Confirmation Exploration - Preparation and Integration

7th and 8th Grade Faith Formation

We use an RCIA model for confirmation exploration, formation, reflection, and mission, called "Confirmed In A Faithful Community."*  This model invites members of the community to share their faith journeys and spiritual practice with the candidates.

Confirmation Exploration

During the first year, the youth explore the meaning of life empowered by the Holy Spirit.  They are encouraged to grow in deepening relationship with the Holy Spirit--the Holy Spirit within and the Holy Spirit revealed in a faithful community.  
The first part of this process explores the beauty of the individual and the nature of spirituality.  As part of this process, the catechist invites other members of the community to share dimensions of their spiritual journeys with the youth. It is a process of opening the eyes, listening more deeply, and growing the heart.

Confirmation Preparation

During the Sacrament of Confirmation, we invite the Holy Spirit to be at the center of our lives, leading and guiding us. The celebration of Confirmation is a way of  ritualistically proclaiming a deepening friendship with the Spirit and a spiritual community.
During the second year they continue to consciously develop their relationship with the Holy Spirit. and their desire to be confirmed as ones guided by God's Holy Spirit.  During this year  candidates intentionally reflect on the life and mission of Jesus and on living in the reign of God. The Confirmation candidates do service and continue to grow their hearts, listen more deeply and open their eyes to the significance of choosing to live as a friend of the Holy Spirit. The Confirmandi prepare for receiving the sacrament and being empowered to join the work of God's Spirit, making all things new.

Confirmation Integration 
After confirmation, the youth are encouraged to fully integrate into the life of the community in co-creating God's reign on earth.  They are invited to become active members in all aspects of the social justice and liturgical life of the community.  

Resources Available.
Voices and Digging Deep:   programs designed to facilitate the spiritual growth of adolescents, 

There’s a big difference between church work and the work of the Church. The former keeps us busy maintaining an institution, while the latter takes us out of our comfort zones and sends us into the world to join the work of God’s Spirit, making all things new.

"Confirmation Reminds Us That You've Got A Friend " Homily by Bishop Gumbleton

  *“Confirmed In A Faithful Community” celebrates each person’s entering more deeply into their own relationship with God along with a specific community of believers. It emphasized nurturing the child's own actual relationship with God (faith formation) and connecting them more deeply with their specific Eucharistic community. It involves four phases.  In the first, we  invite the youth to experience reflecting on their own faith together in a way which is engaging and enjoyable.  Those who wish to continue enter the second phase, during which we focus on the life, message and meaning of Jesus as the heart of Christian faith.  Those interested in seeking confirmation in this faith by our community are blessed by the parish and engage with sponsors.  In the third phase, we consider how Christian faith has been and continues to be lived by Catholics, and specifically by St. Cronan’s adults, through their ways of praying, communities, works in the world, sacraments, etc.  Then we celebrate confirmation.  The fourth phase focuses on each confirmed youth integrating their faith into their ordinary life, and in participating in the parish as a confirmed member.

What age for Confirmation?  In the Jewish tradition a youth becomes a Bar or Bah Mitzvah at 13 years old.  In theMilwaukee diocese teens are confirmed at 16 years old.  My cousin's daughter was just confirmed as a freshman in college.  In the St. Louis Diocese Confirmation normally occurs in the Spring of 7th or 8th grade (which for most kids are the ages 13 and 14.)  At St. Cronan, we encourage the youth to be at least 13 at the time of Confirmation.   
Tom Kuciejczyk-Kernan