July 30, 2019
Dear St. Peter Families,
This spring, Bishop Kemme made some changes regarding reception of the sacrament of Confirmation for our young people. The receiving age for the sacrament will be lowered to students in 6th/7th grade instead of 9th/10th grade. In addition to changing the Confirmation age, the bishop has changed the frequency of the sacrament: all parishes will offer Confirmation every other year, regardless of the amount of Confirmandi seeking the sacrament. To read more about the reasons for these changes, visit the Catholic Advance online.
These diocesan-wide changes require us to respond by altering our timing and preparations for reception of the sacrament. Our parish has come up with a two-year plan to accommodate the bishop’s vision for Confirmation in the future:
This transition will be complete in 2023, and St. Peter will offer Confirmation Masses in subsequent odd years.
Besides the age and frequency, all other requirements for reception of the sacrament have remained the same: All Confirmandi must be baptized Catholics with records on file at the parish office, must attend preparatory classes and a Confirmation retreat, must choose a Confirmation saint and sponsor, and must write a letter to the pastor requesting reception of the sacrament.
For the coming year, there is a wide range of young people needing to attend preparatory classes beginning this fall. Here is our strategy to accommodate every parishioner wishing to receive the sacrament in the spring.
If your child wishes to receive the sacrament of Confirmation, please register online. You can find the link at the parish website or on the Facebook page. (https://forms.gle/bNqZYW8mfEfahgvC8) Class schedules and retreat dates will be sent out to all registrants via email and mail at the end of August. Confirmation Mass will be held at St. Peter on April 26th at 12 pm.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we enter this period of transition in our Confirmation program. Please remember to pray for the young people of St. Peter who are going to be Confirmed in the spring that they may encounter God’s graces in a radical way through the sacrament.
Rev. Bernie Gorges Madeline Lubbers
CONFIRMATION FORMATION WITHIN OUR PARISH
In its truest sense, the Universal Church is locally evident and personally experienced in and through the parish. For every Catholic, participation in parish life is both a right and a duty. Almost by definition, the Church is spiritually strong and vibrant to the extent that the Baptized members of the parish community live their faith and share it with others. In Confirmation, the candidate is agreeing to enter into that parish community, so it is proper that he or she prepare for that serious obligation in the parish setting.
Preparation to receive the Sacraments requires much more of the candidate than schooling in the basics of the faith. While that aspect is important, and is certainly provided very well in our Catholic schools and parish religious education programs, much more is involved.
Confirmation is not a Sacrament that is chosen for us as in infant Baptism. It is a serious choice we make on our own. It is a commitment we make to live in the fullness of the Roman Catholic Faith.
Sponsors at Confirmation represent the believing Christian Community. Thus it is required that they be a practicing Catholic in good standing with the Church, who have themselves received the Sacraments of Initiation, which are Baptism, Holy Eucharist and Confirmation, and have reached the age of 16.
If they are married, they must have been validly married in the Church. The Code of Canon Law states they must lead... .“a life in harmony with faith and the role to be undertaken.. .and will help the baptized to lead a Christian life in harmony with Baptism, and to fulfill faithfully the obligations connected with it.”
Remember that being a "Sponsor" at a Sacrament makes one a proper representative of the Catholic Church. If someone does not go to Mass or practice their Catholic faith, the role of representative would be inappropriate for them. How could someone ever represent a group in which they no longer participate?Candidates can avoid hurting the feelings of family and friends by not choosing a person who cannot fulfill these basic requirements.
According to Canon Law a parent may not serve as the sponsor of their own child. The best choice is the baptismal sponsor for this shows clearly the link between Baptism and Confirmation.
CONFIRMATION RETREAT - Stand by for further details.
REGISTRATION FOR CONFIRMATION - Online at https://forms.gle/bNqZYW8mfEfahgvC8
Fill The Hearts Of Your Faithful,
And Kindle In Them The Fire Of Your Love