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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). It is about strengthening what God has given, and continues to give to us today. (cf. CCC 1302-1303).
The Archdiocese of Chicago has determined that sacramental preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation shall be a minimum of two years for adolescent candidates excluding those participating in the Rite for Christian Initiation (RCIA) program. In the Archdiocese of the Chicago the customary age for Confirmation is between 7-10th grades.
Old St. Mary’s Parish sacramental preparation for Confirmation begins in the fall of a young person’s 7th grade year in school. The Rite of Confirmation is most often celebrated in the spring of his/her 8th grade school year. However, in some instances Confirmation may be celebrated in the fall of Freshman year depending on the parish and liturgical calendars. Confirmation is not about a “rite of passage” or a graduation from religious studies that takes place in the context of an academic timeline or schedule. Rather Confirmation is about what God is doing in the life of a young person and their journey to come to know Jesus more and to practice more intentionally what it means to be a disciple.
Candidates for Confirmation must be enrolled in either the parish school or Sunday Faith Formation. Candidates must have completed one year of formation PRIOR to enrolling in a sacramental program. Therefore candidates who hope to receive Confirmation at approx. 14 years old (8th grade) would need to be enrolled in a formation program or our parish school or Sunday Faith Formation in 6th grade. Please note that not all formation for Confirmation will take place in the context of the school or Sunday classrooms. There will be additional gatherings outside of the classroom.
Preparation for Confirmation includes: Liturgical Education, Promoting Knowledge of the Faith, Moral Formation, Community Life, Prayer, Missionary Initiatives.
Young people preparing for Confirmation are expected to attend weekly Sunday Mass and Holy Day of Obligations, participate in missionary / service experiences, seek out independent service opportunities, regularly engage in prayer and journaling, do one research project each year and to fully participate in Confirmation gatherings.