Who should enroll in Confirmation prep 2023-2024?
To prepare for Confirmation in the Richmond Diocese, adolescents must be
- currently enrolled in at least 10th grade and at least 15 years old
Note: if a teen is unbaptized and wishes to receive the sacraments of initiation, he or she should join RCIA classes instead. Please contact Natalia Serna ([email protected] / 804-262-7315 ext. 225) for more information on RCIA.
What is Confirmation?
Confirmation strengthens the grace of Baptism. Like Baptism, Confirmation is given only once, and places an “indelible” mark on one’s soul. Confirmation is not a graduation, or even a sign of adulthood in the faith. It is a sacrament of initiation, the beginning of our mission to evangelize. It connects us more fully to the Church, and empowers us to live our faith:
For “by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.”
~Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 1285
Where and when will Confirmation preparation take place?
Confirmation Orientation and Modules will take place in the parish Social Hall. Candidates must attend all modules and the retreat.
- September 17, 2023 2:30-3:30 pm For parents & candidates
- September 24, 2023 2:30-4:00 pm
- October 22, 2023 2:30-4:00 pm
- November 19, 2023 2:30-4:00 pm
- December 3, 2023 2:30-4:00 pm
- February 25, 2024 2:30-4:00 pm
- March 10, 2024 2:30-4:00 pm
- January 27, 2024 8:00 am – 4:00 pm Saint Michael the Archangel, Glen Allen
When is Confirmation?
Our Confirmation Mass date will be announced sometime this fall. Confirmation occurs in the spring.
The dates of all the Confirmation Masses around the diocese are determined by the Office of the Bishop. The bishop is the one who confers the sacrament of Confirmation, so Bishop Knestout celebrates each Confirmation Mass personally. With over 140 parishes spanning much of the state of Virginia, that’s a lot of traveling! It takes some serious coordinating to work out his travel schedule along with other liturgical considerations (Lent, Easter, ordinations), so we appreciate your patience.
What are the requirements for Confirmation?
- Proof of Baptism – candidates must provide a copy of their Baptism certificate, or if they were baptized at Our Lady of Lourdes, notify Natalia in writing ([email protected]) of the year of their baptism. Proof of baptism must be submitted no later than December 3, 2023.
- Sponsor – candidates must choose a Confirmation sponsor to accompany them as they prepare for, and present them to the bishop on the day of, Confirmation. It is recommended that, when possible, the sponsor be one of the godparents who witnessed the candidate’s Baptism.
A sponsor must
- Be at least 16 years old,
- Be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has received the blessed Eucharist,
- Not be bound by a canonical penalty,
- Be leading a life of faith befitting the role to be undertaken (for example, regularly attending Sunday Mass; if married, be in a marriage recognized by the Catholic Church), and
- Not be a parent of the confirmand.
Please choose your sponsor and turn in the sponsor form no later than February 25, 2024.
- Preparation for the sacrament – Confirmation prep consists of a retreat and six 90-minute modules (two additional 90-minute modules are included in the retreat). All candidates, including those enrolled in Catholic school, are required to attend these modules and the retreat. See dates and times above.
- Concurrent religious education – all Confirmation candidates must be enrolled in, and regularly attending, religious education. Enrollment in a Catholic school, or in an approved homeschool religious education curriculum, meets this requirement. If a candidate attends a non-Catholic school, he or she must participate in the parish faith formation classes.
- Interview – the pastor or his delegate will conduct a brief interview with each candidate, to determine their readiness to receive the sacrament. These interviews will take place during Lent. Sign-ups will be available starting in February 2024.
Do I need to choose a Confirmation Saint?
Choosing a Saint is not required, but it is a wonderful way to connect with the community of the Church, through those who have lived out their faith before us. As Confirmation is connected so closely to Baptism, candidates are encouraged to select a Saint who shares their baptismal (given) name. Further guidelines on choosing a Confirmation Saint will be provided during Confirmation preparation. Feel free to start thinking and praying about it now:
Role of the Parent(s) in helping their teens prepare for Confirmation:
“In his Letter to Families, Pope Blessed John Paul II wrote that ‘Parents are the first and most important educators of their own children, and they also possess a fundamental competence in this area; they are educators because they are parents.’ Parents play a central role in preparing their sons and daughters for the sacrament by reinforcing the teachings of the Catholic Church in the home. The decision to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation rests with the candidate, but it should be made in consultation with his or her parents.”
-excerpt from Diocesan Policy and Guidelines for Preparation of Baptized Adolescents to Receive
the Sacrament of Confirmation