Confirmation Class


#1

Well, I started my first year of confirmation classes today and I...

I hated it...I want to go to this to learn and explore theology...Learn about The Lord and the history of the Catholic Church...

What did we do instead?We learned how to look up verses in the Bible..We also HAD to do a "skit" or "commerical" of selling the Bible to someone..

This seems to be...Not much help for my faith, it goes by so slow and teaches me nothing new..

Two years of this?

Do I have another option?

Don't get me wrong, I love my Church and my Faith I just don't see the point in reviewing things we should have learned in preparation for Holy Communion.


#2

Talk to your pastor. Perhaps you can prepare for confirmation with the adults, instead of the teens. Be warned, however, that the beginning lessons may be very basic, no matter where you start. Still, if you are not alone in being beyond this kind of introduction, you may be able to work something out for yourself and those like you. Be persistent if you have to, but always respectful and mature. Good luck!


#3

I have an appointment with my Priest for Spiritual Direction sometime soon, I can ask him there!
:)

Thanks for the reply, EasterJoy.


#4

It's the first class .... and you know already that the entire course will teach you nothing new???? These teachers cannot teach you anything????

Most first classes are introductory in nature and are very basic. You shouldn't be judging an entire two year program on this one experience. Also, if someone believes that something is a "waste of time", your mind will concentrate on only those things that confirm your thinking.

You certainly should talk to your pastor and spiritual director, but examine your own attitude as you approach the program


#5

[quote="Discerning13, post:1, topic:336129"]
Well, I started my first year of confirmation classes today and I...

I hated it...I want to go to this to learn and explore theology...Learn about The Lord and the history of the Catholic Church...

What did we do instead?We learned how to look up verses in the Bible..We also HAD to do a "skit" or "commerical" of selling the Bible to someone..

This seems to be...Not much help for my faith, it goes by so slow and teaches me nothing new..

Two years of this?

Do I have another option?

Don't get me wrong, I love my Church and my Faith I just don't see the point in reviewing things we should have learned in preparation for Holy Communion.

[/quote]

Just a thought - you wish to explore theology and I assume this is a group setting? Probably with people who do not know each other very well yet?

If so, perhaps the leaders are looking at these first few classes as a way for everyone to start working together (the skits) and getting comfortable with each other before delving into what are often difficult, emotional and/or possibly confrontational issues?

I know I've walked into bible studies and retreats fully centered and at peace with myself - ready to really discuss and share points of view and ask hard questions - only to find that others there were nervous and uncertain, shy, or otherwise just not ready to jump in the same way I was. It can be disconcerting, but so rewarding if you look at this as the chance to find God in each one of those other people. I believe God has a hand in who is in these groups - so always something to learn, even if it's not the lesson you were looking for.


#6

Discerning13-

Wow, you sound like an amazing kid. How old are you?

I have been a Confirmation catechist for about 20 years. The first class that you described sounds very typical for a middle school or early high school group. I think you need to realize not everyone at your age is ready for deep theological lessons. Something that you also need to realize is the class is not all about you. I am not trying to be harsh but rather show you the rest of the class will need you. I love it when I have a young person in my class that can help me "keep the pot stirred". With all the Christian love and charity that you can muster, help your classmates deepen their faith - just be careful not to drown them.

Priest for spiritual direction? Wow! I have one of those and I am an old dude. The Holy Spirit has big plans for you. Just make sure the plans are not totally on your agenda, but on God's.

God bless!


#7

[quote="Discerning13, post:1, topic:336129"]
Well, I started my first year of confirmation classes today and I...

I hated it...I want to go to this to learn and explore theology...Learn about The Lord and the history of the Catholic Church...

What did we do instead?We learned how to look up verses in the Bible..We also HAD to do a "skit" or "commerical" of selling the Bible to someone..

This seems to be...Not much help for my faith, it goes by so slow and teaches me nothing new..

Two years of this?

Do I have another option?

Don't get me wrong, I love my Church and my Faith I just don't see the point in reviewing things we should have learned in preparation for Holy Communion.

[/quote]

You sound far and above where your peers are in terms of their relationship with Christ and knowledge of the Church. So, do talk to your pastor about other options for your spiritual development and faith formation. You sound ready for Confirmation now, and what you really need is a more advanced theology class. Perhaps there is something in your diocese or via distance learning.


#8

[quote="Discerning13, post:1, topic:336129"]
Well, I started my first year of confirmation classes today and I...

I hated it...I want to go to this to learn and explore theology...Learn about The Lord and the history of the Catholic Church...

What did we do instead?We learned how to look up verses in the Bible..We also HAD to do a "skit" or "commerical" of selling the Bible to someone..

This seems to be...Not much help for my faith, it goes by so slow and teaches me nothing new..

Two years of this?

Do I have another option?

Don't get me wrong, I love my Church and my Faith I just don't see the point in reviewing things we should have learned in preparation for Holy Communion.

[/quote]

Welcome to the club my friend.


#9

Talking to your spiritual director is the best idea. Since you're doing that, my only recommendation is that you get a Baltimore Catechism and start reading it. Everything you want to know is in there.


#10

[quote="Rich_C, post:9, topic:336129"]
Talking to your spiritual director is the best idea. Since you're doing that, my only recommendation is that you get a Baltimore Catechism and start reading it. Everything you want to know is in there./QUOTE

There is a saying, "Everything old becomes new again." How true! As a catechist, I do have a text to follow. However, when I add to (appropriately) where an additional explanation is needed, I find help in "The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism" Explained by Father Bennet, C.P. Official Revised Edition. The one for Grades 6-8 is Gray in color, 3-5 pink in color, and Grade 2 blue in color.

Great suggestion!

[/quote]


#11

[quote="Discerning13, post:1, topic:336129"]
Well, I started my first year of confirmation classes today and I...

I hated it...I want to go to this to learn and explore theology...Learn about The Lord and the history of the Catholic Church...

What did we do instead?We learned how to look up verses in the Bible..We also HAD to do a "skit" or "commerical" of selling the Bible to someone..

This seems to be...Not much help for my faith, it goes by so slow and teaches me nothing new..

Two years of this?

Do I have another option?

Don't get me wrong, I love my Church and my Faith I just don't see the point in reviewing things we should have learned in preparation for Holy Communion.

[/quote]

I'm really glad you asked this question! I think most people just go to the sessions, they sit there thinking "this sucks, " they keep going because their family makes them, and then they graduate from high school and leave the Church. That cycle must be broken- and more forced dumb skits is NOT a solution to the problem.

I suggest you explain to your family that you would do better learning in a different way, that you would like to learn in an environment that has a little more theology and a little less attempt at being fun. The truth is attractive, because of its very nature. All you need is for someone who knows that to teach you the Truth of the Catholic Faith- nothing more, nothing less.

I know some people go to RCIA instead of confirmation classes. That could be an option for you, although it will mean that the pastor would probably confirm you at the Easter Vigil rather than the bishop doing so at a confirmation Mass.


#12

[quote="coachdennis, post:4, topic:336129"]
It's the first class .... and you know already that the entire course will teach you nothing new???? These teachers cannot teach you anything????

Most first classes are introductory in nature and are very basic. You shouldn't be judging an entire two year program on this one experience. Also, if someone believes that something is a "waste of time", your mind will concentrate on only those things that confirm your thinking.

You certainly should talk to your pastor and spiritual director, but examine your own attitude as you approach the program

[/quote]

:thumbsup:


#13

Coming from someone who has been very active in my church's Confirmation program since I was Confirmed in 99, I think I have some experience here.

First off, this can very much depend on the Archdiocese you come from. I know a lot of the structure from our monthly classes come from our Archdiocese in LA. Whenever I plan a class for the candidates, I can use a small amount of liberty on how I teach but the themes and messages come from the Catechists Guide. In it, it divides our two year program into three parts; Introduction, Formation and Reflection. When we move our candidates between the first two we have a Rite of Entrance ceremony and when when they transition between the next two we have the Rite of Covenant.

The first section on initiation is not especially theological but it is also the shortest one by far. Most of what we do are get to know each other and establish what we are doing. Once the Rite of Entrance happens, we start to hit on the meaning of the Gospels, sin, death, life, miracles, love, exc. I think the section on reflection is self explanatory.

Now remember, this is the way it is out here. (I live in a suburb of LA) Different parishes in my area do it a different way out here but they should be sticking to the guideline. I have no idea what your Cardinal/Archbishop has in your region but I can't imagine it is too far from this. Just remember that you are going to have two years or so depending on your area to learn. One day is not everything.


#14

[quote="Rich_C, post:9, topic:336129"]
Talking to your spiritual director is the best idea. Since you're doing that, my only recommendation is that you get a Baltimore Catechism and start reading it. Everything you want to know is in there.

[/quote]

Baltimore Catechism? Wouldn't it be more prudent to lead people to a document which is currently in affect?


#15

I was Chrismated as an Eastern Christian so I did not need to go to Confirmation Classes but since I went to a Latin parish school as a kid and I went to the Youth Group during High School I was allowed to go to the Confirmation Classes. I know your sentiment exactly; remedial isn't even apropos. I understand your disappointment and quite frankly the terrible lessons that are suppose to be for further educating young Catholics are lost opportunities at proper catechesis to keep them.

In all likelihood you won't get exempt from the classes if you talk to your pastor and I am sure that you won't even get to wet your feet in theology. God bless your love of faith and the Church, it is admirable; all I can tell you to do is perhaps use the classes to grow in the virtue of patience and help others to grow in faith. And perhaps there will be much you can learn from in between the bits of seemingly irrelevant things so keep an open mind.


#16

[quote="MorEphrem, post:15, topic:336129"]
I was Chrismated as an Eastern Christian so I did not need to go to Confirmation Classes but since I went to a Latin parish school as a kid and I went to the Youth Group during High School I was allowed to go to the Confirmation Classes. I know your sentiment exactly; remedial isn't even apropos. I understand your disappointment and quite frankly the terrible lessons that are suppose to be for further educating young Catholics are lost opportunities at proper catechesis to keep them.

In all likelihood you won't get exempt from the classes if you talk to your pastor and I am sure that you won't even get to wet your feet in theology. God bless your love of faith and the Church, it is admirable; all I can tell you to do is perhaps use the classes to grow in the virtue of patience and help others to grow in faith. And perhaps there will be much you can learn from in between the bits of seemingly irrelevant things so keep an open mind.

[/quote]

This is what I was thinking as well. Perhaps flipping your approach to the class is what is needed. It does seem you are further along your faith journey than the rest of your classmates, but perhaps your purpose in this class isn't for your own benefit. I mean, you're looking at the next two years as if this class is not going to be any benefit to you. BUT, perhaps God has a different purpose in mind, maybe you're in this class for the next to years to be a witness to your peers, even if its just one classmate and not all involved. Maybe He's leading you to something else completely and this is just a stepping stone.

I'd pray about it, I would talk to my priest, and then I would get out of the way of God's plans and focus on less the class not meeting my initial expectations.


#17

I just can't believe it is two years now. I don't know how long it was in my day, but I'm sure it wasn't two years.

John


#18

[quote="oldcelt, post:17, topic:336129"]
I just can't believe it is two years now. I don't know how long it was in my day, but I'm sure it wasn't two years.

John

[/quote]

Its been 22 years since I was confirmed and it was two years. Its only one year for my daughter though.


#19

[quote="PatriceA, post:18, topic:336129"]
Its been 22 years since I was confirmed and it was two years. Its only one year for my daughter though.

[/quote]

It depends upon the diocese. The Confirmation Classes I went to with my Latin friends started the beginning of Freshman year of high school and finished spring of Sophomore year when they were confirmed; I guess that constitutes two years.


#20

[quote="MorEphrem, post:19, topic:336129"]
It depends upon the diocese. The Confirmation Classes I went to with my Latin friends started the beginning of Freshman year of high school and finished spring of Sophomore year when they were confirmed; I guess that constitutes two years.

[/quote]

We're in the same diocese as I was when I was confirmed. Other parishes near us vary in their preparation classes as well. Some are a two year course, others only one year. Some parishes confirmed this past spring, my daughter is being confirmed in October but classes concluded in April.


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