8th Grade Confirmation Program Curriculum and Program Overview:
Confirmed in the Spirit, by Loyola Press
-this comprehensive formation includes more than instruction: it is an apprenticeship of the entire Christian life, it is a “complete Christian initiation”, (23) which promotes an authentic following of Christ, focused on his Person; it implies education in knowledge of the faith and in the life of faith, in such a manner that the entire person, at his deepest levels, feels enriched by the word of God; it helps the disciple of Christ to transform the old man in order to assume his baptismal responsibilities and to profess the faith from the “heart”; (24) (General Directory for Catechesis # 67)
The theme of Confirmed in the Spirit program is renewal in the Spirit. The goal is a deepening of the faith life within young people through an awareness of the special strength they receive in Confirmation to live the Christian life and to witness to Christ. To achieve this goal, Confirmed in the Spirit develops three objectives over eight chapters.
A deepening of these attitudes in the lives of young people:
- Belief in the Spirit in the Church and within them
- Love for God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and for all God’s people
- Gratitude for creation, redemption, and the gift of the Spirit
- Trust in the Spirit, who enables them to grow in faith throughout life
- Valuing of the Gifts of the Spirit, which are for personal holiness and service of the Church
- Appreciation of the Fruits of the Spirit as signs of the Spirit’s presence
Growth in knowledge and understanding of the main truths of the Catholic faith by young people, especially:
- The Spirit is God, the Third Person of the Trinity, the source of life and love.
- The Spirit descended upon Jesus at his baptism, the beginning of his public ministry.
- The Spirit descended upon the apostles at Pentecost, forming the first Christian community, and remains with the Church forever.
- At Baptism the Spirit comes upon the member of the Church and bestows strength to follow Christ and to live by his commandments.
- In Confirmation Catholics renew their baptismal commitment personally and become more intimately bound to the community. The Catholic is anointed, sealed with the Spirit, and strengthened in faith to be a witness to Christ and to share his mission.
- Confirmation is a Sacrament of Initiation that celebrates the active presence of the Spirit in the life of the Catholic Church community.
An increasingly mature response by young people in these ways:
- acknowledge their need for the strength provided by the Spirit in Confirmation
- listen to the Spirit and be open to his working in their lives
- desire to renew their baptismal promises and to grow in their knowledge of the faith and in the faith life
- resolve to cooperate with the Gifts of the Spirit in order to deepen their relationship with God, to live the spirit of the Beatitudes, and to serve others through the works of mercy
- seek and accept the support of their pastors, parents, sponsors, and faith community and support them
- desire to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, willingly prepare for it, and meet the requirement
Requirements for Confirmation:
To be confirmed, one must
- be a baptized person who has not been confirmed
- be suitably instructed, properly disposed, and able to renew the baptismal promises
- present a certificate of Baptism, if the sacrament was received at another parish
- choose a Saint name, (or keep their baptismal name)
- write a letter to the bishop or pastor indicating readiness and desire to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation
To be a sponsor for a Confirmation candidate, one must
- be designated by the candidate, by the candidate’s parents (or guardian), or in their absence, by the pastor, and must have the intention of being a sponsor – the sponsor may be male or female and cannot be the candidate’s parents
- be the baptismal sponsor, if possible
- be at least 16 years of age
- be a Catholic who has been confirmed and practices their faith
I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities…I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you…you shall be my people, and I will be your God. (Ezekiel 36:25-28)