As a confirmation facilitator, it feels like a “rescue mission” trying to re-ignite faith, hope, and charity in souls that are growing cold and are in need of conversion. The young people I serve do not always benefit from the witness of fervent or healthy families. Parents sometimes value their child’s résumé over their religious formation. Many things, like sports, compete with time for God on the weekend. The result is an attitude that religious formation is more of a burden than a blessing. I often assume that those who come to be catechized do not want to be there.
I’m trying to learn how to depend on the Holy Spirit and be attentive to the diverse needs of those being catechized without being disheartened or overwhelmed. Somehow the catechesis I provide must be a means for a young person to discover Jesus and come to follow Him, perhaps for the first time. Last year as I served a group of thirty students, composed of both public and Catholic school students, it was intimidating to say the least. We began the year with Alpha, a program based on video presentations and small group discussion. For the first few months, I came to know only a fraction of the confirmation students, those who were assigned to my table. I wondered how I could establish a relationship of trust and openness with the other students.