Help with guiding my daughter though confirmation needed


I need help guiding my daughter though confirmation. It doesn’t help that I was given very little guidance myself when I was confirmed… to this day, I don’t know for certainty my own confirmation name because I picked St Francis of Assisi. I always felt a connection to him as a child but on the day of my confirmation rehearsal I was told I couldn’t pick a male saint, and they changed it right on the spot and picked something for me. I thought it was St. Alexandria, but there is no such saint (maybe it’s St. Catherine of Alexandria, I just don’t know).

Anyway, my daughter was just told “to pick a saint” via a mass email to all the candidate parents. She has five days to make her decision. They didn’t give much time and no guidance. Luckily, it’s something I’ve talked to her about on a few occasions, on and off, over the years. But I really don’t know how to guide her into picking a Saint. I told her St. Cecelia is the patron of musicians and she likes that (she plays several instruments all day long… other kids might play video games for house, she plays piano for hours). Is that appropriate? Picking a saint who is a patron because of some kind of personal connection? That’s what I did and they changed it on me. At least I know to tell my daughter to pick a female saint.

The other issue is she needs to do Acts of Mercy (2 corporal and 2 spiritual). Corporal is “easy” enough because you can proactively do these things: feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc. In fact, we already volunteer at the Food Bank and one of the few answers I was given is that is considered feeding the hungry. But the Spiritual Acts are harder to do because most are reactionary. In order to forgive an offense, someone has to offend you. In order to bear wrongs patiently, someone has to wrong you. To counsel the doubtful, someone must confide their doubt to you. The only thing she can proactively do before the March deadline is pray for the living and dead. But what exactly does that cover? If we go to a cemetery and pray for the dead buried there, is that an Act of Mercy or do we have to participate in something more formal and organized like a funeral Mass?

I am sorry to have to ask this here, I’ve tried contacting several different people at my church in different ways and have gotten no answers. Tomorrow I plan on just stopping by the parish office, but I don’t hold out much hope that the church secretary will be able to help much. I just need some direction and guidance so I in turn can guide my daughter.

Thank you!


hopefully the parish secretary could give you the phone number of the confirmation director and then you can get some concrete answers.


No need to contact anyone. The spiritual works of mercy are certainly not all reactive. They are listed here, with some examples (but far from all) and include many things that can be initiated, such as visiting a cemetery and praying there for the departed, or requesting a Mass intention for someone, living or dead.

As for a confirmation name, any saint, male or female, is appropriate. I have seen scores of people use saints’ names from the opposite sex, including this past spring, when a dozen or so young people at a confirmation Mass that I attended did precisely that. The patron of musicians is an excellent idea, as would be any saint that has frequently been discussed or read about, or who seems to present an interesting something to the confirmand. I chose Joseph for several reasons, one of which was that it seemed super Catholic to me, as many Catholics seemed to have a great devotion to him, and that impressed me. There were other reasons, too, but that was certainly one.


Thank you! I’ve read all kinds of things online but the examples listed on that site are really good. I hope they count. We already have plans to visit the cemetery at Christmas (we always do and put flowers on the graves of relatives and pray for them). It looks like there might be other things she can do as well. I am surprised penance counts, that’s pretty much something we do anyway too.

The name is harder. It’s interesting you mention Joseph. After my husband left us, I also lost my job and had to find a new place to live (sell an upside down house I couldn’t afford and find a new place to live that would be good for my daughter). It was a rough time. I asked St. Joseph to pray for me a lot. Eventually, I found a new job, sold the old house and found a great new home, and am back on my feet. I’ve never forgotten that and still have a reverence for St. Joseph.

Cecilia really seems to fit my daughter. But that’s for her to decide.


This always surprises me when I hear that this has been done to young people. I am reminded of my first grade teacher, Sister Paul, who was already ancient in 1975. I guess nobody told her that there was some sort of rule. I’m sorry this happened to you.


Your daughter might also consider using her baptismal saint as her confirmation saint. She already has a connection to that saint, right? This is a way to make it even stronger.


If I were you I would seek out the youth minister with your concerns. I am the Director of youth ministry at my parish and welcome all parents to come in and talk about things. I also use mass email, facebook, and a text message app to get information out.

When a student comes in to register for confirmation I have a parent come with them so they get The List. Basically it a list of things that need to be done and by what date. I speak with each student and their parent(s) about what is expected individually.

I let the kids pick any saint the connect with? I am a convert and my patron saint is very important to me. I would want that for my students also.

The one thing the secretary may be able to do is give you contact information of the folks you need to talk to about this.


You’re doing great. St Cecelia is a great idea. Tell her “pick a friend and then ask the friend for great favors”.

Maybe do two Mother-Daughter trips/pilgrimages. Once to a cemetery…maybe walk through and look at the names, and ask your Guardian Angel for help…perhaps you’ll run across some names that remind you and your daughter of different people, and…well the Angel will take care of it. Say a Memorare at a few grave stones.

And then maybe make a short pilgrimage to some “image of Mary” somewhere near the city, maybe you can say a decade of the Rosary on the way over, one decade at the Image, and one on the way home. Something like that. Tell your daughter to form an intention, maybe pick up some relatively inexpensive flowers, cheap vase (maybe you have one extra in the house) and then leave the flowers at the image of Mary, “with your intention”.

You’re doing great.


I am not aware of any rules regarding picking confirmation saints.

I picked st. therese because her feast day is on my birthday. (yeah, it seemed neat when I was 13)

others pick a saint that has the same name as them, or a cause that they identify with


Thank you all for the answers. I talked to the Church secretary and she was very helpful. I am not sure what happened and why no one was answering me. She didn’t have answers for me, but that evening I finally got some replies from the other people I contacted. So I have some answers.

And thanks again for the Acts of Mercy ideas.


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