Allow Confirmation or not?


#1

I have a question that involves my niece. My sister and I don't know really how we feel about this totally. My niece is 14 years old and is suppose to get Confirmed this May. She picked me as her Sponsor because as she put it, "I am the most Catholic and spiritual." She comes from divorce parents and her parents had an ugly divorce and are still at odd. She has a lot of resentment towards her dad for always choosing his wife, he remarried right away, and her kids versus her and her brother. When he divorced her, he was wonderful and gave all the attention to her and her brother, but he would soon find another woman and back he went to giving them second place. He is living now with another girlfriend, but she likes this woman, but not her kids. She goes up and now on her feelings about her dad from hate to love. Her dad wants her love so much that he gives in to her desires. She usually does not go on visitations but lately she has been and when my sister tells her ex that it is very important that she goes to Mass, it is required for Confirmation, he ignores her and won't take her, so my niece has not been going with her father on Sundays so that she can make Mass, but this Sunday, she went with him when she had a chance to stay home and go to Mass. My sister told her that if she went, which was fine, to return for the evening Mass, but she called and said she would not be returning. I am her sponsor, as I said, and I have to attend once a month meetings with her and this last Thursday, I attended one with her. They are not long, only about 30 minutes. She told me she was going to the restroom and was in there for most of the time and when she came back out, she received a text and asked if she could answer the person back which was her dad's girlfriend and I said no to pay attention. She has no interest, it seems to be Confirmed. I found out while in the bathroom she was texting people. I know she is very angry at God for her parents' divorce and also for the child abuse that occured to her brother by her stepmom and her dad and the sexual abuse by the stepmom to her brother. My other sister drives her to Confirmation classes on Wednesday afternoons and she has told me that all she does is complain how she has to attend "these stupid classes and for what."

I had a talk with her and told her that if she did not want to get Confirmed and was not ready, for I don't think she is not, that she should not just do it because her mom wants too. She told me that she wanted to, but her action tell another tale. I asked her what was the problem and she said her teacher is so boring and so I asked her if I homeschooled her in Religion would that be better, for I use to homeschool her half a year, and she was so happy but that I had to clear it with the pastor. I talked to the pastor and he was not trilled with the idea. He does not understand homeschooling theology and felt she would not get enough religion and socialization. I told him that she is in public school and I would be only teaching her in that one class and the religion is very instance moreso than his program for I saw my niece's book. It was very watered down. He said he would think about it, but his answer was no later. He also felt my niece was not ready for she missed too many Masses. I told him that some were out of her control for when she goes to her dads, her dad won't take her to Mass. He asked if the dad would speak to him and I said he would not. He recommended that I speak to my niece about waiting another year or so until she was not so angry at God and took it more seriously.

After this weekend, when she had the opportunity to go to Mass and didn't choose to go but go with her dad instead, knowing full well that if she missed this Mass it may mean not getting Confirmed, she did it anyway. The pastor told me and my sister that if she missed any more Mass unless she was sick and didn't matter if the dad had her, she would not get Confirmed this year. She knew this and still choose to go with her dad. Her dad did not force her to go with him but gave her the option.

Her is my question: Should my sister just call the pastor and tell him that he should just make the decision that she is not ready to be Confirmed this year and because she has missed so many Masses that he has made the decision not to allow it. It is ashamed seeing she only had three more months of classes. We honestly don't think she is ready or taking it seriously. She textes during confirmation meetings. She complains about going to classes and calls them stupid. She hates going to Mass. If she can get out of going to Mass, she would do it. My sister fears that if she does not get Confirmed, she will never do so. I told her my husband did so as an adult in RCIA and maybe she will have to as an adult too.

What do you all think? Say something to the pastor or not. He may say something anyway when he sees that she missed Mass this weekend anyway.


#2

I don't think she is ready. Bless her heart, the poor girl still has so much healing to do before she can really get right with God. I can't even imagine what she is feeling. At that age, I would probably be acting the same way (not saying that it's right, just being honest).
Anyway, that's just my opinion.


#3

This is a difficult time for all involved, i am a Youth Minister amd Confirmation Instructor, i have seen and witnessed this type of situation numerous times, i feel the young girl should be prayed for by her Aunt, or proposed God parent, start by offering the rosary dailey, believe in the Holy Spirit's Power to change this young girls life, the most important
thing to discuss with her is the fact that Jesus teaches us to give love to all no matter the circumstance and the hardest love to share is our natural family " such as her dad" it is hard for her to share him and she feels as God is punishing her or as left her alone, But this is a opertunity to let him do his will in her life, "pray and turn this around to show her the Glory of his presence-.

Second - no texting is ever allowed in confirmation class, their must be order and discipline
discussed with the students, the Pastor may want to impliment this to instructors.

God Bless and we will pray for your situation.


#4

Since she says she does not want to quit, I wouldn't try to forbid her unless she fails the program. I don't mean that I would worry that she won't ever be confirmed. I predict that she would take the deferral as a rejection by the Church, a failure to be acceptable on her part, or both. She is already suffering because of her father's fickle attention, which amounts to a rejection of her. Is it a big surprise that she is dishing out some rejection of her own? She's a lost lamb, and I think it a mistake to allow her to run off. She needs to be very gently herded back, for as many times as it takes. If she doesn't refuse the Church, the Church ought not refuse her.

As for the rigor of the program the parish is putting on, there is nothing to keep you from adding some rigor on your own without taking her out of that program. Why should she stay in either? she may ask. For the sake of fidelity. She is suffering from her father's lack of fidelity. She needs to know that perserverance is a grace that grows from practice. One of the best ways to heal from someone else's indifference towards us is to address our own indifference towards God. One of the best ways to heal from someone else's infidelity is to throw ourselves into God's fidelity. Why should she keep going to this program? Because this is what she needs. She knew that when she chose it. You, her mother and sponsor, would no more let her run out on this than you'd let her tear out an IV when she insists she doesn't want to leave the emergency department. If she's in this, she needs to submit to her guides. She also needs to be actually present for the meetings. If her father is with her but not "there", she knows how it hurts her. She can be especially sensitive to avoiding giving the same treatment to either God or those in her class.

I wouldn't try to make up too much ground in her factual formation just now, not unless it gave her a sense of accomplishment. She is a bruised soul, and ought not be pushed in that kind of labors, worthy though they are. Rather, I'd follow roadone's advice: not just to pray for her, but to help her to develop and deepen her prayer life.

This is the best preparation for Confirmation, anyway. Consider this quote from Pope Pius X:
“There is, in fact, such a necessary link between holiness and prayer that the one cannot exist without the other. The words of Chrysostom on this matter are an exact expression of the truth: "I consider that it is obvious to everyone that it is impossible to live virtuously without the aid of prayer;" and Augustine sums up shrewdly: "He truly knows how to live rightly, who rightly knows how to pray." (From Haerent Animo, 1908)

If your sister can find her daughter a Catholic counselor, that would be optimal, as well. She has not hit this rapids in her life straight-on. She has her boat turned sideways, and she could capsize in white water. She is beaten up and tiring. Her preparation for Confirmation is an excellent opportunity for you to support her, and for her to get into habit of availing herself of grace when times are hard and the weakness of mankind and our sinful state betrays her.


#5

I am very leary of all of this talk about kids being “ready to be confirmed”. I remember the very recent past where parishes had a check list of service requirements, retreats, etc and if they were not met, the kids could not be confirmed. I am in favor of early confirmation, at a young age. That doesn’t seem to be the norm, but still confirmation is not something to be earned. Now, she needs to be in a state of grace, having recently gone to confession. But beyond that, confirmation is a gift of the Holy Spirit, and our kids need those graces more than ever. Confirmation is not a some type of Catholic rite of adulthood, althought it seems to have been turned into this by many.


#6

[quote="roadone, post:3, topic:227578"]
This is a difficult time for all involved, i am a Youth Minister amd Confirmation Instructor, i have seen and witnessed this type of situation numerous times, i feel the young girl should be prayed for by her Aunt, or proposed God parent, start by offering the rosary dailey, believe in the Holy Spirit's Power to change this young girls life, the most important
thing to discuss with her is the fact that Jesus teaches us to give love to all no matter the circumstance and the hardest love to share is our natural family " such as her dad" it is hard for her to share him and she feels as God is punishing her or as left her alone, But this is a opertunity to let him do his will in her life, "pray and turn this around to show her the Glory of his presence-.

Second - no texting is ever allowed in confirmation class, their must be order and discipline
discussed with the students, the Pastor may want to impliment this to instructors.

God Bless and we will pray for your situation.

[/quote]

I am her aunt and her sponsor and I do pray for her so many times a day. I know she is a lost girl. I have prayed for her since her parent's divorce and she told me, "This is a nightmare." I knew she was not handling it as well as her brother, yet her brother is the one with all the mental health issues. They fight constantly though. She as always felt both parents favored her brother and I agree with her for I have seen it. She was regreted many times by her dad, but what I don't understand is her relationship with her mom. Her mom has been there for those kids, defending them against the abuse to the point of evening denying visitation one summer to the dad, and she writes in her diary that she hates her mom. Now, her mom is the one who is after them when they do things wrong where the dad is more the weekend "Disney" dad or "fun weekend" dad so that may be the case, but it hurts none the less for my sister to hear this or hear her son say he wants to live with dad. I think they have forgotten the summers that they did have to live with him for longer period of times and his mean anger problems and abusive verbal words and behavior.

I have tried to talk to her about God. I have tried to tell her that Jesus and only Jesus can heal that wounded heart of hers, but she thinks I am crazy for that is what she tells my daughter. She tunes me out when I start talking. It is interesting for I was just listening to Dr. Ray Guarendi's CD's on Good Discipline on Teens and he talked about that, a lecture to teens and how they are great at tuning you out. That is what she does. When it comes to God, she is angry at Him. I just pray and pray and show her by example for that is all I can do for now.


#7

I am a catechist that teaches pre-confirmation classes and I totally agree with you. I think that in order to be confirmed a person should be a catholic in good standing (following the precepts of the Church) but besides that the requirements for classes, retreats, written “assessments” etc. are just wrong! I firmly believe that classes should be available but if they are used as a requirement without the proper pastoral care by the parents, sponsors, catechists and priests then we push the kids away instead of bringing them closer.


#8

I agree with you, but first my niece is not one to open up. She will not talk to any couselors, she hates them all for she has been seeing them since her parents divorce off and on, that is the age of 9 years old and she stop talking at around 12 years old. She is now 14 yr. old. There was only one counselor she liked and talked to and her father put an end to that for she was testifying against him and she was a Equine therapist, see loves horses and it calms her down to groom them and she talks. This is another reason she resents her dad, he prevented her from seeing the counselor she loved and was helping her. Nothing could have been done for he treaten to sue the counselor and she got scared.

Second, I don’t think she is ready for Confirmation, but think she needs this more than anything else. She did miss Mass this Sunday and that would be her sixth Mass according to the Pastor. My sister says she only has missed two Mass because she started the program late and was registered late, but we don’t know if the Pastor will take that into consideration. It is all up to the Pastor now.

I just talked to my sister who talked to my niece last night to prepare her that she may not get Confirmed this year if the Pastor decides that since she missed Mass yesterday. My sister told me she was very upset, so she does want to get Confirmed, but just doesn’t want to go to Mass is what she told my sister. She hates going to Mass. As her Sponsor though, I will talk to her about her choice for she could have stayed with her mom on Saturday night instead of going with her dad who came to pick her up after a dance she went to at 11 p.m. She knows her dad and how he doesn’t go to Mass and she knew how important it was for her to go to Mass for this program, but she should want to go to Mass for God which is sad that she is not there yet. She needs Him for healing.


#9

[quote="tafan, post:5, topic:227578"]
I am very leary of all of this talk about kids being "ready to be confirmed". I remember the very recent past where parishes had a check list of service requirements, retreats, etc and if they were not met, the kids could not be confirmed. I am in favor of early confirmation, at a young age. That doesn't seem to be the norm, but still confirmation is not something to be earned. Now, she needs to be in a state of grace, having recently gone to confession. But beyond that, confirmation is a gift of the Holy Spirit, and our kids need those graces more than ever. Confirmation is not a some type of Catholic rite of adulthood, althought it seems to have been turned into this by many.

[/quote]

Thank you so much for pointing this out. I needed to hear this. I agree with you. Kids do need this, but some kids go into this with mortal sin on their souls and are not ready for this Sacrament. I use to prepare kids for this Sacrament when I was single and I remember hearing in the procession line some boys talking about how they had sex with girls the night before. They knew it was wrong for I have discussed it in class and I asked them if they wanted to go to Confession so I could ask the priest, but they did not. One student, a girl, heard me and came to me and told me that she wanted to and so I got the priest and he heard her confession. Two of the boys did not go to Confession. It was sad that they did not understand the gravity of their sin and the beauty of the Sacrament they were about to receive, but I got through one student. It apparently was prom night the night before.


#10

Thank you all for your wonderful replies for it helped us see what to do. We are going to let things be for now and if the pastor makes his decision, then so be it. I will still as my niece's sponsor, talk to her about missing Mass when it is under her control which in this case it was, for she did not have to go with her dad, her dad always gives her the choice. If it ever was out of her control, then it is not her sin, but she missed this one because she didn't care to go to Mass.

I remember going on a weekend trip to Clearwater, Florida to celebrate my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary. I booked the hotel rooms and the first thing I did was look for a near by Catholic Church so that we could go on Sunday. I found one only 2 miles away. We had to depart the hotel room by noon, but Mass at the church was at 9 a.m. We only had one sister and her kids who were not Catholic who did not want to go. The rest of us were Catholics. I was the only one who wanted to go and of course, my daughter wanted to do as my niece and my other sister's and even my parents, sleep in. I told my daughter we were not going to miss Mass knowing there was a church near by. I guess the others felt guilty and decided to go, but my niece, the one who is going to get Confirmed wanted to stay and babysister my non-Catholic sister's kids. She did not want to go to Mass and then she wanted my daughter to stay. I told her my daughter is going to Mass and I had to take my daughter out of the room and talk to her calmy and explain the imporatance of Mass. It was only then that my niece said she would like to go to Mass.


#11

Oh, goodness, that poor girl, that poor soul. Please go to bat for her with the pastor. She is in a terrible place, but the places she is likely to be headed if she does not take her faith to heart are far worse.

If the pastor is willing to do it, then let his judgement stand. The Sacrament of Confirmation has gone through many iterations through the history of the Church, and the concept of being “ready” in the sense of being fully formed in once sense has not always been in place. That is the ideal, but your niece has had an extraordinarily wounding childhood. If she cannot be confirmed this spring, stick with her and reiterate that it is a deferral, not a failure.

You might talk to her about this business of wanting to be confirmed but hating Mass. That deserves a bit more examination. There may be problems where she is going or she may not understand what it is that is going on. At any rate, if she does not understand that the Mass is the source and summit of the Christian life, she will be at a great handicap, confirmed or not. The trick is going to be to bring her to that in the heart, so that she’ll consent to let her mind follow. I don’t think the facts are going to set her on fire, but the fire is going to give her a thirst for the facts. As you teach her this, share your enthusiasm, first and foremost, and your knowledge as an outgrowth of your love for the Mass.

There is a book out now titled “What Happens at Mass” that might be of help to you as you go through the various parts of the Mass and explain how they come together in one act of worship. The priest who wrote it, Fr. Jeremy Driscoll, is obviously very much in love with the Mass!

Where to start? As her confirmation sponsor, you might go through each week’s Sunday readings with her. It is hard to like and stay interested in what you don’t understand. This is the method I was taught that has been quite helpful as a way of preparation, and it is based on how the readings were selected:

  1. Read the response line for the responsorial psalm. This is a key to how the first reading relates to the Gospel. (This step has been a nice pearl for me.)

  2. Keeping that line in mind, read the Gospel reading.

  3. Now, go back and read the first reading. The first reading is chosen from the Hebrew Scriptures in order to highlight one “foreshadowing” of Christ that shows up in earlier Scriptures. (Your niece may need help from you, though, in getting the context of what on earth the 1st reading has to do with the Gospel.)

  4. So…the progression of the readings as they are actually read on a Sunday is a gradual unfolding. The “foreshadowing” reading from the Hebrew Scriptures is read first. The responsorial psalm is a response by the people to that first reading. It is as if we were all saying, having read the early Scriptures, “Ooo! Ooo! We see where this is going! We see how this will be fulfilled!” and we just cannot help but sing a traditional song that expresses the emotion of the moment.

  5. The 2nd reading is sometimes chosen to complement the 1st reading and the Gospel, but sometimes it is read as part of a progression going through a letter from one of the Apostles over the course of several Sundays. What very often happens, though, is that there is a fresh insight or angle that comes from this second reading.

  6. Then the Alleluia…because the Gospel really is Good News. This is a joyful moment.

  7. In the Gospel reading, Jesus appears as the fullness of God’s word.

  8. In the homily, the deacon or priest is supposed to help crack open the Holy Scriptures. If you have a good homilist, he’ll not try to crack open everything, but will highlight one or two aspects of what the Word might be saying.

As you go through the readings, explain that this preparation will make it easier for her to experience that part of the Mass as part of the whole act of worship that is the Mass. The Liturgy of the Word isn’t an intellectual exercise. It is an act of the heart.

You may decide it is better to draw her into some other part of the Mass first, but my guess is that highlighting different parts would be a good start. I think that if you gradually educate her about what the Mass has to offer, then she may get more out of it and not dread going.

If you can connect Mass with getting her around some horses on Sunday afternoons, try to do that. Whatever you can do to help that poor soul feel that someone will go to bat for what really matters to her…and God bless you!


#12

Thank you so much for that wonderful advice and I will try it. The key word “try.” I need to mention that I use to homeschool my niece for the first half year of her seventh grade. She is now in eighth grade in the Public school system. She was the one who begged her mom to be homeschooled for she was in a Catholic school where she was being bullied terriblied. It was horrible. One of the things I noticed was in our Confirmation preparation, I had to explain the Mass among other things, she just wanted to move quickly. She cared less if she understood or not. For example, she would hear me giving my daughter her Religion class. My daughter is the opposite. I would start reading the first few sentences to my daughter and she would have very good theological questions for me already. I would stop and explain. For my daughter, still today, Religion class is our longest class. She has tons of questions about God and the Church. Sometimes, my niece would get mad at my daughter and would tell her to stop asking questiong for she wanted a break if she knew we were going to have one after my daughter’s religion class. I would tell her to leave her be for she is learning and wants to learn more about God and His ways. So to some extend, my niece just is not there yet in wanting to know God more. I really think she is just angry at Him for not taking her brother and her out of the abusive situation they were in for 6 sixs. I know she asked me once, why did God allow it all to happen. She asked me also if people can change and I know she was referring to her dad. So she is praying for her dad while being angry at him. She desires his attention, yet won’t give him a chance sometimes. She is one confused child.

Let me tell you that she gets paralyzed in the face of fear due to something her dad did to her knowing she suffered from anxiety when she was 9 years old. He left her home alone for two hours and she was full of fear and anxiety. Today, she got into it with another student when getting off the bus about some tights that the other student said she allowed my niece to borrow. My niece explained that the tights were hers. Words exchanged and both called each other cuss words. The mom of the other girl shows up at my nieces door who was home alone and starts yelling at her and calling her names. She was banging on the door. My niece was frantic. I found out from another sister of mine who called me. I called my niece and heard fear in her voice and her voice was shaky. I told her to call the police, but she refused. Her dad is a cop so I told her to call her dad, but she refused. I called her dad and he told me to call 911 while he was going to call her, but she didn’t answer his call for she was on the phone with my other sister. The police told me that really my niece who is 14 yrs. old should be capable enough to pick up the phone and call the police for they asked me what this woman looks like and if she had a weapon and I could not answer. They advised me to give her advice in the future to call the police herself, but this is how she gets. She gets paralyzed with fear due to the trauma of what has happened from the domestic violence from when her dad was married to her stepmom. The police was called once out to the house too my her stepsister. She could not do it either and her dad sounded like a mad man for I have that 911 call and could here him yelling at my niece and nephew to get in the car for he wanted to take the out of the house in that much anger. In this case, the stepmom did right in protecting them. So your right, she is is mess emotionally. She is going to start counseling this Thursday, but she does not know it yet. If she knew, she would not get into the car with her mom. My sister thinks she will clam up, but I hope she opens up for she needs too. I gave her a journal and told her to call it her Dear Jesus diary and talk to Jesus in it, but she leaves it around and my sister says she mosly rights, "I hate my mom. " in it the most and really doesn’t talk to Jesus.

Anyway, pray for her. Her name is Marissa. Thanks so much.:wink:


#13

I've dealt with a situation that's a little different. The sponsored didn't want to get confirmed but was being "forced" to go to the classes and do the work. I think that if someone doesn't want to do the work or is not able to give any reason they want to be confirmed other than "because my mom wants it" or "because everyone else in my class is doing it...." are not good reasons to get Confirmed. I agree that there is an amount of Grace given when someone is Confirmed, but I really believe that part of the reason that children/infants are not Confirmed when Baptised is so that they have a choice. When they choose to do the work and go to the classes and can say that they want to be confirmed, then I believe that is the time they should be confirmed. This kid has more than enough on her plate. I'm very suprized at the Priest not allowing some home school especially with the circumstances, but I'd just tell her to feel free to come to you when she does feel like it is something that she wants to do. I understand about Baptism occuring while someone is an infant - but Confirmation, I honestly believe should be done when that person is ready to be Confirmed.
God Bless
Annie

My Lord and My God,
My Love and My Life,
Don't leave me here all alone!

Cradel me in Your Arms,
Hold me in Your Heart,
Until You bring me Home.


#14

Try is fine. As Mother Theresa used to say: God did not call me to be successful. God called me to be faithful. When it comes to being faithful, “Just Do It.” When it comes to results, all you can do is to do your best, and leave the results to God.

This may sound weird, but when it comes to explaining, you may want to consider how you would do things differently if she were a boy. There are lots of boys who are the way your daughter is in religion class, so I don’t mean that. I mean that it might give you a different way of looking at what to try. She might be one who would do better with experiences first and theory second. She might be one that wants things to be very concrete. So thinking of a kid who is more unlike your daughter than not might help your imagination.

For instance, if vocal prayer does not seem to reach her and reflecting on Scriptures is difficult for her, you might try the following, to see if it helps her in prayer. Take her to a quiet place, in a comfortable but not sleep-inducing position. Tell her to close her eyes and imagine that her life is like life in an office, and a very busy one. All day long, she had things on her desk to attend to. All day long, she has a secretary that calls her and tells her that this concern or that has come knocking. Very often, there is too much to do! Tell her to imagine that it is time now for her work day to be over. Send the secretary home. Whatever comes in, comes in. Do not worry about what is on her desk. It is entirely secure, it is going nowhere. In the back of her office, there is a door, and door that no one but her is allowed to go through. It is a door that is invisible to everyone, except to her. Tell her to leave her office behind and go into that room and settle down. This is the most comfortable room in the world, totally secure, so secure that one else even knows that it is there. It is a beautiful, peaceful room. It is the place where she gets to spend time alone with God. It is a place prepared for her by God to wait for His voice.

Tell her to sit in that place and put herself in the arms of God. It is to be a time in which they get to enjoy each other’s company. She may hear some goings-on in her office, someone who wants to shuffle through her papers. She may have the troubles of her life come into her mind, her dad, her classmates, her mom, confirmation, whatever. Let those go. Those are like sirens going by, down on the street, on a day when you are having tea with an old friend. You can hear them, but you let them go by. There will be time for those things.

Now, this is not a time when she visits with the God of her imagination. It is a time for being available to the real Lord God, the Creator of the Universe, who deeply desires to be with her. She should not worry if she does not sense him there. She need only nestle down in peace, making whatever effort is necessary to let go of her worries, and wait to see if He should desire to come to be with her. That is all the work she has to do: Be available. Be there, and leave all her concerns except to be with God, and ignore whatever is banging around out there in her office. Allow God to show Himself as much as He thinks is right for that day, even if He seems to be hiding and she really wanted to feel Him there. Let God lead, and trust what God does. If she feels prompted to say the rosary, that is fine. Otherwise, she shouldn’t let herself get away. She ought to stay put, just listening and waiting on God, but also far away from whatever worries dog her for the rest of the day. It only has to be for five or ten minutes, but putting aside her worries and just waiting to spend time alone with God is a service to God.

In the New Age version, of course God always shows up. She needs to know that this is not the way it works: God is not a genie that we conjure up. But she may find some comfort and spiritual experience in just spending some time in a place that is free from her anxieties, where God may decide to make himself very much present to her. What is important to make her realize is that spending this time waiting for God, spending this time outside of her worries and waiting only on what God might have to say to her, that this alone is a form of worship. It is a prayerful service. It can be uncomfortable at first, because “nothing happens”, but that is OK. It can be that she will feel God very much, and get accustomed to it, and then another day or weeks down the road she will feel nothing, and she might feel very distracted by all the “noise in the office.” If she keeps on even during the “dry times” when it is not fun, though, this is a form of prayer that might help her. Again: this isn’t time at the spiritual “spa”, feet up and sleeping. She is waiting on God, a real work of prayer, but one that at 14 and with many difficulties yipping at her, she may be quite ready to learn to do.


#15

Thank you all for your wonderful replies for it helped us see what to do. We are going to let things be for now and if the pastor makes his decision, then so be it.

i'm a director of a faith formation program that has many expectations. the point of the expectations is not to 'earn' confirmation' but for deeper conversion.

in fact, in our program, a kid can miss every expectation and if s/he simply tells the pastor, "i really want to receive the Holy Spirit in confirmation" s/he will be confirmed. the pastor cannot withhold, but can delay the sacrament until he is certain the proper catechesis has been given.

our pastor certainly would not delay it for the faults of ther parents,

but your neice's pastor may delay. for the most part i would disagree with that determination. as such, i would counter (under similar circumstances, we had 'won' the right to homeschool our oldest for confirmation) "pastor you wish to delay the sacrament that she needs most of all right now. i would like permission, then, to prepare her for confirmation next year."

if he balks, respectfully remind him that his parish program failed your niece. why try it twice?

even now, you can respectfully appeal to the bishop.


#16

My niece again did not want to go to her Confirmation classes on Wednesday afternoon. She is always making some excuse and my sister always has to force her. As her sponsor, I have talked to her and asked why she hates going so much and she said it is “so boring.” I have conveyed this to the pastor as well but he said this is common for teenagers to think this of the program. I don’t think so, for I use to teach it and my kids did not think I was boring and enjoyed my class and told me so. Anyway, as a result of it all, my sister who is going through so many crosses with her other child as well and her ex-husband, is exhausted and done fighting with my niece. She just asked her yesterday if she wanted to be Confirmed this year or not and she said no. My niece asked her mom if she was angry and my sister told her no, but that she was disappointed for she only had a few more months left. I am disappointed in the pastor for not allowing me to homeschool her in religion. I think my niece is also being bullied at school and this is added to her problems. She called me today and asked me if I could homeschool her for the rest of the year. I told her it is not a problem with me, but that her mom would never agree for she can’t afford the program and only half the year is left. I asked her why she wanted to be homeschooled and she said she was not being challenged enough in the public school system and it was boring. She also said there was so much “drama” in middle school. I think she was referring to the bullying. I felt bad for her, but I know her mom won’t be able to afford the Seton program I was teaching her. I do have the Confirmation program she was in, but that was 7th grade and she is in 8th grade now. I told her that she should have listened to us all from the beginning and never left the program to begin with and we knew what we were talking about and she has to learn to obey her mom and other adults in her life. She has been known not to listen and think she knows it all, you know how that goes with a teen. :shrug:

Well, as of now, she is telling everyone that the pastor kicked her out of the Confirmation program, but that is not true. By the way, she has a chronic lying problem due to her father and step-mom teaching her and her brother always to lie to her mom when they were on visitation and they abused them. They were not allowed to report on anything that happened on their weekend and were told to lie, but they told us anyway, but they did lie a lot to protect themselves from their dad’s anger. So now my niece finds lying so easy. I have had talks with her about that and told her to go to Confession more frequently to help her stop the lying, but she has yet to do so. For now, she is a lost little girl. Her brother needs a lot of prayers as well and so does she. Her mom is barely making it with all that is happening to her with both kids and things from her ex. It is too bad she is not getting Confirmed, but maybe it is for the best. I think she wants to be Confirmed with my daughter, but my daughter has two more years before that happens and they belong to different parishes, the good news is if I homeschool my niece in Religion my pastor is very open to homeschoolers and does not require them to go to the CCD classes and so he will allow her to get Confirmed there. I don’t know if he would if she is not a parishioner. She use to be one for years, 6 years in fact, but they moved and are going to a closer church. I think my pastor will allow her to get Confirmed in his church. That would be so nice to be a sponsor for my niece and watch my daughter and my niece get Confirmed on the same day. I hope that it happens that way. Who knows it may take me two years to prepare my niece anyway. I use the Seton homeschooling program and their Confirmation program is two years. It starts in 7th grade. I can do both girls starting next year. Maybe, I will mention it to my niece and see what she will say.
Pray, everyone that if that is God’s will, it happens that way. Thanks.:wink:


#17

I’ve always wondered how the confirmation classes are tailored for teens because I went through RCIA this last year as a 21 year old and some of the stuff had be me nodding off every now and then and seemed like too much to take, but maybe it was because it was only a few months of Catholic education and not years worth. Is there anything you can do to build your niece’s self esteem or is there a summer camp program or something she could attend that is faith based or focuses on self esteem and healing? It sounds like since she isn’t open to the idea of a counselor maybe a camp or program for others who are going through the same thing would be a good shot I know they have a program for kids whose parents are going through divorce called castles I believe, but I dont know if that goes up to her age group.


#18

For now, she is a lost little girl.

this is terribly sad.

if a kid has any basic catechesis, and it sounds like your niece has, by your efforts, a two year confirmation prep program isnt necessary. confirmation should require more prep than any marriage prep program in any diocese in the countrry? no. i disagree.

your niece needs the holy spirit in His fullness. please, ***please, ***consider asking the bishop (or your pastor) for permission to have her confirmed. right away. your niece needs graces. GRACES she can only get from God and the sacraments. special graces of Confirmation.

please, please don’t unwittingly give your niece the message that confirmation is something to be earned. in fact, until recently, it was administered to children and in the eastern church, it’s still administered to babies…


#19

I have great news. The DRE of the church called my sister to find out why my niece missed the last class. My sister told her that my niece did not want to get confirmed and the DRE asked why. My sister told her that she really did not know why. She did explain that sometimes she missed Mass because she is with her dad and her dad won’t take her to Mass but that is out of my nieces control. The DRE said she would love to talk to my niece to understand why she wants to not get confirmed and if that is the case that they would not want to force her, but if it was something else, she would want to know. She told my sister that she would talk to my niece after her Wednesday class but to have her come. My sister begged me to call her as her Sponsor and ask my niece if she really did or didn’t want to get confirme. So I called her on Tuesday after school and talked to her. At first she thought she was in trouble and I told her that she was not. I told her that I just wanted to understand why she didn’t want to get confirmed for the church called and they even mentioned how she only has a few months left. I told her the benefits of this Sacraments and how she will receive the Holy Spirit and needs that. She was quiet and then said that she did want to receive the Sacrament and if I could teach her instead of her going to the CCD classes. She said she quit for they are so boring. I told her that the pastor did not approve of me teaching her already. She had to go to the class. I told her that she did not have many left and just make the best of it. I told her to think of her goal; the Sacrament. She said she never thought of it that way. I told her to not think of it as going to boring classes but as a preparation of the Sacrament that she will receive the Holy Spirit and that she already knows so much more than she thinks. I begged her to think about it and that I was proud to be her Sponsor and would love to do this with her in May. She said okay that she would go to the class the next day but was nervous about talking to the DRE. I told her to be honest with her and tell her the man who teaches it is boring. As it turns out the DRE never talked to her. She was there, but she never approached her.

So thank you all for your prayers for I know it helped a lot. For now, my niece who really needs this Sacrament is on her way to getting it. She will be Confirmed in May. Thanks so much. I am so happy.:):smiley:


#20

That is great news!! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :thumbsup:


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