Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on Pinterest Connect on Google Plus Connect on Flickr Connect on YouTube

Clarifying the Confusion on Confirmation

April 26, 2010

Some one once said that Confirmation is the Sacrament in search of a theology. While not true the statement does capture that there is a lot of incorrect and sometimes silly teaching about this sacrament to young people. It is the season for Confirmations and I want to explore the what the Catechism teaches about the sacrament but first exclude certain common but incorrect notions about Confirmation.

1. Confirmation is not a Sacrament of Maturity – Canon Law (891) states that Confirmation is generally to be administered at about the age of discretion, which age is understood to be seven (Canon 97.2). It may be administered earlier if there is “danger of death” or “grave cause,” The same Canon allows the conference of bishops to determine another age” for reception of the sacrament. While one may argue that a later date for the Sacrament is pastorally advisable, (e.g. to keep young people engaged in catechetical instruction) one simply cannot argue that it is a “Sacrament of maturity” when Church law generally presupposes its celebration at the age of seven. This is made clearer by the fact that most Eastern Churches, and the Orthodox confirm infants.

2. Confirmation is not “becoming an adult in the Church.” – This is just plain silly. I was taught this as a mere seventh grader and found it laughable even then. Seventh graders are not adults. They are children and remain so even after confirmation.

3. Confirmation is not a sacrament where one claims or affirms the faith for himself – Baptism confers faith. To claim that Confirmation “allows me to speak for myself” is to imply that this is how faith comes about. It is to imply that baptism somehow did not actually give real faith and now I am getting it by “speaking for myself.” Faith is a gift, it is not something I cause by speaking for myself, it is something I receive as unmerited and as free. I received faith at baptism. Confirmation strengthens faith that is already there but it does not cause it. Further it is a bit of a stretch to say that seventh or eighth graders really “speak for themselves.”

4. Confirmation does not “complete Christian initiation” and “make me a full Catholic.” – One of the problems with delaying confirmation is that the three sacraments of initiation are celebrated out of proper order. The proper order of celebration is: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Communion. Hence it is Holy Communion that completes initiation not confirmation. That we celebrate it out of order creates a lot of confusion and makes initiation a little murky. The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults observes the proper order. Some diocese in this country have returned to this for children as well. In a couple of diocese of which I am aware the bishop comes to the parish and confirms the seven year old children and then, at the same Mass, gives them First Holy Communion.

So what is Confirmation?

1. Confirmation is the Christian’s Personal Pentecost – The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, The sacrament of Confirmation is the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost (# 1302) Before Pentecost, the Apostles were fearful, confused and secretive, gathering only behind locked doors. But, Suddenly from up in the sky there came a noise, like a strong driving wind which was heard all through the house where they were seated. Tongues as of fire appeared which parted and came to rest on each of them. All were filled with the Holy Spirit. They began to..make bold proclamations as the Spirit prompted them. (Acts 2:1-4) Consider the change in these men! They had been fearful and confused. Now they are courageous, boldly proclaiming Christ with insight and an effectiveness so great that three thousand were added that very day to their number. This is what can happen when we really yield to the power of the Holy Spirit. It is in the Sacrament of Confirmation that we called to experience the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to strengthen us for our mission of spreading and defending our faith. The very word, Confirmation comes from the Latin word Confirma, meaning to strengthen.

2. Confirmation strengthens and quickens our faith for witness and mission – The essential grace (or gift) of the Sacrament of Confirmation is that we should be strengthened equipped for mission. And what is that mission? Again the Catechism teaches, Jesus Christ has marked a Christian with the seal of his Spirit by clothing him with power from on high so that he may be his witness (CCC # 1304).The Catechism also teaches how the sacrament accomplishes this great strengthening within us: Confirmation…is the sacrament which gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us more firmly into Christ, strengthen our bond with the Church, associate us more closely with her mission, and help us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds (CCC # 1316).

See too how this sacrament is given to us not only for our own sakes but also for the world: …enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit…the [confirmed] are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith…( # 1285) Further, A candidate for Confirmation…[must] be prepared to assume the role of disciple and witness to Christ, both within the ecclesial community and in temporal affairs [i.e. “the world”] (CCC # 1319).

3. The Biblical roots of the Sacrament – Jesus had promised to send the Holy Spirit. For example He said,

 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you….I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. (John 16:7ff).

He also told them, But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8) And yet again, Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high. (Lk 24:49)

Within days, while they were gathered in prayer, the Holy Spirit descended on them like tongues of fire (See Acts 2:1-4 recounted earlier). The Apostles began to boldly proclaim the gospel from that day on.

Those who believed in the apostolic preaching were baptized. But in addition to baptism these apostles also laid hands on the faithful that they might receive the Holy Spirit. Sometimes this was done at the time of baptism and sometimes it was done later. Consider for example these two texts.

When the Apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. The two went down to these people and prayed that they might receive the Holy Spirit. It had not as yet come down upon them any of them since they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. The pair, upon arriving imposed hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 8:15-19)

This text shows some separation between the time of baptism and the time of confirmation (the “receiving of the Spirit). The text also explains our Catholic tradition of generally reserving the sacrament for the bishop to celebrate since, in the early Church, the Apostles made it part of their mission to impose hands for the outpouring of the Spirit. Phillip the Deacon had performed the baptisms in Samaria but he waited for the apostles to confirm them in the Spirit.

This next text shows the Apostle Paul baptizing. Because he, an apostle is present, there is no delay in confirming the newly baptized in the Spirit

“When they heard this, [Paul’s preaching] they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. As Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came down upon them and they began to speak in tongues and utter prophecies.” (Acts 19:5-6)

Thus we see the Biblical roots of the Sacrament of Confirmation. Jesus promised the Spirit and did in fact send Him on the day of Pentecost. The Apostles understood that they were not to keep this experience to themselves. So, as the catechism teaches, From that time on the apostles, in fulfillment of Christ’s will, imparted to the newly baptized by the laying on of hands the gift of the Spirit that completes the grace of Baptism….The imposition of hands is rightly recognized by the Catholic tradition as the origin of the sacrament of Confirmation, which in a certain way perpetuates the grace of Pentecost in the Church. (CCC # 1288)

4. The Importance of our Confirmation – More than ever, we need to take the power of God given in this sacrament seriously. All too frequently many Catholics are hindered by fear and confusion from proclaiming the Gospel to the world. This need not be so. There is just too much that needs to be done in proclaiming the Kingdom. We must speak boldly for Christ and announce his salvation day after day. [F]or God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self control. Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord..! (2 Tim 1:7-8) And this gift is not just for some; every member of the faithful is called to receive a special out-pouring of the Holy Spirit.

We have a mission to spread the Gospel in union with the Church by what we say and what we do. It is tragic indeed that so many have seen fit to leave this essential task to others. There is a saying that is sadly true: “Evil triumphs when the good remain silent.” Is this not what has happened in our day? How could a nation with so many Christians living in its midst have so many confused and lost sheep? If the Apostles could be so changed for their mission by the Holy Spirit, so can we. We are called to spread that faith handed down from the Apostles to our family, friends, co-workers and neighbors. And we must do so in season and out of season. In our Confirmation Christ unites us more firmly to himself and his Church, increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit within us and gives us special strength to live holy lives and to spread and defend the faith (cf CCC # 1303). It is in Confirmation especially that Christ lays his hands upon us to strengthen us for this mission of evangelization. The task may seem daunting but this is exactly why Christ himself strengthens us so that we can truly say I can do all things in Christ, who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13)

This Blog Post is available as a PDF Document here: The Sacrament of Confirmation

Here’s a little video I put together for the youth on Confirmation. The Song says, “You should be a witness. Why don’t you testify? Stand up and be a witness for the Lord! Don’t be  afraid to be a witness!”

Filed in: Church, Sacraments, Youth • Tags: , ,

Comments (48)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Bender says:

    One of the best things I’ve ever read on Confirmation is Pope Benedict’s Message for World Youth Day 2008.

  2. Nick says:

    I think many of the misunderstandings of the sacraments comes from religious teachers trying to reach out to the youth. Funny, as a youth I would have preferred the truth, not some cozy teenager “truth”.

  3. Fred says:

    Great explanation Msgr Pope.

    While I still consider myself Catholic, I do not participate regularly with a Catholic mass. That is a story for another time.

    I do worship & participate heavily with a non-denominational church though. If Christ gave us the great commission and we as Catholics are confirmed to witness for Christ, why does the Catholic Church not do a greater job in preaching that from the pulpit on Sundays? It would seem that Sundays are left for Catholics to dwell on themselves, but yet there is rarely a preaching on living out Christian mission. My church is set on “owning” their mission which is to impact secular Washington with the message of Jesus Christ.

    Now don’t get me wrong. I know the Catholic church has a HUGE impact on serving around the city and world with Catholic Charities, etc. But as local Catholic churches go, I have yet to see one that throughly equips its Christian brothers and sisters to witness to others. For example, my church has workshops on how to share your faith, workshops on how to find your God given talents and purpose, workshops on how to read the Bible and Understand it enough in order to witness.

    Have I totally missed out by going to the wrong Catholic church for most of my life? There is a Catholic organization that I have found that is looking to equip Christians to witness. That organization is called ChristLife. I would love to hear what you know that I may be missing.

    • Brian Z, says:

      I am saddened to hear that you have stopped attending the Roman Catholic mass. Rather than attend a non- denominational church may I make a suggestion? Return to mass, take part in the sacraments and support our Lord. He is the foundation, the reason we attend. If we think those who run the church can do a better job of fulfilling it’s mission, then we should stay and pray and try to help it find it’s way back. In your personal life when there is someone you think is in trouble or they are in jeopardy of losing that which is important to them, do you stay and help or walk out and leave them? The church, of course, is important to Jesus and it is obvious that you love him, so why not stay and support him and help him? Just a suggestion and I hope I did not offend you with any of my comments. I pray Our Lord remains with you and helps you find peace both in this world and the next. God bless you.

      • Andrew says:

        Fred,
        I agree with Brian’s remark. This past weekend there was a Mass at the National Shrine. Here is the link to the homily by Bishop Slattery: http://www.dioceseoftulsa.org/article.asp?nID=1451 I give you this link to show you that the Catholic Church does do the things that you feel are lacking, however some places and priests are better at this than others.
        God bless!

      • Fred says:

        Thanks for your concern Brian. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. We are all called Christian. We have been told by Christ that the ONLY way to the Father is through accepting that Christ came to earth and died on the cross for my sins and that Jesus Christ is my savior. The gift of salvation is free gift that I cannot earn, Christ freely gives it to us when we accept Him through faith.

        I realize that I am missing out on the sacraments in the Catholic church, but I am still participating in fellowship, communion, baptism, marriage, and confession. I see how these sacraments deepen the involvement in your personal faith and I have experienced a deeper faith and deeper walk with the Lord. I just feel that I am more biblically sound in witnessing to non-believers now than ever before(and I went to Catholic school for 12 years).

        In the end, we that have accepted Christ as our Savior will be sharing in the joys of heaven. Not based on getting perfect attendance at church or because we said the rosary x number of times. We are Christians, so let’s not allow that to divide us.

    • Hey Fred,

      I blogged on this topic some weeks back here: http://blog.adw.org/2010/03/what-do-you-think-of-catholic-preaching/

      The video by Fr. Bill Casey explains a lot of what you saying but also gives reason to hope. It is a true fact that we have got to get better at preaching and teaching to equip the faithful. I also hope you might find a Catholic Parish where this is being done. However, your reason for leaving the Church is a common one. I would only hop you might consider that many if not most Portestant denominations do not teach the fullnss of the faith. What they teach, they teach well. But for example they have set aside the Sacaments and they have no central authority. Hence they keep dividing up. Alas as you say these are topics for another day. But you do ask some important questions.

    • Mia R says:

      Dear Fred, as wonderfully satisfying as the preaching in your non-denominational church may seem, a baptized Catholic who is not attending the Catholic Mass is missing the following:

      1. The Holy Eucharist. Christ Himself. This Blessed Sacrament and the other six sacraments were instituted by Our Lord through which we receive the graces necessary to live Christian lives. Sacraments received with the proper disposition are the only SURE means of grace. God may give grace outside the sacraments in answer to prayers, but the worthy reception of sacraments ALWAYS gives grace because He wills it.

      2. The proper interpretation of the Bible and Tradition which was only given to Church authority. By the special assistance of the Holy Spirit, the Catholic Church cannot err when it teaches or believes a doctrine of faith and morals. The Catholic Church is the only institution established by God for the salvation of men and is preserved from error: “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Each teacher, however, is still capable of falling into sin and error so you will need to cross-reference what you hear with publications of Church authority: Catechism, teachings of Saints and Church Fathers, etc.

      3. Luke 10:16 “He who hears you hears me; and he who rejects you rejects me.” Pardon the politically incorrect statement, but I quote from “My Catholic Faith” (as I have throughout this response) ‘Whoever, through his own fault, remains outside the Catholic Church, will be lost eternally.’ (page 140); ‘…Only those Catholics who live according to the teachings of the Church will be saved. The Church is a guarantee of salvation to those only who obey it. Unfortunately, there are bad Catholics. We must therefore study our religion and then practice it. God has given us the grace to be members of the true Church; we must not waste that grace.’ (page 141).

      May you accept this for what it was intended…with love from a fellow Catholic. Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

  4. Jim says:

    Monsignor,

    Thank you for a wonderful article. I am often surprised by my fellow Catholics who view the sacrament as a “Catholic Bar Mitzvah”. The confusion may well come from the gradual migration of the name from Chrismation to Confirmation.

    For several hundred years, in the early Church, bishops in Northern Europe (few and far-between) delivered infants and children a “triple-whammy” with Baptism, Confirmation, and a bit of intincted Eucharist on the tongue. Age had nothing to do with it.

    It is the Sacrament by which we are sealed to and with Christ by the application of Holy Chrism.

  5. crazylikeknoxes says:

    I must confess to being guilty of viewing the sacrament as one of maturity, or at least of having the potential to used as one. Apart from ignorance, this view was encouraged by the peculiar practice of my parish administering the sacrament to children in the eleventh grade. At this age, I do believe they can “speak for themselves,” regardless of whether we consider them adults or not.

    The parish no longer confirms in the eleventh grade. While the previous bishop allowed parishes to set the age for confirmation, the current bishop either has (or made known that he will) mandate that confirmation be administered at a uniform age. (For the record, I was aware of parishes that confirmed at the same time that they administered first communion.) A second consideration was the fact that many parents were taking their children for confirmation to other parishes that confirmed at a younger age. Mind you, the motivation for confirming at a younger age was not so much a proper appreciation of the sacrament so much as the desire to discontinue their children’s religious education at an earlier age. One practical advantage to confirming at an older age was the leverage it provided for requiring attendance in religious education classes.

    Be that as it may, I have no desire to make confirmation into something it is not or not supposed to be. I will offer the following observations.

    As you noted in a prior post, baptism may give faith (and I prefer the old baptismal formula where the parents ask “faith” from the Church) but it is not a “flu shot.” It is the beginning of the life of faith of the child. The work is just beginning.

    I do believe that an older teenager is better “prepared to assume the role of disciple and witness to Christ, both within the ecclesial community and in temporal affairs,” inasmuch he or she is making that decision for themselves.

    The last point is more of a personal observation. As far as the faith life of my children is concerned, I am largely responsible for it. They go to church if I make them go. They learn the faith if I teach it. They practice the faith if I require it. And this is how it should be up to a point. At that point, they must begin to live the life for themselves. And I want that to be their conscious decision. The world does not need more Catholics who simply go through the motions. The other night I was teaching the Book of Revelation in PSR class, and one of the passages I chose to emphasize to the young people was the one where Christ will vomit the lukewarm out of his mouth. I would rather my children be honest agnostics rather than hypocritical/lukewarm Catholics. Now confirmation might not have anything to do with this point in young person’s life. But I do believe this point to be a critical one nonetheless.

    Sorry for the long post. I await the penance you assign.

    • Yes, I understand that when we read what the Catechism has to say about what Confirmation is, it seems to require some maturity greater than 7 years of age. However it may also be worth remembering that Sacraments such as baptism and confirmation can and do also plant what they give in seed form and thus, can have their effects both immediately and also years later.

      • crazylikeknoxes says:

        My comments are not so much about the supernatural effects of confirmation as the practical. I’ve often heard the complaint that “my religious education came to end about the fourth grade.” Why is this? Because, again as a practical matter, confirmation is seen as sort of the follow up vaccine to baptism. After that your done until marriage or last rites. Now we both know that is not the way it is supposed to be. The question remains what do we do about it.

  6. David says:

    This is just my own musings. Confirmation seems to be an “activation” of the gifts given at Baptism. The example of Peter and John in Samaria is a pretty clear indication of this. It could be said that, at Baptism, one is given the gifts and at Confirmation one is empowered to use them. It seems to me that a maturity of some sort is implied here. It is a sign of maturity that one’s potential is actualized.

    • I might use the word strengthening more than activation but what you say is true enough. As your second point I might refer you to my answer to “crazy” just above.

  7. Mike says:

    That “adult in the church” most of the time is more like “a dolt in the church” as we witness the watering down the truth.

  8. Mark Lester ortiz says:

    Confirmation is necessary for salvation.

    • It is not strictly speaking necessary for salvation though it is morally necessary since it is divinely established by Christ as an ordinary means of strengthening one on the way to salvation. Thus it may not be negelcted and intentionally neglecting to receive it would be a sin. (cf the Praenotanda of the Rite of Confirmation # 3

  9. Cynthia BC says:

    When I read in the Catechism that the “age of reason” was the age of seven, I looked at my daughter and thought: boy, ….. (This was during the school year she was ending up in the principal’s office about every other week!) She will be a fourth-grader next year, and wants to be an altar server however she does not yet meet the qualification requirement of being able to sit quietly still for longer than ten minutes.

  10. John says:

    Msgr.,

    Part of the confusion about the sacrament of Confirmation may lie with the name itself. I’d be interested in the latin root from where the word derives. But when an untrained ear hears the “confirm” in Confirmation, it lends one to think “affirm”, “recognize” or “acknowledge”. Given that confusion, it’s no wonder many Catholics view it as a Bar Mitzvah of sorts.

  11. Terence Filmore says:

    Msgr, given the excellent Biblical foundations that you quote, why does the Church set the sacrement at such a young age? The apostles were much older, I imagine, and in a position to appreciate what was going on.

    Despite religious instruction, I really hadn’t a clue what my Confirmation was about when I was 13 or 14. It really was just a day out. Why not delay it until adulthood?

    • *** Yes, I understand that when we read what the Catechism has to say about what Confirmation is, it seems to require some maturity greater than 7 years of age. However it may also be worth remembering that Sacraments such as baptism and confirmation can and do also plant what they give in seed form and thus, can have their effects both immediately and also years later. It could be delayed but there is history and the fact that sacraments work ex opere operato.

  12. Katherine G ERT says:

    Thank you posting this. I was one of those of the mind that Confirmation was seen as an “age of coming” or age of adulthood in the church. This cleared up a lot of my confusion about Confirmation. Sheesh I think I need to attend RCIA just to relearn (and hopefully retain) how everything works!

  13. Gail says:

    Msgr., This article comes at an opportune time. I was Confirmed at the age of nine. I have very little memory of it. Thirty-five years later I reached the low point of my life. It was then I experienced what I feel certain was an outpouring if the Holy Spirit—since then nothing has been the same. I finally understood what true Love and true Joy means. Since Easter, I have been attending a 7 week seminar called “Coming Out of the Desert” (modeled after Life in the Spirit, I believe). I keep being asked if someone had ever layed hands on me at any time so I could be baptized in the Holy Spirit. I am a bit baffled by this. I trluy think the Holy Spirit will act where, how and on whom it pleases—we need only be open and willing.

    • Yes, you did have hands laid on you at confirmation. Baptism in the Spirit does not confer something else but is instead an expereincing as real what has been give to us in the sacraments.

  14. Jack Hockel says:

    When I first opened your “little video…put together for the youth on Confirmation” I thought it was a joke, then I realized you were serious! Most of the images are beautiful, but what is that horrible noise in the background?

  15. John Masslon says:

    Monsignor, What (arch)dioceses do the sacraments in the traditional order here in the US?

    • FOr Children I am aware of Tyler Tex and Fargo ND. I am sure there are others but I don’t know which. Of course all diocese observe the proper order in the RCIA

      • scotch meg says:

        Also Portland, ME (at least in the past). My daughter was confirmed at the same Mass as receiving First Eucharist. I think it may be easier for smaller dioceses. In a large, urban diocese (like Boston), it’s harder to catechize everyone and change is resisted more easily by individual pastors.

  16. Beefalo says:

    Great stuff, Monsignor. Thanks for posting it. I will pass this along to our son, who is being confirmed next month.

  17. Diane Duggan says:

    Thank you for this article. I was confirmed in the 6th grade. As an adult I taught CCD for a long time, even taught my children. Unfortunately, they are not active Catholics. The parishes I taught in confirmed in the 10th grade. Confirmation was sort of taught as a choice the children made to “confirm” their committment to the Church. One of my sons chose not to be confirmed. I regret that teaching, and wish that they could have been confirmed at a younger age as I was. I have not led a perfect life, but now believe that the graces of my Confirmation are leading me to seek the Truer things of life.

  18. Robertlifelongcatholic says:

    At fifty eight I can only partially remember the prepatory classes for confirmation while attending St. Cecilia Catholic School in Dallas, Texas back in the early 60’s. I was somewhere between the age of nine or eleven. As I recall the main emphasis was being inducted to the fullness of the Catholic faith. I had to pick a confirmation name, I chose Joseph, and everyone kept making a big deal about being slapped by the bishop at the finality of the sacrament, which turned out to be a slight tap on the cheek. Trust me, the sacrament of matrimony was more traumatic. That and post Vatican II.

  19. Bender says:

    Confirmation was sort of taught as a choice the children made to “confirm” their committment to the Church. One of my sons chose not to be confirmed. I regret that teaching, and wish that they could have been confirmed at a younger age as I was.

    As the Monsignor ably points out, Confirmation is not about “confirming” the faith for oneself. At the same time, Diane, would you really have wanted that son to be Confirmed against his will? Would not such an imposition be doing violence to the Sacrament?

    Although choice is not the purpose of the Sacrament, it does factor into it. When receiving the Sacrament, one makes a solemn act before God, a solemn personal act. And to take that act, together with the profession of faith accompanying it, without the requisite intent and desire, i.e. choice, would seem to be quite wrong, if not a sin in itself, just as it would be a sin to receive Communion or Penance without the proper disposition.

    If someone decides against it, better to let the prodigal son go, and perhaps with grace to later return home and receive it as an adult, then to force it upon him without his sincere consent.

    Grace, including the graces of Confirmation, build on and perfect our prior nature. Confirmation provides an increase of sanctifying grace, that is, it builds upon what is already there. If the grace is not already present, if the nature of the person at the time is to resist on account of nonconsent, there is nothing to build on and it is like that “seed” is scattered on the path, rather than being planted in the good soil. And to the extent that such grace does indeed sink in, rather than bouncing off the person, it is like the Christmas or birthday gift that is put in the closet, unopened and unused, with the effect of it being as if it were never received in the first place.

    As for that son, fret not. Rather, in joyful hope, join with St. Monica in prayer. Who knows, he may yet be another St. Augustine.

  20. TeaPot562 says:

    Thanks, Msgr. for thinking of this; and real thanks to “Bender” for the link to Benedict XVI’s message in 2007 to the participants at 2008 World Youth Day. I saved that on my hard drive & will do my best to get it into the hands of grandchildren, some of whom have already been confirmed (with mixed results) and others who will be old enough to understand when they start Confirmation classes.
    Again, thank you both. TeaPot562

  21. Jennifer says:

    Hello Msgr., Had a chance to read this! Thanks for formulating and posting it. In my own teaching, I try to emphasize what you call the “Christian’s personal Pentecost” as well as the fact that Confirmation is a gift given so that (1) we might become holy and (2) the Holy Spirit might renew the face of the earth. It’s an amazing thing when one really ponders it, exemplified in Acts by Peter’s speech to the Jews on Pentecost and the baptism of the 3000 that day. I think I’ll hand the article on to my catechists :-). Keep up the good work. Blessings, Jennifer

  22. Peg says:

    I would add that a child at the age of 7 is only beginning to experience Pentecost and it is a life long growth of development. I was in my 20’s when I attended a charismatic prayer meeting where my emotions were touched and even though I never spoke in a prayer language, it was a wonderful experience for me and a renewal. Thanks so much for posting this. Peg in Denver

  23. Larry Coty says:

    Excellent! This should be the first in a series called “Clarifying the Confusion on _______ .” It wouldn’t be too long…Not more than 350 or so installments…

  24. Erin Manning says:

    This is wonderful. Given that both of our two most recent popes have called for the order of the Sacraments of Initiation to be restored, do you think more bishops will become open to doing so in the future?

  25. Cynthia BC says:

    For “witness” spirituals I also like “who’ll be a witness.” This high school choir does a nice job with it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UH8wFN86B4