The Gifts of the Holy Spirit bestowed in Baptism are sealed in the Sacrament of Confirmation. As St. Ambrose says, “Recall then that you have received the spiritual seal, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the spirit of holy fear in God’s presence. Guard what you have received. God the Father has marked you with his sign; Christ the Lord has confirmed you and has placed his pledge, the Spirit, in your hearts.”
What is Confirmation?
Though we’ve often heard youth referred to as the “future of our Church,” the truth is, parish youth are essential members of our Church community now. As such, it’s important that our faith community find continuous ways to engage and form parish youth in the faith throughout their life, encouraging them to discover and utilize their God-given talents for His glory.
One of the natural opportunities to accomplish this is through the Sacrament of Confirmation. The third and final sacrament of Christian Initiation, Confirmation marks a period of maturation in the Christian life. Baptismal promises are renewed and the candidate receives a new outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Through the laying on of hands and anointing by the bishop, the confirmandi are sealed and confirmed into full union with Christ. They are then commissioned to go out and share the Good News of Christ by both word and example. This is only truly possible, however, if the confirmandi have first entered into a personal relationship with the Lord themselves.
Who is Eligible?
Here in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Confirmation traditionally takes place during the eleventh grade or junior year of high school. Our Confirmation program is open to any age-appropriate youth who is already a member of St. Angela Merici parish or who lives within our parish boundaries. Confirmandi wishing to be confirmed at St. Angela Merici Church but who live outside our parish boundaries must first obtain a written letter of permission from their registered parish pastor.
The Confirmation Preparation Process at St. Angela Merici:
Though formal faith formation is certainly an important part of our Confirmation Preparation Program, here at St. Angela Merici, we seek to adopt first and foremost a relational approach. Our hope is that Confirmation candidates will develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that will sustain them throughout their adult life. That they will come to know, love, and serve Christ and His Church, fully embracing a life of active discipleship.
To facilitate this process, Confirmation candidates must participate in our sacramental preparation program, which occurs a minimum of six months prior to receiving their Confirmation. In light of current COVID-19 restriction and guidelines, this year’s preparation will take place within small group gatherings known as Discipleship Groups (D-Groups). These D-Groups are gender-exclusive, consisting of two safe-environment trained adult mentors and roughly 8-10 youth. They will meet a total of 8 sessions (roughly twice a month) at the date, time and location determined by that particular group from September-December. The D-Group must also come up with and complete a service project together by December 19 outside of their regular D-Group Gatherings. Examples/ideas will be provided by the Catechetical Coordinator.
In addition to these D-Group gatherings, candidates must also participate in a mandatory Confirmation retreat, which will take place on Saturday, October 17 from 9:00-5:00 p.m. Candidates will also attend an interview with either Fr. Beau Charbonnet, Fr. Dan Darmanin, or our Catechetical Coordinator Audrey Huck in late November/early December to determine their readiness to receive this important sacrament. Attached, you will find a summary of all important dates and preparation requirements as well as the necessary forms and waivers to register for this year’s Confirmation program. Registrations are due by Monday, August 31 and there is a mandatory orientation for both parents and candidates on Thursday, September 3. For more information about the 2020-2021 Confirmation Program, please contact coordinator Audrey Huck at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summary of Confirmation Preparation Dates & Requirements:
- Mandatory Orientation for both parents and candidates – Thursday, September 3 in the Gym.
- Active participation in a D-Group (consisting of approximately 8 gatherings) in the months leading up to the sacrament. D-Groups will meet at the date/time/location determined by that particular group. All scheduled sessions must be attended.
- Mandatory Confirmation Retreat on October 17, 2020, from 9:00-5:00 p.m. (Location St. Angela Merici Campus).
- Personal interview with Fr. Beau Charbonnet, Fr. Dan Darmanin, or Catechetical Coordinator Audrey Huck in late November/early December. These will be scheduled at a later date.
- Confirmation Sponsor Form & Confirmation Saint due no later than Sunday, December 6.
- Participation in a service project (date and project determined by D-Group) no later than December 19.
Attend Confirmation practice on Monday, January 4th at 7 pm with your sponsor. If your sponsor cannot be present, have someone to stand in their place.
St. Angela Merici’s Confirmation is scheduled for Tuesday, January 5, 2021