of the Bible (i.e. New American Bible) and a Catechism of the Catholic Church. Confirmation Retreat The Confirmation Retreat will be held February at Eagle s Wings Retreat Center in Burnett, TX. The cost of the retreat will cover everything needed. If cost is an issue, see the Youth Minister. More information will be mailed. Community Service Each and every one of us is called to serve each other. Community service will be required along with a short assignment detailing your experience.

8 Community Service Project Every one of us is called to serve each other through out our lives. One key to doing this is finding something that we love to do and make the commitment to do so. For community service, we are asking candidates to do the following: Think about your likes and dislikes, your talents and things you struggle with. Think about ways you can use those talents to serve others in the community. Contact someone or a group that would help you to serve in that way. Serve in the way use choose multiple times, accumulating more than 10 hours. For example, Johnny likes baseball and is pretty good at it. He decides that he would like to help as an assistant coach for a younger little league team, but he doesn t know anyone that is planning on coaching this year. So, Johnny contacts the people in charge of the league and asks if there is anyone that might need the help. He then gets in contact with that person and asks if it might be possible to help at a few practices throughout the season. This obviously opens up a lot of possibilities for different things, and requires quite a bit of initiative to complete. I have every confidence in each candidate to do so. This project should show that community service can be fun and fulfilling, not just some chore. This is also teaching us to be proactive, and more rounded people. Projects need to involve other social groups. For example, playing baseball with your friends wouldn t count unless you and your friends are playing with younger neighborhood kids, and singing karaoke wouldn t count unless it s at a nursing home entertaining everyone. Keep in mind these are examples meant to portray the spirit of the rule, not specifics. If you need help finding something, don t hesitate to ask someone for help. Part of being proactive is knowing when you need help. Your parents, youth minister or priest are good resources, use them! The Community Service Commitment Form is due February 18. This form is to make sure you have gotten started and have contacted them. The Community Service Verification Form is due April 1. This form will look similar to the Commitment Form, expect it will have a place for a signature of the person in charge and spaces for recorded hours. The Reflection Assignment is due April 15. This is to help put your service in perspective. Including what you actually did, what you learned, any problems you had, and what impact you think you had on the people you served.

9 Other Things Interview Each candidate is required to have a short interview with any of the following: Father Danny Father Brion Deacon David Jeremy Miller Adrian Chishimba You should schedule your interview as soon as possible. Interviews can begin long before we start classes. We believe that it would be helpful to have your interview before the process in the case you may not be ready to receive the Sacrament, you haven t gone through the preparation. The interview can also be a good way to ease any concerns you may have. Again, we encourage you to take advantage of this. The office number is , staff directory is by first name. Letter to the Bishop Due April 22 This is a one-page, typed letter addressed to Bishop Gregory Aymond explaining WHY you are wanting to be confirmed as a Catholic. Some points you may want to cover in your letter are: What have been the highlights of your Confirmation preparation? How has your life changed since the beginning of the program? In what ways do you see yourself being involved with the parish after receiving Confirmation? How do you intend to learn more about the faith after Confirmation? After reading these letters, Bishop Aymund has been known to read one or two letters aloud at the Confirmation Mass. Saint Project - due April 1 Each candidate has the opportunity to choose a Confirmation name. It is encourages that they first research their Baptismal name as this can be an excellent connection between the two Sacraments. In addition each teen may research additional Saints to determine which name they would like to be confirmed under. We will discuss the Saint names in class. As this is a very personal decision, take the time to discern this name. This is a great activity to share with your sponsor. Although there is a space on your registration sheet, that will be filled in later. There will be a report due on April 1 st, more information will be given during classes.

10 Questions and Concerns along the Way We are happy to assist during this tome of preparation as we are able. Jeremy Miller is usually in the office from 9am to 4pm Monday thru Thursday, and 3pm to 5:30pm on Sundays. is a good way to reach him as well. If a question arises on a class day, feel free to ask AFTER class ends, as we will be preparing for class before hand.

11 Service Reflection Your name: When did I serve? Where did I serve? What did I do? How do I think I impacted those I served? What did you like about your experience? What could I have done better? What could have been better about where you were serving? Do you think this helped to develop your talent, how so? Do you think you d be likely to continue doing this service some other time?

12 Community Service Verification Form Your Name: Service to be Performed: Organization (if applicable): Contact Person for Service: Contact Number: Dates for Service: Number of Hours: Signature of Supervisor:

13 Community Service Commitment Form Your Name: Service to be Performed: Organization (if applicable): Contact Person for Service: Contact Number: Possible Dates for Service:

14 St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church Diocese of Austin 9500 Neenah Drive Austin, TX (512) Student Confirmation Covenant It is my desire to be entered into Confirmation preparation, with the following goals: Form a closer relationship with God Achieve a deeper understanding of His love and will for me Participate in an opportunity to serve His people Use this time to spend time with my brothers and sisters in Christ In order to accomplish those goals, I promise to: Attend Mass regularly Actively participate in the preparation process and sessions Openly participate in the Confirmation Retreat Use my gifts and talents to serve in my community service project Support my fellow candidates in the journey alongside myself Continue to be active in church ministries and faith formation opportunities Pray often I understand that in signing this covenant, I am making a promise to God, to my pastor, my catechists, my parents, my church, and to myself. I am willing to be held accountable for my promise. Signed: Date: Printed Name:

15 St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church Diocese of Austin 9500 Neenah Drive Austin, TX (512) Parent Confirmation Covenant Student Name: It is my/our desire to have my/our child attending Confirmation preparation this year at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. I/We desire to be faithful to the promise I/We made at his/her baptism. In order to support him/her in their journey, I promise to: Regularly attend Mass with my son/daughter Pray for their journey and discuss with them often about their preparation Hold them accountable in participating in all required sessions and retreats. Continue to be a positive role model in my own Christian walk. It is my/our intention to remain faithful to this promise. I/We am/are accountable to God, my/our child, and to my/our church. Signed: Date: Signed: Date:

16 CONFIRMATION SPONSOR COVENANT As a confirmation sponsor, your role is to encourage the faith of your candidate and be an example to your Confirmation candidate and to reflect with the candidate on the meaning of a life of Catholic discipleship. The Code of Canon Law (Church Law) specifies the requirements for serving as a sponsor at Confirmation (Canon 893) are the same as those for godparents at Baptism (Canon 874): You may not be the parents of the person being confirmed; you must be at least 16 years old; you must be fully initiated (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist); if married, be in valid Catholic marriage; and live a life of active faith in the Catholic Church. I understand the requirements of being a Confirmation sponsor and I state that I was Baptized: at Church in (City and State) Confirmed: at Church in (City and State) Married in the Catholic Church: at Church in (City and State) My candidate s name is: Name of parish and city where Confirmation is to take place: City I am active in the Catholic Church, regularly attend Mass on Sunday and strive to live my faith. Please print you Name Signature Date

17 Sponsor Information Sheet Sponsor s Name: Address: City, State, Zip: Day Phone: Night Phone: Address: Relationship to Candidate: Candidate Name: Phone:

18 St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church 9500 Neenah Avenue Austin, Texas SACRAMENT INFORMATION FORM Confirmation Names should be in the same form as appears on the Baptismal Certificate. Student has already received: Baptism Eucharist Reconciliation Student Information: First Name: Middle: Last: Date of Birth: / / Age: Grade Level: Father s First Name: Middle: Last: Mother s First Name: Middle: Maiden: Last: Parish ID Number: Home Address: City/Zip: Home Phone: Other Phone(s): For Confirmation: Saint Name: (to be determined later in class) Sponsor Name: Baptism Information: Church Name: (Copy of Certificate MUST be attached.) Complete Mailing Address: City/State: Zip Code: Date of Baptism: / / All of the above information should be filled in completely and returned by January 21, Questions? Contact: Josie Kleypas,

19 Dates January 21 Sacrament Information Form January 28 First day of class Sponsor Information Sheet Sponsor Covenant Form February 4 Class 2 Student Confirmation Covenant Parent Confirmation Covenant February 8 Covenant Ritual (11:30 Mass) Candidate/Sponsor Potluck (after mass) February 11 Class 3 Retreat Forms and Money February 18 Class 4 Community Service Commitment Form February Retreat March 4 Class 5 Copy of Baptismal Certificate March 11 Class 6 March 25 Class 7 April 1 Class 8 Community Service Verification Form Saint Project April 15 Class 9 Community Service Reflection

20 April 22 Class 10 Letter to the Bishop April 29 Class 11 May 2 Rehearsal (10:30am) May 3 Confirmation (11:30am) Interview with on at am/pm (Interviewer) (Date) (Time)

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