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  #1  
Old May 4, '05, 7:10 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default When are you ready for Confirmation?

Bishop confirmed 61 youth and one adult last night. Goodness knows if they were ready, it was not due to anything I did, but only by the grace of the Holy Spirit. They met certain minimum requirements: class attendance, service, retreat etc. and we interviewed each one with their parents and sponsor. The universal reason for requesting Confirmation is "I want to get closer to God and besides I have been attending CCD for years so I think I am ready." By canon law if the candidate has reached the prescribed age, has been adequately catechized and requests the sacrament they cannot be denied.

I did sense, as I do every year (but it is an entirely subjective experience) a change over the whole body as they receive the Holy Spirit, and I have no doubt He is now powerfully acting in them and through them.

I am asking for your opinion, informed by your experience, on what constitutes readiness for Confirmation?

I will only add that I believe in restoring the original order of the sacraments and in the Eastern Rite practice of conferring all 3 sacraments of initiation at the same time (even for infants), and conducting all catechesis on the RCIA model, as the catechetical documents of the Church instruct.
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  #2  
Old May 4, '05, 7:55 am
ames61 ames61 is offline
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Default Re: When are you ready for Confirmation?

Good question. Rumor has it our diocese is looking at moving Confirmation from the Junior in High School age to closer to first communion. Many are against that idea, they see confirmation as the carrot to get the kids going through CCD all those years, kind of a graduation of sorts. I think that view fails to take into account the battles they may face prior to that time, in which the added gifts of the Holy Spirit could well assist them.

When I came into the Church in 2001, my oldest daughter was in 5th grade and uncatechized so she was went through RCIC at the same time I went through RCiA and we were confirmed together. I've seen evidence of the Holy Spirit in her during her battles in middle school going into high school. She has retained the knowlege she learned better than her catholic peers who have not yet been confirmed, even though she's had much less CCD, she has come through some situations far better than I could have hoped for. Not that she's with out challenges, just that she faces spiritual challenges disproportionately better than she faces, say, academic challenges. (Does that make any sense)

As a CCD teacher of 8th graders this year, and a chastity teacher of 6-9th graders, I do think they could use the gifts available from confirmation earlier.

Amy
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  #3  
Old May 4, '05, 8:07 am
Panis Angelicas Panis Angelicas is offline
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Default Re: When are you ready for Confirmation?

Our parish is one of the few in our area which does confirm during junior high school.

My own daughter refused the Sacrament in the 7th grade after jumping through all the catechetical hoops because she simply still did not feel well enough prepared. Pressure was put upon me and upon her to make her go through with it, but I knew that this young lady still wanted further catechesis! She got into another Confirmation prep program and studied for another year. She's now due to receive the Sacrament with great joy this month. I'm glad she waited and got the instruction she desired, rather than just following the crowd and receiving with her peers.
God Bless. <><
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  #4  
Old May 4, '05, 8:30 am
StephanieC StephanieC is offline
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Default Re: When are you ready for Confirmation?

Seeking the Sacrament Confirmation meant that I was ready to embrace the Church and her teachings for myself. I could not do this as a teen. I attended CCD through 9th or 10th grade (can't remember now), but chose not to be confirmed.

It was a long road back, but at age 30, I was finally confirmed. If I could change anything about my journey, I don't think I would. The search for answers and struggle with difficult teachings made the homecoming all the more sweet!

My experience is different from someone who, perhaps, has attended Catholic school and has received an ongoing, thorough catechesis since baptism. CCD left me, as a teen, with far too many unanswered questions.

My short answer to the question would be, "You are ready for Confirmation when you are ready to accept the Catholic Faith as your own faith, and live it maturely."

Good for you, Panis Angelicas, for respecting your daughter's wishes!
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  #5  
Old May 4, '05, 8:56 am
PJR PJR is offline
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Default Re: When are you ready for Confirmation?

My short answer to the question would be, "You are ready for Confirmation when you are ready to accept the Catholic Faith as your own faith, and live it maturely."


I agree with that to a certain degree, but Confirmation isn't intended to be the end of the journey into spiritual maturity. It is the beginning. We shouldn't expect to ever be "all done" with our formation.

As a confirmation catechist, I agree that all we can do is make an attempt to assess that the candidates have been properly prepared, are seeking the sacrament actively and willingly, and then have some faith in the Holy Spirit. After all we can't be expected to utilize all these gifts and see their fruits until we are given them.

I don't see the use of making the kids prove they have every sprig of understanding at the age of 13. We would be taking too much credit for "our" responsibility, or that we can teach someone to have faith. That is the point of the gifts I think.

I always worry about them falling away. But I don't want to get too hung up on it. I just pray for them and try to keep in contact. I admit to pride when I hear that one has left the faith or something. Like it was all about me.

God Bless, Paula
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  #6  
Old May 4, '05, 11:44 am
ames61 ames61 is offline
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Default Re: When are you ready for Confirmation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Panis Angelicas
My own daughter refused the Sacrament in the 7th grade after jumping through all the catechetical hoops because she simply still did not feel well enough prepared. Pressure was put upon me and upon her to make her go through with it, but I knew that this young lady still wanted further catechesis! She got into another Confirmation prep program and studied for another year. She's now due to receive the Sacrament with great joy this month. I'm glad she waited and got the instruction she desired, rather than just following the crowd and receiving with her peers.
God Bless. <><
Good point. We've had several adult confirmands with the same situation in our RCIA class. Each of them expressed gratitude at having had the opportunity to have made the faith their own.
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  #7  
Old May 4, '05, 12:55 pm
chicago chicago is offline
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Default Re: When are you ready for Confirmation?

I don't particularly like the idea of making the kids seemingly "earn" the right to be confirmed. I do beleive that it is valuable to postpone confirmation at birth in order to await the bishop. However, I tend to think that by the 4th or 5th grade, (certainly pre-adolescence) people ought to be imparted with this gift. I believe that much of the strengthening in faith, understanding, and service which is traditional of the preparations could then better be drawn out both with the confirmational grace of the Holy Spirit, as well as by sending the message that reception of the sacarment isn't some sort of graduation from Church, but rather the beginning of a great journey through life.
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  #8  
Old May 4, '05, 1:08 pm
skatepixie skatepixie is offline
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Default Re: When are you ready for Confirmation?

Well, the way I look at it, readyness isnt based on the age of the candidate, its based on their maturity and knowlege of what they are doing. In the program I went though, I wasnt well educated, and I was confermed before I was fully ready. I was mature enough, but not educated enough. I still feel behind where I should be, but through reading on my own and spending time on Catholic sites, I finally feel like Im understanding it all a bit better.

Changing the age of the kids wont change the fact that they havent been taught well. I think I opened my bible less than a dozen times in the whole two year program I went to. But we sometimes got supprises for bringing our bibles. The leader would just say "be sure to spend time reading your bible" but I never did. It was for several reasons, mostly being that I didnt know where to start. Plus, I was busy and had the attitude of "she wont know it I dont do it." Ive realized now that *God* knows if I dont read it. It doesnt matter if my teacher and parents are unaware. I attended Catholic school, and I dont think the education here has been all that great either.

Im not sure quite what needs to be done to make religous ed better, but I intend to try to have an effect on it for my senior service project...I have to go now...bell rang, but Ill be on later.
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  #9  
Old May 4, '05, 1:42 pm
chicago chicago is offline
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Default Re: When are you ready for Confirmation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skatepixie
Well, the way I look at it, readyness isnt based on the age of the candidate, its based on their maturity and knowlege of what they are doing.
Seeing as how one could, quite legitimately, be confirmed as an infant at baptism, how can "readiness" necessarily be akin to "maturity and knowledge of what they are doing"? Personally, I think that the idea of being ready for confirmation indicating the ability to make an "adult commitment to the faith" may be taking things too far. Conversion is an ever ongoing thing, not just a one time commitment. In placing such a signifigant emphasis on confirmation prep, are we then losing track of this larger message in order to propmote some rite of passage? The grace of God is firstly necessary in order for us to be able to respond. Confirmation is the sacrament of "Christian maturity" not because we are necessarily mature, but because it brings the fullness of initiation in Christ to us.
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  #10  
Old May 4, '05, 2:13 pm
BillyT92679 BillyT92679 is offline
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Default Re: When are you ready for Confirmation?

I love how the East does it, with Baptism, First Communion, and Chrismation done all at once.
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  #11  
Old May 4, '05, 2:21 pm
skatepixie skatepixie is offline
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Default Re: When are you ready for Confirmation?

The thing is, kids stop going to CCD/Youth Group when they make confermation, unless they choose to return as a peer. Confermation prep is the last chance to educate them within CCD. Personally, I dont think I really learned much of anything in Confermation classes. I was actually confermed not knowing fully what it was.

I have heard that in some parishes, the students must take a test before they get confermed. I think thats a good idea. It doesnt need to be a difficult test, but its important that they be required to understand some basics. ie "Name all three persons of the trinity" Things like that. They should also be interviewed. In the program I did, you filled out a paper with questions about why you want to be confermed. It would have been easy to fake...and someones parent could have helped them with it. With an interview, it lets the priest/teacher know what the kid is thinking, whats going on with them, etc.
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  #12  
Old Jun 30, '05, 1:04 pm
surrenderall surrenderall is offline
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Default Re: When are you ready for Confirmation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skatepixie
The thing is, kids stop going to CCD/Youth Group when they make confermation, unless they choose to return as a peer. Confermation prep is the last chance to educate them within CCD. Personally, I dont think I really learned much of anything in Confermation classes. I was actually confermed not knowing fully what it was.

I have heard that in some parishes, the students must take a test before they get confermed. I think thats a good idea. It doesnt need to be a difficult test, but its important that they be required to understand some basics. ie "Name all three persons of the trinity" Things like that. They should also be interviewed. In the program I did, you filled out a paper with questions about why you want to be confermed. It would have been easy to fake...and someones parent could have helped them with it. With an interview, it lets the priest/teacher know what the kid is thinking, whats going on with them, etc.
You are so right I was confermed in 1982 as an adult and I did not know what it really ment. I wish I had. I fell away from the church because of my lack of understanding. I became a slave to sin for many years. Only in this last year did I get a wake-up call from God. I now have to live with the destruction that the sin left in my path. Many years wasted. I am right with God now. Thank you Jesus for your loving mercy and forgivingness.
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  #13  
Old Jun 30, '05, 1:09 pm
contemplative contemplative is offline
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Default Re: When are you ready for Confirmation?

When are you ready for Confirmation?

D-E-S-I-R-E

When a person desires Confirmation then it is time. Some are very young when the desire is there. Parents and guardians should act with their children immediately. Don't put them off. Worldliness can sweep them away. Be attentive parents!
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