St. Mary’s offers a 2-year program in preparation for our teens receiving the gift of God’s Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation. Our teens receive the Sacrament at a Saturday Mass in September of their junior year of high school.
The preparation for Confirmation is firstly done by helping our teens learn what they believe and why as they explore, question, and grow in their Catholic faith. Secondly, our program aims to lead the teens into a personal encounter with Jesus Christ as they prepare for a lifetime of prayer, worship, service, and discipleship.
Taking place during teen’s 9th and 10th grade years, our Confirmation program is composed of faith formation sessions, worship at Sunday Mass, retreats, and Christian service.
Each grade’s faith formation sessions take place roughly every other week throughout the academic year. There are two sessions offered each week, one on Tuesday and one on Thursday, allowing teens to bounce back and forth between either one to best fit their schedule. Teens who miss both the Tuesday and Thursday sessions will be required to do video make up work, and can only do so for 2 of the roughly 13 sessions throughout the academic year. The sessions take place from 6:30 – 8:30 PM in Father Haley Hall located in our Parish Center. Each session includes prayer, games, teambuilding, large group presentations, small group discussions, and other activities.
Catholics are required to worship at Mass each and every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation. A young person who is not taking one hour a week to worship God in the Sunday Mass is not ready for Confirmation. Teens are required to fill out 10 Mass Reflection Sheets during each of their 2 years in the Confirmation prep program. These Mass Reflection Sheets only take a few minutes to fill out and allow a chance to reflect on the readings, homily, and Mass in general. The Mass Reflection Sheets help teens currently not in the habit of attending weekly Mass get in the habit of doing so, and teens who already attend Mass learn to take lessons away from the Mass. Teens who do not submit 10 Mass Reflection sheets by their last faith formation session will not be able to move on to Grade 10 or be recommended to the Bishop for Confirmation.
In addition to faith formation sessions, students are to attend 2 Confirmation retreats. Both the 9th Grade and 10th Grade Confirmation retreats have 2 dates they are offered each academic year, with teens attending either retreat. All retreats take place here at St. Mary’s, occur during a single day, and are led by outside retreat leaders. Many teens find these to be the highlight of the program.
Christian Service is another important aspect of the life of a mature Christian. Confirmation teens are to participate in 3 service projects in each of their Confirmation Prep years. At least one of these projects needs to be faith based or through St. Mary’s. Teens can certainly count projects they are already involved in (such as projects through school, clubs, teams, or EPIC, St. Mary’s high school youth group). Each project should be at least 3 hours, and have a Confirmation Service Reflection Sheet filled out and submitted after the project is completed. We emphasize that service and the other elements of our Confirmation prep program are not done to “check the box” but are done to lead us into relationship with our loving God.
At the end of their 10th Grade Confirmation year, teens are to complete a “Catholic Fundamentals Review” This review quiz ensures that teens have a basic, working understanding of the faith they are about say “yes” to when confirmed. The questions will be given to the teens ahead of time and re-takes will be allowed if needed.
Also, at the end of the program, each teen will have an informal interview with one of their Confirmation teachers. It is at this interview where teens express whether or not they feel ready to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Each teen has to make the decision for themselves whether they want to be confirmed. We emphasize that teens should not be confirmed because their family and Confirmation teachers want them to, but because each teen believes and wants to commit to living out the Catholic Faith.
Teens who attend Catholic high school do not have to participate in Grade 9 of Confirmation prep, but do have to participate in Grade 10 of Confirmation prep.
We understand that today’s teens are very busy. It is imperative however that religious commitments, like Mass and faith formation sessions be given schedule priority to sports, work, studying, and other extracurriculars. Students must attend their sessions on time and stay for their entire class. With so many things vying for our attention and time, a mature Christian is one who puts God first in their life and in their schedule.
For further information or to ask questions about our program, please contact Confirmation Coordinator Jake Thiringer at 508-429-6076, ext. 223 or [email protected]
Adjustments to our Program during the 2020-2021 Academic Year due to our Covid-19 Pandemic
- Mass Reflection Sheets can be filled out for Masses prayed along with while watching online or on TV in addition to Masses attended in person.
- In addition to the Tuesday and Thursday in person Classes, there is also the option to attend a live online class which takes place Sunday afternoons on Zoom.
- There are no service projects required for this academic year.
- There are no Confirmation retreats offered or required for this academic year.
- When Holliston is in Massachusetts’ Covid-19 Red Zone, no in-person classes will take place and the Tuesday and Thursday sessions will also be live online using Zoom.
- In person classes will be socially distanced and teens and teachers are to wear masks covering their nose and mouth.