Confirmation Session Recaps


OCTOBER SESSION:

BUILDING A COMMUNITY

Main Idea:

We are a community that will learn, grow, and celebrate together as we prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation. We will come together in three different communities: a large, whole group; and a small table group with a designated adult leader.

Topics Covered:

To begin, check out this video that is an overview of Confirmation.

 

Design a Disciple 

Confirmation is saying yes to discipleship…a disciple is a follower, one who accepts and assists in spreading the teachings of another. A Christian disciple is a person who accepts and assists in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.

Think about what the traits of a follower of Christ are. What is a disciple? 

On paper, draw a person; add all the traits that are the traits of a disciple.


Everyday Christian 

We can deepen our relationship with God by practicing our faith in everyday life. It is our actions, not just our words that make us Christians.

Check out the infographic below. These are just a few ideas that can help you live a Christian life. What is an 11th goal that you feel would be important to add?

 

A Well Built Faith and the Four Pillars

Whenever we want to develop a relationship with someone, we seek to get to know and understand them better. What types of relationships do we experience in our life? What makes those relationships successful?

Through our baptism, we entered into a deep, intimate and loving relationship with God. This relationship is supported four pillars of our faith:

  • Creed - what we believe about God
  • Sacraments - how we express our love for God and vice versa
  • Morality - how we act toward God and others
  • Prayer - how we communicate with God


What is Confirmation

There are also some requirements that go along with preparing for Confirmation. Take a look at this checklist. If you can, print off this checklist to express your feelings about each statement by using the code found below. Then as an symbol of your commitment to preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation, sign in the signature box. 

Codes for expressing your feelings:

C = This will be challenging for me
E = This will be easy for me
F = I am looking forward to this
H = I will need help with this
I = I will need more information


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NOVEMBER SESSION:

CREED

Main Idea:

Creeds help us articulate what we believe, especially the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds. And Saints set an example for us to live those creeds. 

Topics Covered:

Who Cares About The Saints

Father James Martin is a Jesuit priest who has created videos about 12 different saints. To begin, watch his introduction video about why saints are important.

Saints Among Us

There are many saintly people around us that can help us lead holy lives. While canonized saints are people who have died and performed miracles from Heaven, there are saintly people living today. In 2014, the movie St. Vincent was released about a young boy who befriends a crabby neighbor. Towards the end of the movie, the boy (Oliver) makes a presentation at school about how his neighbor and babysitter Vince is saintly.

 

Creeds

A creed is a short, structured and concise way of expressing the beliefs of the faith. It is how we hold onto and pass on our faith.

The word creed comes from the Latin credo, which means I believe. 

The purpose of creeds is to:

  • Catechize
    • to teach new believers what the church stands for
  • Defend
    • to guard the faith against heresies and false doctrines
  • Evangelize
    • to tell the world the core of what the church believes

Two notable Catholic creeds are The Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed. The Apostles' Creed is named after the 12 Apostles. On the day of Pentecost, and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles made a preaching agreement for when they went out into the world to spread the Good News. Legend has it that each Apostle wrote one of the points in the creed. Whether that is true or not, this 12 point creed is the first statement of what Christians believe. 

The Nicene Creed is formed from the Apostles' Creed. It came from the First Council of Nicaea in 325 and the First Council of Constantinople in 381 (cities in present-day Turkey). Councils are meetings where the world's bishops come together to define teachings of the church. The Councils were called because of heresies (false teachings) that said that God the Father was more supreme than the Son or the Holy Spirit. If you check out the comparison between The Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed, you can see how the Nicene Creed addresses that heresy by expanding the statements about the divinity of Christ and Holy Spirit.

Creeds.png

How does this relate to Confirmation? The Sacrament of Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace - including the fact that '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."

 

But if we have the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit and the Bible in our lives, do we need the church and its creeds, rules, and rituals? Check out this video to hear some points made about organized religion.

Now check out a response that a priest from Chicago put together.

 

personal creed

There are two handouts below for you to read through. The first is a brief overview of the basics of what we believe as Catholics. As you read through it, ask yourself if you understand what each statement is saying (ie, do I know what the sacraments are? do I understand what original sin is? etc). The second is common myths that some people believe about Catholics. 

Common_Catholic_Church_Myths.png

Now it is your turn to write your own personal creed. Take time to write out what you believe in regard to your religion and faith. Be honest and detailed in what you accept in your heart as true. You can use the Beliefs, Practices, and Attitudes, the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed as references. 

Because this is personal, there is no need to share it with anyone. This is meant to be an exercise in putting what you believe into words. 

For december

Read Theology of Stewardship article by Bishop Bob.

Take Gifts Survey to determine what gifts God has given you.


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DECEMBER SESSION:

GIFTS AND STEWARDSHIP

Main Idea:

God gives us many gifts and we are called to be good stewards of those gifts. 

Topics Covered:

Gifts in Scripture

We learn about God through Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. We can look to Sacred Scripture to discern what God wants us to know about the gifts He has given us. 

Look up the following scripture verses and reflect what God is trying to tell us about our gifts.

  • Romans 12:3-8
  • 1 Peter 4:10-11
  • 1 Corinthians 12:7-11
  • 1 Corinthians 12:28-31
  • 1 Corinthians 13:1-3


A few main points to notice from the scripture verses are:

  • Everyone has a gift but no one is to think their figt is better than other's.
  • Everyone has at least one Spiritual Gift and believers are to use their gifts to glorify God.
  • We cannot choose our gifts; God does that job
  • No one has all the gifts
  • Gifts used without love do not accomplish God's intended purposes. 

 

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
A spirit of counsel and of strength,
a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
Not by appearance shall he judge,
nor by hearsay shall he decide,


Isaiah 11:2-3 reveals the gifts that we recieve from the Holy Spirit. 

These are the gifts the Holy Spirit gave us at our Baptism. They are freely given to us to help us live as followers of Jesus and build up the Body of Christ...the Church. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are sealed and strengthened within us at Confirmation. These are the gifts God has given us to keep. They are part of our inner transformation to be more Christ-like.

Reflect of the meaning of each gift and which gift is the strongest within you and which gift needs the most strengthening. 

  • Wisdom helps us to see the world through God’s perspective – not our own.
  • Understanding is the ability to comprehend the meaning of God's message.
  • Knowledge is the ability to think about and explore God's revelation, and also to recognize there are mysteries of faith beyond us.
  • Counsel or Right Judgement is the ability to see the best way to follow God's plan when we have choices that relate to him.
  • Fortitude or Courage is doing what one knows is right.
  • Piety helps us pray to God in true devotion and to recognize what is holy and sacred.
  • Fear of the Lord is the feeling of amazement before God.


Here is a way to pray for the strengthening of the gifts of the Holy Spirit...Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Spiritual Gifts

The Holy Spirit gives other spiritual gifts. We may recieve one or more of these gifts and they stay with us for a long time, if not forever. They may be extraordinary or simple gifts but they are always for the benefit of the church. While the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are meant for us to keep within us, these spiritual gifts are meant for us to share. 

Take the Spiritual Gifts Survey to determine which is your strongest gift...Gifts Survey

For definitions, characteristics, and saints who also had the same Spiritual Gifts...Charism Discriptions 

Stewardship

All of our gifts are meant to be shared. At Resurrection, we are blessed because we have Bishop Bob. He is known around the world for his writings and teachings on stewardship. Here are two quotes from him:

“I have a dream that I die and the Lord says, ‘Morneau, you were an eight-cylinder car and you only used two cylinders.’” 

“The core of stewardship is gratitude – a gratitude that overflows into giving as a way of thankfulness for all that God has given us.”


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JANUARY SESSION:

SPONSORS AND THE EUCHARIST

This session was different than our previous sessions. In addition to working with a sponsor or parent, it also focused on two separate topics:

  • the role of a sponsor for Confirmation
  • the importance of the Eucharist to our faith 

Throughout the night, we used two resource packets - one for you (the candidate) and one for your sponsor. You and your sponsor can view or print them through the following links:

Candidate Resource Packet

Sponsor Resource Packet

Part 1 - Sponsors:

Communication

e began the night with an interesting activity. You and your sponsor can also participate in this activity by using your resource packets. Here's what you do:

  1. On page 2 of the packets, you and your sponsor have two different pictures. Position yourselves so that you can't see eachother.
  2. Describe you picture to your sponsor. They are to draw what you describe on the top have of their page. Even after you have finished, don't look at each other's packet. 
  3. Next you will switch roles. Your sponsor will describe the picture at the bottom of their page to you. However, you are to close your eyes as you draw. Your sponsor can watch you but you are to draw blindly. 
  4. Afterwards, check out how well you did by comparing both sets of pictures. 

There are many good points and lessons from this activity. First, communication between you and your sponsor will be very important. Being able to explain yourself and to listen closely will help in your journey to Confirmation and beyond. Secondly, sometimes we don't know what we're doing or where we are going, so we have to rely on others to help us - like your sponsor. When it comes to exploring your faith and your relationship to God, it is important to have someone to talk to and help you. 

Role of a sponsor

On pages 3-6 in the Sponsor Resource Packet is information about the role of a sponsor. The biggest responsibilities for a sponsor is to pray for their candidate, to meet with the candidate at least once a month, and plan a spiritual activity.

There are suggestions for spiritual activities on page 5.
Discussion questions to start conversations are on pages 12 & 13

Spiritual Timeline and spiritual growth plan

Both you and your sponsor have a Spiritual Timeline in your packets. Your sponsor and you can completed your timelines by documenting important times in your lives and share them with each other. 

Here is the start of an example:

spiritual timeline.PNG

There is also Spiritual Growth Plans in your packets. Use the circle diagram to identify areas that you and your sponsor wish to grow in before celebrating Confirmation. Try to be as specific as possible in each of the areas of knowledge, attitude, and behavior. When finish, share your plans with each other and maybe discuss how you can support each other. 

Here is a more detailed explanation of how to fill in the areas and ideas:

spiritual growth plan.PNG

Confirmation Name

Hopefully on your timeline is when you were baptized. Baptism and Confirmation are closely connected because it is Confirmation that completes the initiation into the Church that Baptism started. During Confirmation, the Bishop will call you by name. There are two practices regarding the name he will say. He can call you by your Baptismal name or by a Christian name of your choice. It is tradition to choose the name of a saint that you feel connected to. On pages 8-11 is a listing of some saints and their patronages but feel free to look for others. Talk with your sponsor about which name you would like to choose. If you choose a name because of a saint, learn more about them and look to them help you grow in your relationship to God.

Important forms

On pages 12 & 13 of your (Candidate Resource) packet are forms for you to fill out about your Confirmation name and your Sponsors contact information. These two forms are to be returned at the February session. 

 

Part 2 - The Eucharist:

Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist are sacraments of Initiation. They are the foundations of our lives as Christians. It is the Eucharist that is at the heart of the Church's life and it is the most important thing we can do. It is the ultimate celebration of the Paschal Mystery - the mystery of how Jesus' suffering, death, Resurrection, and Ascension saves us from sin and death. 

Watch these two videos about the Eucharist and reflect on the questions that follow.

For February

Sponsor Name and Contact Information Due

Confirmation Name Due

Prayer and Spirituality will be the focus

Read A Well-Built Faith pages 131-156


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FEBRUARY SESSION:

PRAYER AND SPIRITUALITY

Main Idea:

Prayer is our relationship with God. When we talk, ask, think, and love God, that is prayer. Regardless if it is formal or informal, spoken or silent, traditional or spontaneous, with words or with action, it is the communication with God that makes a prayer.

How we approach God in prayer and how we live out the Gospel is our spirituality. There is not a one-size-fits-all way to live a Christian life and we all have our own unique relationship with God. Over time, there have been are many different examples of living the faith from devout people that we can look to as guides to help us grow in our personal relationship with God. Those examples have developed into the traditional spiritualities, such as Franciscan, Ignatian, Augustinian, and Thomistic. 

Topics Covered:

Prayer

We began the session on prayer by having all the table leaders share their thoughts about prayer. Each adult talked about their definitions of prayer and their different experiences of praying.

The catalyst behind beginning the session this way was because a new study came out that asked young adults that are former Catholics why they left the church. Many responses revolved around prayer. Individuals shared that despite their prayers, God seemed to be absent. Their prayers weren't answered and bad things still happened. 

The table leaders wanted to share with everyone their response to some misconceptions about prayer that some young adults might have. They wanted to say what prayer is and isn't.

Here are some interesting points that were shared:

  • Prayer isn't magic - it's not about just asking God for something.
  • Prayer should be about aligning yourself to God's will, not aligning God to your will.
  • Praying isn't just about talking to God, it's also about listening.
  • Traditional prayers (like the Our Father, the Rosary, etc) help us to focus on God and to help us speak to God when we don't know the words to use.
  • There are many, many different ways to pray. It's important be exposed to as many as possible and to find the way that is best for you personally.
  • We all struggle with prayer at times but it's crucial to persevere.

Take the time to talk to at least 3 people about their thoughts and experiences with prayer. Talk to your parents, grandparents, sponsor, friends, etc. to hear what others have to say about the subject. In addition to those 3 people, here are three videos of people sharing ideas about prayer. 

 


The infographic below lays out the reasons, types, forms and strategies of prayer. 

Prayer.png

prayer experiences

The second half of the session was spent in prayer experiences. 

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MARCH SESSION:

MORAL LIFE

Main Idea:

Living a moral life is all about living the faith. It's about moving from just knowing about God to living as God wants us to live.

Topics Covered:

LEnt

During the 40 days of Lent, we are called to form new life-giving habits and abandon old self-destructive habits to become better disciples of Christ. We can do this through praying, fasting, and giving:

  • When we pray, we are renewed and filled with .
  • When we fast, we are repenting and depending on God.
  • When we give, we are building our community and sharing with others. 

Define Morality

The source and the summary of morality is the Law of Love - the Great Commandments of loving God and loving your neighbor. It's about living a life that God wants you to live, to love and act with the heart of Christ. Morality is also the call to recognize our dignity and the dignity of others because we are all made in the image of God. God gave us the ability and capacity to act freely when we created us. He wants to be in union with us but also wants it to be our choice. As in any relationship, in makes a difference if a person is in the relationship because they want to, as opposed to being forced or having no other options.

That's why God gave us free will, which is where the goodness and sinfulness of our choices and actions comes in. True freedom and happiness comes from the goodness our choices and actions - when we choose and act in ways that is in harmony with God's plan. Slavery and desolation comes when we choose not to do good and commit sin - when we offend and turn away from God.

Morality Factors.PNG

How to Know what's moral

Thankfully, God has given us guides to help know how he wants us to live. Here is a list of some of the most essential ways of living morally.

An interesting point about the 7 Virtues and the 7 Deadly Sins is that each of the virtues combats a sin. 

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moral acts

The bishops of the US say moral acts are the goodness or evil of particular actions. Every moral act consists of three elements: 

  • the object (what we do); 
  • the intention (why we do the act); 
  • the circumstance (conditions surrounding the act). 

All elements have to be good for the act to be considered moral.  But if only one element is bad, then the act is morally bad. 

Moral Acts.PNG

models of morality

During class, each group created a model of a teen in today's culture. In green/blue, the groups identified traits that they believe a moral teenager would have. In red, the groups identified sins and temptations that teens have to face today and that challenge or morality. Check out what the groups created and think about what you agree/disagree with. 

morals: Some are easier than others

From the 10 Commandments to the 7 Deadly Sins, there are many lists in our faith that help us to live moral lives. And within those lists, some items are easier to follow than others. In class, groups discussed which virtues, Beatitudes, Commandments, and sins are easier to follow and which are harder to follow. As you read through the chart below with the responses from the groups, reflect on which beliefs and practices of the Catholic faith are easy for you to follow and which are hard.