A TWO YEAR CONFIRMATION PREPARATION PROGRAM
We extend a warm welcome to our Confirmation candidates, their sponsors and their parents! This is a two-year faith formation process for high school students, but the preparation process can vary depending on individual circumstances. The best way for parents to prepare their child to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation is to model active participation in the Sacraments, especially weekly Mass attendance.
There are three components to our parish Confirmation Preparation Program:
- Mass/Class Sessions
- Sponsor Meetings/Retreat and Special Events
- Works of Mercy Projects
The Confirmation preparation program is designed to help guide our youth on their journey of Christian initiation in the life of Christ and His church. Class, retreats, mass and service to others help to open their minds and hearts to Christ’s teachings.
Confirmation is a two-year program that typically takes place in 9th and 10th grade; however the preparation program is open to all high school students who have not yet been confirmed.
If you are in high school and did not enter the program in 9th grade and would like to register for Confirmation please contact the Director of Confirmation. Mary Collins at (978) 320-4206.
Attending a parent meeting is a mandatory requirement for enrolling your child in the program. There are meetings in the Spring for the Fall/Winter session and meetings in the Fall for Winter/Spring session.
Before your teen is placed in a Confirmation Class they are required to take and pass (80 or above) the Assessment of Basic Catholicism or take the Basics class.
The two year program includes:
- Select a sponsor. Sponsor and Candidate meet with one another during the preparation for Confirmation.
- Meeting with class six (6) or seven (7) times per year for class/mass sessions.
- Works of Mercy projects.
- Attending at least one (1) retreat over the two year period. New Spirit Retreat for Confirmation.
- Attending dinner with Father Peter or Father Joe with your class (2nd year).
- Writing a reflection of one (1) Work of Mercy project or one for each project you complete outside of the class.
- Writing a letter to the bishop (2nd year).
- Attending special programs outside of the class/mass sessions. (Chasisty Event, Time of Prayer, & Living Stations, etc.).
- Attending weekly Mass.
- Meeting sponsors outside of class sessions.
- Choosing a confirmation name (2nd year).
- Attending the Triduum.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Why does my child have to take an assessment and/or attend classes before they will be placed in a permanent class?
- The Confirmation Program is designed to lead candidates to a deeper understanding of their faith through mass, prayer, service, and class time. We have found that some candidates do not have a basic understanding of their faith. i.e.,don’t know prayers, Ten Commandments or the flow of Mass.
- Our teachers (catechists) are volunteers and many are not teachers by trade. It makes for a difficult lesson when you have to teach the ‘basics’ when the curriculum for Confirmation places them at a point of basic knowledge.
- Taking the assessment allows the candidates to see where their faith knowledge is lacking or confirms their basic knowledge is right on track. We believe this is a win-win in both cases as they choose to move forward in their formation.
Special arrangements can be made if your child is on an IEP or has a special need (reading/anxiety). Please let the Confirmation Coordinator know in advance.
2. Why are there double sessions?
- There are enough classrooms for about 80-90 candidates, using the entire parish center, however we have 300 confirmation (year 1 and 2) students each year. Some candidates have busier fall schedules than spring. Double sessions allow them to choose which session will be the best for them and their families.
3. Why don’t we have classes on weeknights?
- An important part of Confirmation preparation is participation in Sunday Mass. Class time is directly before Sunday evening Mass and the students attend Mass with their class and catechists as part of the program design.
- We have seating for 650 people in the church. With 80 candidates and 80 sponsors that leaves 480 seats, leaving approximately 6 seats for each family. The bishops have requested parishes schedule Confirmation ceremonies in the fall or early spring, outside the Lenten and Easter seasons because of busy schedules. One ceremony is approximately a four hour commitment from start to finish. Two ceremonies in one day is very taxing on the bishops and priests as well as the parish as a whole i.e., Music, Altar Servers, and staff.
When we comply with the bishop’s request to avoid late spring we are more likely to get our first preference of date and time.
5. Why do I need to attend another parent meeting? I just enrolled an older child last year?
- It is at the parent meeting you enroll your child. These meetings help parents to be aware of the current needs and scheduling, which differs from year to year. Father Peter and Father Joe also like to personally welcome each group into the program.
Fall Confirmation Enrollment (for classes that start in October)- April/May enrollment, parent(s) attend to learn about program, enroll students and pay fee.
Spring Confirmation Enrollment (for classes that start in January or February)- November registration, parent(s) attend to learn about program, enroll students and pay fee.
Space in each session is limited.