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CONFIRMATION
resources for candidates

FORMS & RESOURCES
 
 
 

Why Should I be Confirmed?

In Confirmation, you will receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit and His gifts, preparing you for your ministry and renewed commitment to Christ. This Holy Spirit is the Counselor promised to us by Christ Himself when He said, “If you love me, you will keep my Commandment. And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for He dwells with you, and will be in you” (Jn 14:16-17).

Jesus gave the Apostles His Holy Spirit after His Resurrection when He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (Jn 20:22). We receive the Holy Spirit in Baptism when we are Baptized “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” But in Confirmation, we complete what we started in baptism and receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit (CCC 1285).

Confirmation more perfectly unites you to Christ (CCC 1309), and prepares you for a familiarity with the Holy Spirit, His actions, gifts, and bidding (CCC 1309). The Sacrament of Confirmation more perfectly binds you with Christ’s Church as well (CCC 1309) and all Her members throughout the ages. By your Confirmation, you will become a Christian witness (CCC 1304, 1317), and will be responsible for preaching and defending the true faith (CCC 1295). You will also accept for yourself the responsibility of continuing your education in the faith and practicing your religion (CCC 1295).

 

What are the effects of Confirmation?

  1. We receive a full outpouring of the Holy Spirit as at Pentecost (CCC 1302).

  2. We partake in divine filiations (CCC 1303):

    1. we are united more firmly to Christ.

    2. we receive an increase of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

    3. we are bound with the Church more perfectly.

    4. we are strengthened to spread and defend the faith.

    5. we are given the grace to confess the name of Christ boldly and never be ashamed of the Cross.

  3. We are given an indelible, permanent mark as a witness of Christ on our soul (CCC 1304).

  4. We share more perfectly in the common priesthood of the faithful, which helps us to profess our faith publicly and officially for ourselves (CCC 1305).

CCC=Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph number

 

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

In Confirmation, you will receive the fullness of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts help us to be holy. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit are:

  • WISDOM – infused gift to give a delight for the things of God and to direct our whole life and all our actions to His honor and glory. Also makes the soul responsive to God in the contemplation of divine things; goes beyond simple knowledge of the beliefs to a certain divine penetration of the truths themselves.

  • UNDERSTANDING – infused gift to allow the mind to grasp revealed truths easily and profoundly with insight into the meaning of these truths.

  • KNOWLEDGE – infused gift to give a person the ability to judge everything from a supernatural viewpoint. As a result, a person can see the providential purpose of whatever enters his/her life, interact with people and things properly according to God’s will, and discern easily and effectively between the impulses of temptation and the inspirations of grace.

  • COUNSEL – infused gift to enable a person to determine promptly and rightly what should be done, especially in difficult situations. This primarily refers to one’s own choices/behavior.

  • FORTITUDE – infused gift to give a person unusual courage and a special strength of will, including an extraordinary readiness to undergo trials for love of God.

  • PIETY – infused gift to give a person loyalty to God and the things of God; enables a person to see God as a loving Father and act toward Him with generous love and affectionate obedience.

  • FEAR OF THE LORD – infused gift to inspire a person with profound respect for the majesty of God.

Choosing a Confirmation Sponsor 

Each candidate must choose someone to sponsor them. Your sponsor may be a godparent, a relative, coach, teacher, or family friend. All of your preparation is done with your sponsor – so this is an extremely important decision. You want to choose someone who will challenge you and take this seriously. For most, choosing an older sibling, cousin, or friend is not the best choice. However, this is your decision and I trust our candidates to know who will be best for them. If you need help finding or choosing a sponsor, please contact Sarah. 

  

Qualifications of a sponsor: 

  1. Must be a fully initiated Catholic, having received the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation.

  2. Sponsors are to be active members of a Catholic Church who attend Mass regularly. Ideally, you would choose someone from our three parishes.

  3. Must be sufficiently mature in his/her commitment to Christ: committed to life as a disciple.

  4. Must be a minimum age of 16 years. But, we recommend choosing someone who has been Confirmed for 5+ years.

  5. The person chosen must have the intention of performing their role and assume an ongoing spiritual relationship with the candidate – this is not a one-time role!

  6. Cannot be the parent of the Confirmation candidate.

  7. Not prohibited by law (canon or civil) from exercising the role of sponsor.

 

What does a sponsor do?

  1. Assist in the preparation for the Sacrament:

    • Meet with your candidate at least 6 times, leading the discussion with guidebook.

    • Pray for your candidate daily.

    • Attend the end of the Confirmation Retreat for prayer and practice.

    • Participate in a service or prayer experience with the candidate. If this is not possible, the candidate may do this part with another person or on their own.

  2. Accompany the candidate and present him/her to the bishop at the Confirmation Mass.

  3. Help the candidate fulfill his baptismal promises faithfully by challenging and encouraging them as needed.

  4. Build this relationship. Go out of your way to know, love, and support your candidate.

  5. Continuing to be a source of encouragement and guidance for the candidate after receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Traits to look for in a sponsor: 

  • A sponsor prays and desires to be a saint. 

  • A sponsor participates in the Liturgy and in the parish. 

  • A sponsor listens and is respectful. 

  • A sponsor serves as a bridge, helping the candidate understand and become familiar with the people, places and traditions of the Catholic faith the candidate is unfamiliar with. 

  • A sponsor respects the candidate’s freedom, allowing the candidate to decide whether this is the right time to seek the Sacrament of Confirmation. 

  • A sponsor lives in a world of hope, feeling confident in being able to live their faith in the world. 

 

Prayer for Choosing a Confirmation Sponsor 

Holy Spirit, helper and guide, give me wisdom as I choose my Confirmation sponsor. Help me to choose a person of prayer who will teach me also to be a person of prayer, who will support me in difficult times, who will guide me to make good choices, and who will challenge me when I do not. Help me to choose someone who will love me and teach me to love Jesus. Thank you for giving me a community of people around me to support and guide me as I take this important step in becoming more fully a member of your Church. Amen. 

Sponsor Commitment

The sponsors are a key part of our preparation process. We are asking a lot of them, this is a big commitment. But, sponsors are not on their own! We will check in with them throughout the summer and provide them with all the support and resources they need. ​

  1. Assist in the preparation for the Sacrament:

    • Meet with your candidate at least 6 times, leading the discussion with guidebook.

    • Pray for your candidate daily.

    • Attend the end of the Confirmation Retreat for prayer and practice.

    • Participate in a service or prayer experience with the candidate. If this is not possible, the candidate may do this part with another person or on their own.

  2. Accompany the candidate and present him/her to the bishop at the Confirmation Mass.

  3. Help the candidate fulfill his baptismal promises faithfully by challenging and encouraging them as needed.

  4. Build this relationship. Go out of your way to know, love, and support your candidate.

  5. Continuing to be a source of encouragement and guidance for the candidate after receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation.

How do I choose a saint?

During Confirmation, when the bishop anoints you with chrism and lays his hands on your head, you will receive the Holy Spirit in a new way: God will seal what he began in Baptism. This sacrament is a powerful encounter with God. Throughout our Christian history, such encounters were marked with a name change. For example, God gave Abram the name of Abraham and his wife Sarai the name of Sarah. Even today, when a man or woman enters a monastery/convent they also take on a new name and when a man is elected pope, such Jorge Bergoglio, he takes a new name such as Pope Francis.

 

In that tradition, we will mark your Confirmation with a name change. This new name -- the name of a Saint whom you admire and who you would like to imitate -- is imposed by the bishop during Confirmation. Traditionally, Catholics have added their Confirmation name to their legal, full name following their middle name and before their last name. You may choose instead to keep your Baptismal name. However, you are still expected to research the life of a saint you’d like to be your patron.

Why Choose a Saint?

The veneration of saints is an ancient tradition in our Church. We believe, as Catholics, that many of those who have gone before us are in Heaven – this means they have already achieved their life’s goal: eternal life and glory in heaven! As they are now in heaven, these saints can help us in two ways.  First, they are models for us of the Christian life on earth. Second, they pray (intercede) to God on our behalf. We ask each Confirmation candidate to choose a saint whom they would like to imitate and pray to in a special way.  This saint will become your patron saint, so take time to pray and think about who you’d like to choose. 

Where to Start

  • Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you find a saint who will inspire you and be a spiritual companion.

  • Brainstorm what kind of a saint you’d like to have: someone with specific qualities or hardships they’ve endured; or a saint with a common interest, name or birthday as you.

  • Read their stories, some have lived heroic, unimaginable lives and others may remind you of yourself. Which stories stuck with you? Which saint seemed to just stand out?

  • Recommended Web Resources:

 

Guidelines

Your patron may be fully canonized, a Blessed, or someone from the Old Testament. You may choose either a man or woman.

What can I do for my prayer experience?

The Catholic Church is full of unique, beautiful devotions, spiritualities, and ways to pray. So, use this opportunity to try something new, get out of your comfort zone and learn to hear God in a new way. Here's a few suggestions: 

  • Eucharistic Adoration - Offered at St. Bernard every Tuesday, 4-8pm, with Mass at 5:30pm followed by an opportunity for reconciliation. Perpetual Adoration is also available at St. Mary Visitation parish 24/7. Call the SMV parish office for the code to get in after hours.

  • Arise Worship Night - These nights feature a full band leading worship with Eucharistic Adoration. Summer 2021 will include outdoor worship nights. Includes opportunity for reconciliation and a Eucharistic Procession. Visit arisemke.org for dates.

  • Stations Of the Cross - at Holy Hill Or Redemptorist Retreat Center Both of these places have outdoor stations running through a wooded area. Download a stations of the cross reflection guide and head out!

  • Cor Jesu - Every Wednesday, 7-9pm at St. Robert in Shorewood. An hour of Eucharistic Adoration with prayerful music and an opportunity for reconciliation, followed by Mass at 8pm.

  • Rosary Walk - Go to your favorite park or hiking spot and pray a rosary for a special intention while walking in nature.

Holy Places To Visit

  • Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help - Did you know that there is an approved Marian Apparition site here in WI? In 1859, Mary appeared to a young girl in Champion, WI. You can visit the site which now has a prayer garden, church, chapel, and café.

  • Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe - if you find yourself in LaCrosse, stop by this beautiful shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Enjoy multiple chapels and spots of prayer, outdoor stations and rosary walk, plus a beautiful church.

  • Marytown: National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe - This museum and chapel located in Libertyville, IL. There, you can learn about the heroic life of St. Maximilian Kolbe and his martyrdom in Auschwitz. Then you can pray in the chapel and make a stop in the gift shop. 

  • St. Josaphat Basilica - This local, Milwaukee basilica is stunning. Consider attending 10am Sunday Mass there and stay for the tour at 11. Call to verify tour availability. Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago - Take the train down to Chicago and visit this Cathedral for Mass. Call to schedule a tour.

What can I do for my service experience?

You can do anything that requires you to make a gift of your time, energy, and talent for the sake of those in need. Here's a list to get you started, but you do not need to choose something from this list.

Meals

  • St. Ben’s Meal Program – Daily; 414-271-0135.

  • Open Door Café at the Cathedral – Sun-Fri lunch; 414-276-9814.

  • The Guest House – daily meals and bag lunches; 414-345-3240.

  • St. Vincent de Paul – Daily Dinner; svdpmilw.org

  • Milwaukee Rescue Mission – meals daily; 414-935-0200.

  • All Saints Catholic Church – food pantry and meals; 414-444-5610.

 

Community Outreach

  • Repairers of the Breach – call for service opportunities and donations needed; 414-595-6447.

  • City on a Hill – health clinic, meals, community events, admin work; cityonahillmke.org

  • Riverwest Food Pantry - riverwestfoodpantry.org.

  • Tosa Cares – Food pantry, clothing, sort, donate - tosacares.org.

  • Wauwatosa Food Pantry – contact St. Bernard parish office.

 

Parish Service Opportunities

  • Office Work – contact parish office.

  • Building/Grounds Work – contact parish office.

  • Living Waters Campaign, St. Pius X - contact parish office.

  • Liturgical Service: lector, sing, usher, or be a sacristan – contact parish office.

  • St. Vincent de Paul – contact Judy O’Connell, 414-453-8666.

  • Human Concerns Committee – SB & CK, Maureen Stern, 414-698-8056.

  • Justice & Peace Committee – contact St. Pius parish office.

How do I use the Catechism?

 
 
 

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Sama'ria and to the end of the earth."

Acts 1:8