Confirmation FAQsBasics: Involvement in Youth Ministry; Mandatory Parent Meeting; 16 SCYM Youth Nights attended; Parent Participation; Service Projects; Yearly Retreat; Verbal Saint Report & Bishop's Letter.
"Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the 'sacraments of Christian initiation,' whose unity must be safeguarded. ...the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. For 'by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.'" (CCC, 1285)
The path to Confirmation at Santa Clara takes place in the context of Youth Ministry. Readiness for Teens 9th grade and above seeking the sacrament of Confirmation is determined by the engagement of the youth in the life of the parish, including:
- Attend 16 Youth Nights
- Participate in Sunday Liturgies Weekly (and Holy Days of Obligation)
- Participate in the Life of the Community
- Catechesis through (among other ways) Youth Nights and the following:
- Retreats (1 each year) and
- Saint Report
- Letter to Bishop and Youth Minister
- Parents--Dinner Teams
- Interview with Confirmation Team Adults/Pastor before reception of sacrament
SCYM Nights are at least one Sunday a month, with additional social activities and service opportunities scheduled throughout the year. Our SCYM Nights are for High School Students and follow the Sunday 5pm Youth Mass once a month for a dynamic gathering beginning with Mass, followed by a meal, and opportunities for community-building, faith-building, and fun through large group programs, Bible study, catechetical activities, and small group experiences. These are a special times for our high school students to fellowship together, with caring mentors. We often have a theme and guest speakers to help foster fellowship and faith amongst our teens, as well as small groups and ample opportunities for faith responses that fit the many personalities of our teens. A committed team of adults and young adults work together to vision, plan, and provide an exciting and welcoming environment, to help compliment the faith formation that takes place in the home.
Our teens are expected to participate fully in our parish community and our weekly Mass. Many youth attend mass at 5pm on Sunday evenings, since we often have youth events on that night. Teens are welcomed to inquire and encouraged to grow in service as Lectors, Altar Servers, Ushers or Musicians/Singers.
If the Info and FAQ's below do you address your question or concern, please contact Eric Summerfield, Director of Youth Ministry and Confirmation may be reached at 714-722-0438 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
INFO & FAQs:
- Mandatory Parent Meeting
- When does the Program Start?
- Attendance Requirements
- Mass Requirements
- Why do we not have weekly classes?
- What if I have questions?
- Why do we have to meet requirements?
- Christian Service Projects
- Sponsor and Patron Saints
- Letter to the Bishop
- How long should my letter to the Bishop be?
- How long should my Saint Report be?
MANDATORY Parent Meeting: Sunday, August 18th 6:30pm - 8pm or Make up Meeting September 15, 2013 6:30 - 8pm
Program begins: Fall 2013Classes: Youth Ministry will meet at least once a month on Sunday Nights from 5:00pm - 9:00 PM beginning with Mass. These will begin with Mass and continue with dinner, worship, community-building, sharing, and learning activities, and small group time where students will share experiences and grow in faith together with experienced mentors.
Mass: Jesus Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, which is the "Source and Summit of the life and mission of the Church," forming us as his eucharistic people. For our Confirmandi to truly know Christ, they need to attend Sunday Mass at least weekly. Of course, all Catholics must attend weekly Mass, unless sick or receiving a dispensation from a priest, so this is to say that Confirmandi are stepping into that adult commitment to which we are all called. Our SCYM Youth Nights begin with the 5pm Sunday Mass to emphasize just how crucial the Eucharist is to our formation as the Body of Christ and growth in the faith.
Why do we not have weekly Classes? Many other programs fully separate their Confirmation classes from the rest of the youth ministry and have them go weekly to class. We at Santa Clara feel it is very important that the Confirmandi get the most comprehensive and well-rounded education and experience of what it means to be Catholic, so our young people can make the best choice for themselves when it comes time for the Rite of the Sacrament. So instead of weekly classes, participation in Sunday Mass, Youth Ministry, and service in the parish enable full immersion into the life of Faith.
What if I have questions about my teen? As we progress throughout the year, if you need to know your teen’s status in relation to the requirements, please feel free to contact the youth office and we will get that information to you as soon as possible.
Why do we have to meet these Requirements?: We at Santa Clara recognize that Football is a huge commitment and very important in an adolescent’s life. Cheerleading, Concert Choir, Dance, Debate, Soccer: these are all huge commitments. All of these or any extra curricular activity in our youth’s life is very important and we do not want to and we will do our best to try not compete with them. I know it is extremely difficult to fit everything in, but their faith has to be their FIRST priority if they are saying yes to Christ and Confirmation in the Catholic Church. For this reason, we have put an emphasis on Sundays, the Lord's Day. If we focus on giving this time on Sunday evenings to God, we can model for our teens how to give God his due and be strengthened and directed in the rest of our doings!
Christian Service Projects: Service projects give us the opportunity to find out first hand who Christ is. "In as much as you have done unto the least of these, you have done unto me," Jesus says, and to be great in the kingdom is to be last and servant of all. As we will specify at the Parent night, we ask that these be service projects in and through Parish ministry at Santa Clara. These projects will be tracked by the adult in charge of your youth's class. Please feel free to ask any questions. In conjunction with the St. Vincent de Paul Ministries and others, we will have opportunities throughout the year to meet Christ in the poor and service to others.
Sponsors and Patron Saints: We assume that parents are taking a key role in the faith formation of their youth. In addition, every Confirmandi needs to have a couple of companions of their choice on their journey. We call these people their sponsor and their patron saint. A sponsor is a person that acts as their Catholic mentor or guide. All through life we have mentors helping us out. We have coaches, trainers, choreographers, choirmasters, teachers, scout masters, pack leaders, and band leaders. It is even more important with our faith. We need someone to be one on one with our youth. We need someone to be Christ to them, a coach in the Catholic Faith. This person should be in at least weekly connection and conversation with the Confirmandi to continually discuss the Catholic faith. It would be ideal if this person was their godparent, but we know that for many reasons this cannot always be. The sponsor needs to be confirmed in the Catholic faith, at least 18 years of age, attending at least weekly Mass, in good standing with the Church, be able to receive the Sacraments and can not be a parent, a step-parent, or sibling. The reason for this is to encourage the young person to reach out to the community for further assistance, assuming that parents and family are already guiding the youth. This person should be very comfortable in their faith and genuinely concerned for the faith development of the Confirmandi.
The sponsor is not the only person the Confirmandi chooses to walk with them throughout the two years and throughout their lives--they also choose a patron saint. In the Catholic Church we believe that God is a God of the living not of the dead, which means that the saints are alive and involved in our lives. We call on them for help and they do respond. They are in eternal unity with Jesus and are in constant communication with Him. We ask our friends to pray for us and we ask our saints to pray for us as well. For us it is the same action. We are asking our heavenly friends to pray for us and walk with us, and they do. Even though Jesus was fully human and fully divine, it can be hard for us at times to fully relate to Him because, after all, He is God and without sin. We look for a patron saint to find someone who walked our walk. One we can look up to and relate with at the same time. The Confirmandi should find someone they have something in common with and see how they made it to holiness and let them be their example. Then we challenge the Confirmandi to include their patron saint in their daily prayers, asking for assistance and perseverance in their faith journey. We ask them to develop a relationship with their saint. We will help the students find an appropriate saint to accompany them on their journey. Once a saint is chosen, they will do a report on their particular saint.
Retreat: Our final requirement of the Confirmandi, your sons and daughters, is that they go on one retreat per year with their confirmandi community to better understand God, their faith and to have a stronger desire to be at one with Jesus Christ. This is not only part of our program, but a Confirmation retreat is also a requirement of the diocese. This requirement must be fulfilled through Santa Clara Parish only - Retreats may not be done through another parish.
Interview: All teens who desire the Sacrament of Confirmation need to go through a 15 minute Interview with one of my Confirmation Team Adults the month before they receive the Sacrament.
Letter to the Bishop and Youth Minister:Instructions to follow
Saint Presentation Info Each teen will be responsible for a 5 minute presentation on their Confirmation Saint. This report will be given orally to their small group.
When is Eric available for questions? Please contact Eric via email at email@example.com or you can reach him by phone at 714-722-0438.