in this diocese the preparation prescribed for Catholic adults who are not yet confirmed (as it is for the youth) is set forth in the particular law, enacted in 2006 after a diocesan synod. cdob.org, click on synod legislation on the right side. As DREs we don’t have all that much latitude, we do what is prescribed, and some parishes offer more. We prefer to think of this whole process, classes, retreats and other components, as a gift offered to the candidate by the parish and diocese, rather than as a series of hurdles or meaningless requirements.
The Confirmation candidate makes a solemn profession of faith, and deserves the instruction necessary to do so with understanding and acceptance. I have only been “in charge” of RCIA and confirmation for 10 years or so but in my experience adult Catholics need as much or more instruction, and ask for it, than an unbaptized person, and feel cheated if they are not offered the same in depth preparation available to an RCIA candidate. The candidates with the greatest need for formal catechesis, and who seem to encounter the greatest roadblocks in their own journey, are those who have fallen away from the faith, or embraced another denomination, for some time. In such cases a preparation parallel to that of RCIA is most appropriate, and the rites actually make note of this.
everytime we have this discussion I make the same point: the “class” and the “process” are not the same thing. Several people each in different personal circumstances may be taking the same catechism class. But some are in RCIA and go further into the rites and preparation proper for them. Others are adult Catholics seeking Confirmation, and their preparation beyond the actual class time is tailored for them. In this parish, since this class begins with a 12 week basic faith formation, we also have prospective catechists, and even just adults of the parish, who want that formal class. Some of these meetings are also offered to parents and sponsors of children preparing for sacraments, who are required in this diocese to take a minimum number of hours instruction. Just because the people in the room have different backgrounds does not mean they cannot all benefit from the content of the class, resources and instruction.