Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen upon them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
Acts of the Apostles 8:14-17
Confirmation gifts the recipient with a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost. Catechesis for Confirmation awakens a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish community. Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace; it gives the baptized a special strength to spread and defend the faith by word and actions; it enables one to confess the name of Christ boldly and to never be ashamed of the Cross; it increases the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit – wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. Like Baptism which it completes, Confirmation is given only once.
Catechism of the Catholic Church Numbers 1302-1304, 1309
When Confirmation is celebrated separately from Baptism, its connection to Baptism is expressed by the renewal of baptismal promises. The celebration of Confirmation during Mass underlines the unity of the sacraments of initiation. In the Roman Rite of Confirmation the bishop extends his hands over those to be confirmed, invoking the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The bishop then anoints with sacred chrism the forehead of the candidate together with the laying on of his hand and the words, “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church Numbers 1299, 1300, 1321
Candidates for the Sacrament of Confirmation are parishioners in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh grades. The Sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated in the eleventh grade. Each candidate must have a baptismal certificate. If baptized outside of the Cathedral Parish, a baptismal certificate must be presented from the church of baptism.
Catechesis for Confirmation is parish based and family inclusive. It is presumed that candidates participate weekly at Sunday Mass and frequently celebrate the Sacrament of Penance. The candidate receives doctrinal formation at Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School or in the Family Intergenerational Religious Education Program or is adequately home schooled. Preparation for Confirmation is modeled on the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults. The process is experiential and is part of a comprehensive youth ministry.
Throughout the Confirmation process, candidates are actively involved in service projects required by the Catholic High School, Religious Education Program, and those home schooled. Candidates, along with families and sponsors, also participate in parish based service: examples are the annual Cathedral festival, parish socials, and out reach to the needy and elderly.
Eleventh Grade Candidates, along with their sponsor or parent, will meet in the Seton Suite for a Sunday hour session. Candidates will write a paper on the saint they have chosen and a paper on why they chose their sponsor. Scheduled interviews with the parish priests will take place the month of Confirmation.
The Rite of Sending is scheduled at Sunday Mass prior to the celebration of Confirmation. All candidates and sponsors (if not the sponsor, then a parent) will be in attendance.
Parent Meeting is scheduled at the beginning of the night grade year; this informs and enlists parental support for the Confirmation process. The Rite of Commitment is prayed at this time.
There are retreats throughout the process:
- Ninth Grade:
- Faith for the Journey: Baptism
- Tenth Grade:
- Gifted for the Journey: Gifts of the Holy Spirit
- Stories for the Journey: Parables
- Eleventh Grade:
- Discipleship for the Journey: Christian Story
Sponsor is involved in the faith formation of the candidate in ninth grade, when possible. Sponsor meets with the candidate two to four times during the eleventh grade, reviews the Rite of Confirmation, and attends the rehearsal with the candidate prior to the celebration of the Sacrament. Sponsor is encouraged to attend the required retreats, otherwise a parent attends.
The Sponsor is a practicing Catholic and must have received the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. A sponsor outside the parish must present a slip of eligibility for Confirmation. This identifies that the person has received the three sacraments of initiation and testifies that the person is a practicing Catholic who regularly attends Mass and other sacraments in the home parish. The sponsor requests this form from the home parish office.