Catechesis for the Confirmation of Adolescents

Authored by John Rapisarda in Issue #29.2 of The Sower

On May 9, 2001, the Congregation for Bishops granted recognitio to the action of the United States bishops regarding the Sacrament of Confirmation. This action was that the sacrament ‘shall be conferred between the age of discretion and about sixteen years of age, within the limits determined by the diocesan bishop and with regard for the legitimate exceptions given in canon 891.’[i] As a result, there is a diverse practice for the Sacrament of Confirmation in the United States, differing from diocese to diocese and, in some cases, parish to parish.[ii] Because of this diversity, the guidelines for catechesis for confirmation in the National Directory for Catechesis are not as thorough as that for the other sacraments. Many dioceses confer Confirmation during middle school, some have mandated Confirmation at the age of discretion for the whole diocese, and many leave the decision up to the pastor of the specific parish.[iii]

In this article, I would like to address sacramental preparation/catechesis for Confirmation when conferred on adolescents. I will first look at the basic relevant Scriptural and theological principles of Confirmation. Then I would like to discuss some catechetical difficulties and abuses that are present in contemporary Confirmation preparation/catechesis and offer some possible solutions. Finally, I will offer several pastoral considerations in preparing adolescents for Confirmation.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Sower and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of Maryvale Institute. Contact sower@maryvale.ac.uk

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor's Reflections: Recovering God's Work in the Sacraments
By Dr. James Pauley
Free The distress has been palpable. Important voices within the Church decry clericalism as the cause of the current scandal. Others point to the Church’s teaching concerning sexuality not being lived or taught with clarity. Still others describe a lack of authentic conversion, that many of our leaders are not allowing the grace of Christ to bring... Read more
The Eucharist: Who, When, What, Why, and Where? Part 1
By Peter Kreeft
Free Socrates and Plato and Aristotle and Buddha and Confucius and Lao Tzu all gave us their minds; Christ gave us his body. They all tried to save the world from ignorance by their philosophies; Christ saved the world from sin and death and hell by his body and blood—both on the cross and in the Eucharist. Christ said, “Come unto me.” Buddha said, “... Read more
The Two-Fold Gift of Sacramental Grace: To Heal and To Uplift
By Sr. Mary Madeline Todd, OP
One of the marks of contemporary experience seems to be a widespread sense of brokenness, a sort of heaviness of being. Therefore, one of the least debated claims of Christianity is that we need healing, both personal and societal. Social analysts repeatedly look for the causes of this individual and collective discontent. While there are cultural... Read more

Pages

Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now