What is Confirmation?
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.
MIDDLE SCHOOL 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, this Confirmation preparation is a journey of faith. We begin at the start of the 7th grade year for Catholic students who are enrolled in ether St. Bernard School or St. Bernard Family Faith Formation. More details about the process for preparing will be presented to each family.
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 at work in their lives through the signs, symbols, rituals, and sacraments of the Church. Where they 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.
Families with a child who will be in grade 7 for school year 2023-24 are asked to sign up for a parent and child meeting time to review the process for the coming year. Sign up here.
HIGH SCHOOL YOUTH AND/OR ADULTS PREPARING FOR THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION
Practicing Catholic adults and high school youth who have received First Eucharist and First Reconciliation but are lacking the Sacrament of Confirmation, should contact Cyndi Marlow in the parish office. We will work together to arrange a tailored program to prepare you for the Sacrament.