Confirmation is the third Sacrament of Initiation in the Roman Catholic Church. Confirmation is the Sacrament in which the baptized are strengthened by the Holy Spirit in order to bear witness to Christ and prepare to take on the role of a disciple.
"Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit." - John 14:16
Just as Baptism gives new life, Eucharist nourishes life, and Reconciliation restores life when it is broken, Confirmation strengthens that life by the gifts of the Holy Spirit (cf. CCC 1285). Confirmation is about strengthening what God has given, and continues to give, to his sons and daughters (cf. CCC 1302-1303). Confirmation establishes the beginning—not the end or “graduation”—of a life of full, and active participation, and responsibility in the Church.
To confirm means to strengthen. In Confirmation, our faith is deepened and strengthened. Sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation, we more perfectly become the image of God.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church lists five effects of Confirmation:
· It roots us more deeply in the divine filiation [as sons of God] 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.
YOUTH PREPARING FOR THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION
The St. Bernard Youth Confirmation Preparation process prepares candidates to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation as part of their ongoing faith journey. The opportunities for service, personal growth, and faith-building will allow candidates to connect with their parish, the community, to use the gifts of the Spirit in witnessing their faith, and demonstrate their sincere desire to be confirmed.
More than a program, Confirmation preparation is a journey. We begin in mid-October for Catholic students 7th-grade (and any Catholic 8th grade student who may be new or may have missed Confirmation) who are enrolled in ether St. Bernard School or St. Bernard Family Faith Formation. The celebration of the Sacrament is typically held in early or mid-May.
Over the course of this Confirmation Journey, we will walk together and explore and enrich our faith by following Christ and being open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is not a catechetical program where we instill or pump knowledge or INFORMATION in the minds of young Catholics. It is a process of being IN-FORMATION, where youth experience God in their lives through the signs, symbols, rituals, and sacraments of the Church, to grow and deepen their relationship with Christ and his Church. By our baptism, we are all called to be disciples of Christ in our world. The Sacrament of Confirmation is an extension of our baptism and first communion, where we realize the gifts that the Holy Spirit has instilled in us and we go forth and use those gifts for the glory of God, however we may be called to that.
We look forward to spending this school year with you as a community of faith.
Candidate/Family Forms and Links
The registration link for the 2020-2021 school year has been disabled. However, please contact Cyndi Marlow in the parish office if you would like to arrange to have a youth be able to particpate in the journey this year.
Sponsor Forms and Links
Practicing Catholic adults and high school youth who have received First Eucharist and First Reconciliation but are lacking only the Sacrament of Confirmation, should contact Cyndi Marlow in the parish office to arrange a tailored program to prepare them for the Sacrament.