St. Joseph Church
Within the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Confirmation Preparation is, minimally, a two-year process. Religious Education Programs in parishes and schools include a basic understanding of all the sacraments and are understood as remote preparation for the sacraments in accord with Signs of God's Love, regulations published by the Division of Religious Education. This remote preparation enables the young person to have sufficient knowledge of the Catholic faith so that they can decide whether to join the process for immediate preparation for Confirmation, when an invitation is extended to them. A minimum of one year's consistent participation in these programs or a process approved by the parish is required prior to entrance in to immediate preparation. The immediate preparation for, and first celebration of, the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist) are a responsibility of the parish. Parishes provide a program for immediate preparation for Confirmation distinct from the ordinary parish or school catechetical program. This is done in accord with the Archdiocesan regulations, Signs of God's Love and The Seal of the Spirit. The immediate preparation is brief in duration, focused on the sacrament's meaning and ritual. Since the candidates have exercised a degree of free choice in entering this phase, they are expected to fulfill certain expectations.
In accordance with Archdiocesan Regulations, each parish is to include the following eight required components of this phase of preparation:
|the resourcing of families with opportunities for formation and materials for faith sharing,|
|faith sharing opportunities between candidate and sponsor,|
|celebration with the parish community,|
|9-12 hours of catechesis,|
|involvement in service and a continued sharing of the church's social mission,|
|a retreat experience,|
|opportunities for prayer and worship,|
|an interview with a member of the pastoral staff.|
2013-2014 School Year Information
Registration for 2014 Confirmation is due TBD!!!
Registration Forms Service Log & Reflection Form
Schedule of Classes, Retreats, Interviews, Rehearsal and Celebration
Schedule of Important Dates
FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)
Confirmation Service Project
Service Hour Oppurtunites
Schedule of Important Dates
|Confirmation Invitations Mailed||January 2013|
|Parent/Candidate Meeting||Sat., Feb. 16, 2013||1-2:30pm|
|Early Registration Discount by||Friday, April 5, 2013||3pm|
|All Registrations due by||Friday, May 3, 2013||3pm|
|Commitment Liturgy &
|Saturday, May 18, 2013||4:30pm Mass
|Confirmation Session #1||Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013||6-8pm|
|Confirmation Session #2
***Name Project Due***
|Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013||6-8pm|
|Confirmation Session #3
***Service Hours & 3 Lifeteen Requirements Due***
|Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013||6-8pm|
|Confirmation Session #4
***Bishop's Letter Due***
|Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013||6-8pm|
|Retreat #1 @ St. Joseph Church||Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013
(Parents & Sponsors Invited)
|Retreat #2 @ St. Joseph Church||Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013
(Parents & Sponsors Invited)
|Confirmation Session #5||Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013||6-8pm|
Snow Make-up Day
|Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013||6-8pm|
|Patoral Interviews||TBD, January 2014|
|Confirmation Rehearsal||TBD, January 2014||7-8:30pm, Church|
|Confirmation Liturgy||TBD. January 2014||9:30am, Church|
What does the program fee cover?
Our single/one-time fee covers all of the expenses related to: the required retreat, including meals and supplies; class supplies and mailings; the required Sponsor and Candidate Reflection; Confirmation Liturgies. No one is ever denied religious education or sacramental preparation because of lack of money to pay fees. If you are unable to pay the full amount, or might need a payment plan, please contact the Religious Education Office immediately. If other arrangements are not in place by May 3, 2013 then this non-refundable fee must be paid in full by May 3, 2013.
What is a retreat? Will I have to pray all day?
The Confirmation retreat is an invitation from Jesus to “come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). Be assured that the retreat leaders will not take you off to some lonely church where you will spend the day praying silently on your knees. The retreat will include prayer but not the kind you may be used to. The prayer—being in the presence of God—may take the form of games, group activities, discussions, talks, videos, and quiet time.
Why go to Mass?
Celebrating Mass is the central act of Catholic worship. Mass is an opportunity to participate in Christ’s sacrifice and risen life. A time to worship in public, it is different from, and adds to, private prayers and meditations. It can strengthen our faith, nourish our spiritual life, and encourage Christian attitudes and actions. It gives us an opportunity to offer ourselves to God through Jesus Christ, who is truly present in the Eucharist through Transubstantiation; to express our love for Christ; and to share with others in the faith community. The Mass is also a time to give thanks and praise to God and to hear God’s word and receive guidance. It is a celebration.
Why is service so important?
Christian faith requires that we follow Jesus’ example and serve and love one another. Matthew’s gospel tells us that we will enter the kingdom of God based on whether we have fed the hungry, clothed the naked, visited the sick and imprisoned. Service is often a step outside their usual circle for young people who visit elders, serve meals to the homeless, and/or tutor immigrant children. Catholic social teaching calls us to be our brother’s and sister’s keepers, to care for the least among us, to work for the common good and the human rights of all.
I’m not sure I understand what counts as service, can you explain each of the areas more clearly?
Family-service for/within the family should focus on the family as a Christian unit.· The purpose of this category is to have several family members working together to help build up the Body of Christ. ··No project should be something that is expected of you as a family member.· Cleaning your room, helping another family member with chores, or visiting a relative (unless it is under extraordinary circumstance) would not be considered applicable.
Parish—parish service should focus on being an active member of a parish community. Some examples of parish ministry are being a catechist assis tant for Religious Ed., being a Liturgical Minister during Mass (i.e. lector, usher/greeter, music ministry), or other Parish-sponsored outreach.
Community-ministry in the community should focus on helping the local community. Some examples are making casseroles for Beans and Bread or Our Daily Bread, serving food at a soup kitchen, volunteering at a nursing home, coaching for Parks and Rec, volunteering at the Humane Society, working with Literacy programs, or roadside clean-ups, etc.
Do I have to do this now? Can I wait a while?
The decision to be confirmed is one that you and your parents or guardians should not take lightly. Consider the advantages to being confirmed and the responsibilities required in preparing for the sacrament and in being confirmed. Confirmation will mark your becoming a fully initiated Catholic, thus one who can fully participate in all the Church has to offer. Take time to pray and reflect.
There is no ‘penalty’ for waiting to be confirmed. But keep in mind, if you postpone your preparation, your life will only be busier and more hectic with time. In addition, your Receiving the sacrament of Confirmation is opening yourself to opportunities to grow in your relationship with God and the Catholic Christian community. It’s receiving a gift from God. Even if you feel hesitant, you may want to take the leap of faith with a positive attitude and see what happens! In the end, even after completing all the program requirements, you can choose to be confirmed at any time in your life...now or later; the gift of the Holy Spirit is yours for the asking.
So, I’m “done” after Confirmation, right?
Mistakenly, people often think that after they have received the three sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist), they’re “done,” when in fact, they’ve only just begun to live as fully initiated members of the Church. Many feel they have graduated from religious education classes and have no further need for learning more about their faith.
Participating in Mass regularly, attending religious education sessions or parish gatherings available to you as a teen and an adult, reading religious magazines and newspapers, sharing faith with others, and taking an active role in your parish community are essential to your growth as a Catholic Christian. As you discover more of your God-given talents, you are called to use them in the service of others.
As Saint Paul tells his young friend Timothy, we are called to “rekindle the gift of God that is within you” (2 Tim 1:6).
What is required?
In our Archdiocese you are required to complete a minimum of 21 hours of service in order to be considered ready for Confirmation. These hours are broken up into 3 categories:
··················· ~7 "Family" hours
··················· ~7 "Parish" hours
····················~7 "Community" hours
What counts for each category?
|Family Service: Family hours have to be OVER AND ABOVE what you NORMALLY do as part of your family responsibilites. If you are always in charge of mowing the lawn, then that doesn't count for your family service hours. These hours should focus on building up and serving the family. Go out of your comfort zone. Every family is different. Discuss some extra things you can do to serve your family.|
|Parish Service: Parish hours are spent in aiding the parish community of St. Joseph Church. They focus on being an active member of our parish community. Some examples of this are being an assistant for Religious Education, helping with Liturgical Ministry (that is lector, usher, greeter, altar server) and other parish-sponsored outreach activities and events.|
|Community Service: Community hours should focus on helping the local community. Some examples are making casseroles for Beans and Bread or Our Daily Bread, serving at a soup kitchen, volunteering at a nursing home, volunteering for the Humane Society, coaching for Parks and Rec, working with literacy programs, helping with roadside clean-ups, etc.|
Sometimes you will have to make a decision as to which category you want your hours to go towards, this is normal. If you have any questions you can always call the Religious Education Office.
What are the Service Project Guidelines?
-You cannot accept payment for ANY of your service hours
-You cannot “double-up,” that is, count any of your Confirmation service hours also for school hours etc and visa versa
-These hours must ALL be DONE by Sunday, October 27, 2013!!
-All your service hours need to be logged and signed off on the Service Log.
-All Confirmation service hours are the candidate’s responsibility NOT the parents!· You need to seek out the service opportunities, make the appropriate phone calls and perform the service.
- You have to write a reflection paper (500 words) on your service experience DUE BY October 27, 2013.
Service Hour Oppurtunities.
What exactly is the Service Project Reflection?
-The Reflection needs to be at least one FULL page:
Approx. 500 words (please include word count on your paper) typed, double spaced, size 12 font
-All reflections need to be PROOF-READ and TYPED
-Keep notes after each time you serve on the back of the Service Log
-Some things to include will be:
-What did you do?
-Why did you choose the projects you did?
-Who benefited from the experience and how?
-Did you have to prepare for the projects and if so, how?
-How did this experience impacted you?
-Was it what you expected? How or how not?