In order to ensure the valid reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation, we are responsible to investigate and help individuals resolve any possible situations that would cause them to be ineligible. Therefore, the following requirements are in place to safeguard the sacrament, and to provide guidance to individuals who need further assistance with preparing for Confirmation.
Every potential candidate must schedule an initial interview with the Director of Religious Education prior to the deadline posted. In the interview, the director will inquire into the individual’s faith and marital status background, assess their sacramental and formation needs, and cover the necessary details each person needs prior to admitting them into the preparation. Below is information that will be discussed in the interview.
Who may prepare?
Confirmation in our parish is usually given to students in grade 7, and thee is a two-year preparation to receive the sacrament. Baptized Catholic adults who have celebrated First Holy Communion but lack the Sacrament of Confirmation, and who do not have any other impediments to receiving the Sacraments (such as irregular marriage/need for annulment) ma also prepare to receive the sacrament of Confirmation.
Please note: Individuals must be in a proper state of grace before they can receive the sacrament of Confirmation, which means if married, must be in a marriage formally recognized by the Catholic Church.
For example: A Catholic married by a Justice of the Peace or other non-Catholic officiator without a formal dispensation from the Church is outside the state of grace, according to the Church’s theology on the sacraments.
1 Divorced: Catholics who are divorced, but NOT remarried or engaged, may prepare for Confirmation provided they acknowledge if this status changes, they MUST complete a petition for nullity on the failed marriage(s) BEFORE they marry in the Church. Failure to do so places them outside the state of grace, and unable to receive the sacraments.
2 Re-married: Catholics who divorce and re-marry without obtaining a formal decree of nullity on the prior failed marriage(s) (either their own, or their spouses) may not receive any of the Church’s sacraments unless they complete the required petition and the Church grants the annulment. There is no guarantee that an affirmative decision will be reached with any petition for annulment.
3 Married: Catholics seeking the sacrament of Confirmation must be married by the Church, either by a deacon or priest BEFORE receiving the sacrament of Confirmation (or Holy Communion, and Reconciliation). If a Catholic is currently only civilly or common-law married, they must marry in the Catholic Church prior to being confirmed.
If you have any questions, please contact the Director of Religious Education and schedule an interview. Not all annulments require the same process; we will help you determine what process is necessary, and help you through it. The above information is to provide basic information on common scenarios/questions. We are here to help.
Each person must submit a NEWLY dated Certificate of Baptism with notations from the church of their baptism, dated no more than 6 months from the time preparation begins. Do not submit the original certificate issued at the time of baptism. There are no exceptions, regardless of where one was baptized in the world. The Catholic must contact the parish (or diocese) where their baptism took place and request a new certificate. Certificates may be mailed, faxed, or scanned as an attachment.
Example: Baptism certificates dated before December 1, 2015 for the 2016 preparation session are too old for us to accept. Potential candidates should aim to order their new certificate between Dec - March.
Each person must have a sponsor, and it must only be one (1) person. Sponsors are encouraged to attend all the preparation sessions in a supportive role*. Sponsors must meet the following requirements at the minimum, but should be fully active in their own parishes, and must be able to validly receive Holy Communion each Sunday.
• Must be at least 16 years old
• Must be fully initiated in the Catholic Church (Baptized, Confirmed, Holy Communion)
• Must not be parent/guardian of the adult
• If married, marriage must be formally recognized by the Catholic Church.
• Is not the spouse or fiancé of the intended participant
Participants should choose their sponsor very carefully. Sponsors will be expected to validly receive Holy Communion during the Rite of Confirmation with their candidates. If a person is unable to receive Holy Communion due to marital status, they are ineligible to serve as sponsor.
If there is any question about who can sponsor or if a candidate cannot provide one, contact the Director of Religious Education immediately.
*Sponsors are present to serve in a supportive role. This means the sponsor is not the intended audience for discussions and questions and therefore expected to refrain from incessant talking, questions, and over-sharing. Candidates are the focus and will be encouraged to participate in all discussions, large or small group.