Most Saturdays, for the last 20 years have included my preparation for my parish school of religion classes. In the last 6 years I have been given the additional role of coordinator of our parish religion program from K through high school. Never say never!….I had declined many times from that role In the past until God made it blatantly clear, it was I he was calling to serve. And so, I stopped running, stood in my tracks and said YES.
Here I am Lord!….six years later, after having taught the 2nd grade sacrament class for nearly 14 years, adding in and continuing to do so, with a dual role of teacher and coordinator.
This position brings great joy and great distress. I find wonderful curriculum and useless twaddle. One such wonderful find was when I was given the “go ahead” to choose a new Confirmation curriculum. I was glad to do so as the last program was strange and useless, and confusing in many ways.
Happily I found the Ligouri Confirmation for Teens program, and it works nicely for grades 7th up through high school if needed. We give the students their own folder of the lessons, the private journal activity book and the sponsor journal, amid other important information.
I am thrilled and honored to have been asked to be a Confirmation sponsor this year by my son’s friend. What a wonderful and special joy for me as I’m rarely asked to do anything like that because most look at me like I am too busy in my position, organizing the event, or having my own family in the prep, to be involved further. However, busy I am ….I still can participate in a special sacrament more fully. I am grateful to be a sponsor to a special candidate this year.
Along with being a sponsor I receive from my candidate the Sponsor’s Journal, as seen here:
I love this introspective booklet for journaling thoughts…recalling your own faith journey and confirmation. How wonderful it’s been to log into it and ponder how God has called me along the path of His Will all these years. My candidate and I have met once already to talk about his confirmation, and will meet a few more times; I will take note of it in my journal. His confirmation name is to be St. Anthony (of Padua), and it’s so interesting that this happens to be the feast day (birthday) of my son, his friend also. God is all-connecting, isn’t He?
And how mysterious God works, as another friend who had left the fold of our particular parish many years ago and has faithfully attended elsewhere, has now returned with her family, and her son is also in the Confirmation prep classes preparing for his day as well. I feel like we have all come home together for a big celebration in Christ in April. What a wonderful way to make it through the winter, anticipating such joy and graces ahead.
In the administration of the Sacrament of Confirmation, the bishop prays, extending his hands over the confirmandi, "All powerful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by water and the Holy Spirit you freed your sons and daughters from sin and gave them new life. Send your Holy Spirit upon them to be their helper and guide. Give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence. Fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe in your presence. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen." Then, the bishop confirms each candidate, making the sign of the cross with holy chrism on his forehead, and saying, "Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit."