What is the Sacrament of Confirmation?
Confirmation is the sacrament of Christian maturity, which gives us the ability to live our adult faith. Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace:
- It roots us more deeply in the divine filtration which makes us cry, 'Abba! Father!';
- It unites us more firmly to Christ;
- It increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us;
- It renders our bond with the Church more perfect;
- It gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the cross."
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church #1303
Confirmation gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit by which we are obliged to spread and defend the faith. To live our faith is not our own work, but rather we receive power from God to be a true witness for Christ. By Confirmation, we are anointed and receive a permanent mark or seal that identifies us belonging to Jesus Christ. The words "Be sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit" tell us that Confirmation increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit within us and makes us more open to the Spirit's actions and prompting.
These gifts are Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Fortitude (courage), Counsel (right judgment), Piety, and Holy Fear in God's Presence (wonder and awe) (Isaiah 11: 2-3). By living in accord with the Holy Spirit, we experience the spiritual fruits: Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Long-suffering, Mildness, Fortitude, Modesty, Contingency, and Charity. (Gal. 5:22).
"Preparation for Confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and more lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit - his actions, his gifts, and his biddings - in order to be more capable of assuming the apostolic responsibilities of Christian life. To this end catechesis for Confirmation should strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish community. The latter bears special responsibility for the preparation of confirmands."
"To receive Confirmation one must be in a state of grace. One should receive the sacrament of Penance in order to be cleansed for the gift of the Holy Spirit. More intense prayer should prepare one to receive the strength and graces of the Holy Spirit with docility and readiness to act." - The Catechism of the Catholic Church #1309, #1310
Confirmation Preparation is a two year commitment in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester. Preparation for the sacrament is done at the parish level and includes group meetings, sponsor activities, service projects and a yearly retreat. Preparation typically takes place in 9th and 10th grade with the sacrament conferred in the spring of 10th grade, but can be delayed if needed.
If I take religion classes at school should I still register at my parish?
YES! Confirmation preparation within your parish is required for Confirmation in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester. This preparation at St. Pius X provides an avenue for candidates to relate their faith to their everyday life beyond religion class. Students frequently tell us they greatly value this time in their small groups as they get to know themselves and their classmates on a deeper level. Confirmation sessions are aimed to go beyond intellectual learning about the sacrament to preparing candidates' hearts and minds for the reception of the Sacrament and a faith life beyond the Confirmation Mass.
Currently, while RCS provides beautiful opportunities for faith education, retreats, and spiritual development, it intentionally does not provide Confirmation preparation. They encourage high school students to connect to their parish and form a deeper bond and relationship with their fellow parishioners. Students have mentioned upon graduating from RCS, that they are thankful for the opportunity that parish driven Faith Formation and Youth Ministry provides to be more active in the parish to which they belong.
What is required for Confirmation preparation?
Candidate meetings: Candidates will meet weekly with the Confirmation Team for instruction, small group discussions, and spiritual formation on Wednesdays 6-7:30 pm.
Adult Sponsor mentorship: Throughout the year, candidates will have periodic meetings with their chosen sponsor that will help guide and prepare them for life as a practicing Catholic after Confirmation. SPONSOR PACKETS: YEAR 1 YEAR 2
Other commitments: Candidates commit to regular Mass attendance, attending a retreat for each year of preparation, and participate in service-learning as a part of their preparation for the sacrament. Click here for information about potential service projects.
Cost: $60 which covers the cost of materials/retreats. Assistance available.
Registration is now open. Please contact the Faith Formation Coordinator for more information.
Check out additional Youth Ministry Offerings here.