[quote="Joe_5859, post:18, topic:289561"]
I agree that the problems you are encountering are not unique, but I also agree that they are not universal. People take Baptism pretty seriously at my parish. Of course, I know my parish is not the norm.
I think CJMClark is right that it's really about forming adults in the faith. This isn't an issue that can be "solved" by simply improving your Baptism prep sessions. What is required is a whole shift in the prevalent mindset that our spiritual journey ends with Confirmation.
People need to encounter Jesus. That's really the whole thing in a nutshell. If they don't have that living relationship with the Lord, our catechetical efforts end up being a lot of sound and fury.
Of course, that doesn't mean we give up. We should never give up. We press on and pray that something will break through and a seed will be planted. And we keep looking for ways to bring people to Jesus.
Good analysis. I agree about Confirmation. I have never been a supporter of Confirmation at a later age. I was confirmed as an infant and I believe it is time the original order is restored in the West: baptism,confirmation and Eucharist.
I recently read an article by a Bishop from Nebraska (I think,cannot remember) stating he did a long and deep historical understanding of the Sacrament of Confirmation. What he found was that Catholics who were baptized at infancy or under 12 years of age have turned out to be the Catholics who pratice their faith a lot closer as opposed to those who were baptized at a older age. And why?
The bishop stated Confirmation completes our baptism and one receives the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit. In essence, what we are doing is postponing tthose graces from God at a later age,thus in reality, many Catholics simply do not have those graces. I agree with the bishop. Likewise, this bishop also stated that the Sacrament of Confirmation has somewhat been misunderstood and distorted over the years. Many parents view it as a "graduation" or "completion" of their faith. I agree here too. Many parents will tell me all the time that his or her son will soon finish. Finish? Finish what?