Confirmation is a sacrament in which we receive a new, deeper outpouring of the Holy Spirit into our hearts in an extraordinary way. This process is an opportunity for teens to be "strengthened by power from heaven, made true witnesses of Christ in word and deed, and be bound more closely to the Church” (Apostolic Constitution). As such, our confirmation process is NOT a requirement to be Catholic, an entitlement, or a “graduation” from religious education.
"Behold, I am doing something new..." Isaiah 43:19
Our Confirmation process provides interested teens with a year-long experience in which students are prepared to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation and full initiation into the Catholic Church. Preparation includes regular mass attendance, small group meetings, service experiences, regular meetings with ones sponsor, a letter to the bishop, and a full weekend confirmation retreat. Our program focuses on the Sacrament of Confirmation, as well as various elements of what it means to be Catholic.
Small Group & Retreat Sign-Up
CHOOSE A SPONSOR
Confirmation Sponsor Information
Sponsor Designation Form
Sponsor Letter of Reference (.pdf)
Director of Student & Young Adult Ministries
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What are the Requirements to apply for the
To apply for the Confirmation Process, a student must be entering their junior year of high school. Students should be active in growing as a disciple via our discipleship process before registering. This may mean deferring confirmation until senior year.
2. What if my teen is not ready to be confirmed?
A student can also elect to go through the program as a high school senior or participate in a confirmation process as a young adult or adult. We recommend at least giving this confirmation process a chance and decide at the end if they are ready or wish to be confirmed.
3. What is a small group? When do they meet?
Small groups provide the fuel that drives students to develop and grow in their relationship with God. Ideally led by a adult leader and a confirmed high school mentor, each small group includes a maximum of 10 students.
Confirmation small groups will meet on average two to three times a month for an hour and a half in a small group setting. They will meet at different times of the week either at a host families’ home [FAQ #7] or at St. Charles. Students will sign up for groups in mid-August.
4. How do I sign-up for a small group?
Candidates will receive an e-mail in August to sign-up for their small group. Once that e-mail has gone out, the link on this page to sign up will also be unlocked.
5. What if I need to miss a small group?
Candidates will not be excused from completing any lesson. If for some reason you know you will not be able to attend your small group, please contact your leader ASAP. You should then consult our master calendar to see when other confirmation small groups are meeting and what lesson they are covering and attend their small group by emailing that small group leader at least two days in advance that you are coming. NOTE: Your small group may be the last one covering that lesson and may need to go to another small group in advance of your absence.
If you miss a small group, you can make it up with another small group, also by informing them.
Missing your group in favor of attending another group is HIGHLY discouraged. A large part of the process is forming a community with your small group built on trust. Constant absences from your small group robs you of that ability, and visiting another small group can disrupt their discussion since they have not built that trust with you.
6. How are small group leaders selected?
Small group leaders apply to be a part of our Core Team. Each member goes through an interview/approval process that includes completion of the "Safeguarding All of God's Family" Program and a background check every five years.
The Core Team meets monthly to pray for the teens, grow as leaders and in their faith, and discuss issues related to our ministries. They also attend a yearly retreat.
7. What are host families?
In order to provide a warm atmosphere for our confirmation process, we are looking for some families willing to host their candidate’s confirmation small group and their Core Team member in their home. The Core Team member will run the night; the host family provides a welcoming space for the group to meet that has a DVD player and a TV. You can alternate dates with one other family. If interested in being a host family, please check the box on the registration form. All adults (18+) living in the household must be (or become) safe environment trained, including a background check. Thank you in advance for your support!
8. What is the retreat all about?
Retreats are the cornerstone of our Life Teen program because they provide an environment for students to get away from the many distractions in their lives and focus on their faith and relationship with God. The Archdiocese requires attendance on one of our weekend retreats. Candidates must be present at the entire retreat. No one will be allowed to arrive late or leave early.
We offer a number of other different Encounter retreats during the year that are open to all high school students such as: Devil’s Lake Retreat, Discipleship Retreat, winter retreat, and the Wisconsin Catholic Youth Rally. These retreats do not count as the required confirmation process retreat but candidates are welcome to attend these experiences as well.
9. What if I need to arrive late or leave the retreat early?
Due to the nature of the retreat we do not allow teens to arrive late or leave early. In select cases an exception may be made by Nick on a case-by-case basis. Please contact our office ASAP to schedule a time to meet with Nick.
10. What if I have a conflict with all the retreat weekends?
Contact our office ASAP! We know a limited number of other awesome youth ministers in the Archdiocese and can get you in touch with a retreat experience that will be as wonderful as ours.
11. How many service hours do candidates need to complete?
The Confirmation Process requires that candidates explore different forms of service in their lives. We are more interested in the candidates growing as an individual and in their faith than just accumulating hours of service. Candidates are asked to perform a total of four (4) service experiences; two ministries (service to the Church) and two missions (service to the community).
Candidates will fill out a form on their experience and reflect on the experience with their mentor.
Going on a mission trip the summer before the confirmation process can count as all four service experiences. Being a part of a parish ministry during this year may be used for their two ministry experiences..
12. What is the role of a Confirmation Mentor?
A confirmation mentor is an additional adult (who happens to be a Core Member) that may be selected by a teen to aid in their preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
13. Why do candidates pick a confirmation/saint name?
Part of the richness of the Catholic faith is the Communion of Saints. The communion of saints is the spiritual solidarity which binds the faithful on earth, the souls in purgatory, and the saints in heaven. As part of the confirmation process candidates select members of the communion of saints to support them on their confirmation journey. One is our sponsor (faithful on earth) and the other is a recognized Saint (in heaven).
14. What is the role of a confirmation sponsor?
A sponsor is someone who journeys with the candidate during his/her preparation for the sacrament. In making this choice, the church recognizes that one’s sponsor is a partner in his/her formation, and asks him/her to be conscious of the sponsor’s influence, trusting they will act in the candidate’s best interests and in Jesus’ name. The sponsor will be asked to formally present the candidate to the Bishop at the Rite of Confirmation. More information about picking a sponsor is available here.
15. What are the requirements for a confirmation sponsor?
A sponsor must be a practicing Catholic who has been fully initiated into the Church (has been Confirmed), at least 16 years old, but cannot be a candidate’s parent. Candidates will be asked to meet a few times during the year with their sponsor to discuss faith, ask questions, and talk about the confirmation process.
16. Why Student & Parent Pre-Process Statements?
The purpose of having the candidate and the parents each write a brief statement is to help the confirmation Core Team get a better sense of where the candidates and family are in their faith journey at the beginning of the process to make sessions as relevant as possible. Please be honest in these statements; there are no correct answers. Use the below questions to help you write the essay. Both essays should each be about 500 words; preferably size 12 font and single-spaced.
Describe your current relationship with God, what does it look like? What type of Christian man/woman do you envision for your future? What steps do you need to take to get closer to God?
How have you shared your faith with your children? How have you shared the importance of this Sacrament with your teen? What is your hope/vision that you have for your child after he or she receives this sacrament?
17. How can I, as a parent, get involved?
We’re glad you asked! There are a lot of ways to participate in the fun as you experience your own spiritual growth through serving. Two major ways you can assist our ministries is to lead (or co-lead) a small group or be a host family for a small group. You can also ask your student’s small group leader how you can support him or her. Offer to provide snacks, or if the leader is looking to do a group service project you can help set up a trip or provide transportation to an outing.
18. Can a parent lead their student's small group?
Becoming a small group leader is a fun and exciting way to stay engaged with your own confirmation candidate. We absolutely encourage parents to become small group leaders—and, with our rapidly expanding student ranks, we need you—but we do not permit parents to lead their own children's confirmation small group. Some students need more space than others and are far more likely to be candid in small group discussions when parents are not present. We’ll help find the best fit for you, as well as the right place to maximize your student’s experience in the confirmation process.
19. What is a session needs to be rescheduled due to weather or another cause?
We will do our best to update our website and social media accounts to keep you informed. You can also sign-up for our text message service for just urgent messages as such by texting @urgenttxts to 81010.
Please Note: This text service is via a computer system and is not a means to contact us!
20. What else is available to my teen?
All of our Life Teen ministries are open to all high school students. Even as part of the confirmation program, teens are encouraged to take advantage of different service and social events, Life Nights, Emmaus Discipleship Group, retreats, mission trips, and camp. Teen disciples are encouraged to be leading their peers through the discipleship process while still growing in their faith. Please continue to check our website and newsletters, or contact us, for more information.
21. What are the registration fees?
Please see the Formation Payment Worksheet in the Confirmation Process tab.
22. My teen may need an individualized plan to complete the confirmation process...
Please do not hesitate to contact Nick and we will work with you to tailor a program more conducive to your child’s learning ability.