[quote=asquared]a more thorough, helpful suggestion to this committee might have been: why don’t we look at what canon law says about proper disposition for youth receiving the sacrament of Confirmation, what the US bishops say, and what our local bishop says. What are the guidelines in this diocese? What texts and confirmation programs are approved? What is required in the way of catechesis, service, retreats etc.? Why don’t we do this ecclesially, with the mind of the Church, rather than on our own bat as a committee (with what authority?).
Exactly! This is what we were trying to get to. Our committee is trying to evaluate all our sacramental prep programs to see if they are measuring up to the guidelines. The Youth minister who administers the program and one other committee member in particular didn’t want to evaluate the program. The sad thing is our Archdiocese guidelines are very vague. We never did in fact get to discuss the guidelines because all the resistance to even looking at the program. The archdiocese mandates instructional time, a retreat, service hours, and includes a text. So, we do meet those general guidelines. What our concern is that our candidates are trully prepared to live out the sacrament of confirmation. Do they know enough doctrine to be soldiers of Christ? They must be in a state of grace to receive the sacrament. Do they know the difference between mortal sin and venial sin?
The youth minister’s position is that it is his sole responsibility to determine the form and content of the program within those guidelines without any oversight by our committee. Aside from wanting to improve our program, our committee’s goal is that our sacramental programs will be solid independent of whoever is administering it. So, even as staff changes, we will still have strong programs. We also want the sacramental preparation programs to be a cohesive program of formation from Baptism to Sacrament of matrimony.
Sacramental programs are a good place to address catechesis for candidates and parents.
I think a faith formation committee in a parish should have say in the administering of a parish program. But, maybe I’m wrong.
When one committee member said that if we try to require learning doctrine, they would be bored, our associate pastor, who was sitting in on the meeting, cried, “I hope you are not saying that my Bride is boring!”
Isn’t that neat?