Confirmation


     
 


Confirmation Class - Sponsor Information




Should I be a sponsor?

t  It's an honor to be asked to be a sponsor but before you say "Yes" consider the requirements and responsibilities:

t  Are you an active, practicing Catholic who has already celebrated the sacrament of Confirmation?

t  Are you more mature, more informed, and more experienced
in the ways of our faith and culture than the candidate?

t  Do you have a trusting relationship and strong relationship with the candidate?

t  Can you meet with the candidate on a regular basis (in person, by phone, or by e-mail) prior to the celebration and make a commitment to continue the faith journey after the celebration of Confirmation?

t  Are you willing to share your faith with the candidate?

t  Are you open, honest, caring, committed, and encouraging
person who will help the candidate grow in his or her
understanding of the faith as the young person comes to
a deeper appreciation for God in his or her life?

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Sponsor Requirements

t  Fr. Steve must verify that each sponsor is spiritually fit and meet the following qualifications:

t  must be at least 16 years old

t  may not be the natural or adoptive parents of the candidate

t  must be fully initiated into the Catholic Faith (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist)

t  must be leading a life in harmony with the Faith

t  must be free of any canonical impediment

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Qualities of a Good Sponsor

t  An active Catholic, who understands his or her faith and lives it in their daily life.  Attends Mass with the confirmation candidate when possible.  Encourages the candidate to practice their faith by frequently the sacraments

t  A true friend, someone for a candidate to trust and confide in even after Confirmation

t  A role model, someone who can show by example how to live a good life

t  A good listener, who will really listen to the candidate and respect their opinions

t  A fellow traveler, who is willing to participate in all the required activities with the candidate

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Be at Your Best

If you have been chosen to be a Confirmation sponsor, congratulations!  This person sees in you a profound faith commitment, finds trust and knows you are someone who will care about them and their faith.  Sounds impressive, doesn't it?  It's not all that complicated, but it does take time, a caring heart and a listening ear.  If you're a practicing, mature Catholic, don't get too worried.

Here are a few suggestions on how to be the best possible sponsor for your candidate:

t  Be a living model of faith.  At least a part of what this young person admires in you is your faith!  If the way you practice your faith is not what it should be, "get it together," so to speak!  If you honestly can't, this is understandable, but maybe you should decline the invitation to be a sponsor.  Your life doesn't have to become artificially saintly, but your faith should be authentic and sincere.

t  Pray for your candidate and yourself.  As candidates decide to be confirmed, they need spiritual strength.  Your prayers for them are important, but don't forget to pray for yourself also, that  you can share why you value and practice your Catholicism.  Attend Mass together, or even have the courage to come to Reconciliation together.

t  Give of your time and share your gifts.  You'll be asked to spend time together on various activities. T his may mean preparing lessons or even working on a Christian service project.  You could also share your own experiences or write a letter of encouragement. Let your unique God-given talents and gifts shine!  Offer a gift of spiritual significance - a new Bible, rosary or book about our faith or about the saint the candidate has chosen for a Confirmation name - but be creative and relevant!

t  Don't miss the ceremony. Participating in the ceremony is the easiest part of being a sponsor.  Your basic job will be to place your hand on your candidate's shoulder, and tell the bishop your candidate's Confirmation name.  You're there to be a support, but your role on Confirmation day is only beginning.  Also, bring review the dress code for the ceremony.

t  Don't forget this newly confirmed Catholic.  After
Confirmation day, remember birthdays and this anniversary.  Send a card or make a phone call.  Continue to worship together, or from time to time do some Christian service.  Put those "Gifts of the Spirit" into practice.

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Twenty Tips for Sponsors

1.  Participate with the young person in activities, i.e., go to a movie and talk about it over a snack; invitation on an outing such as biking, roller blading, ice skating or hiking.  Try activities that involve the young person in creative expression.

2.  Establish a regular time to be with the young person as listener, sharer and co-traveler on the faith journey.  Communicate that the friendship between the two of you makes a difference in your life.

3.  Encourage the young person to keep a personal journal and share reflections of your own daily life.  Talk about current events and trend.

4.  Be willing to enter into discussion with the young person about the differing values around us and affirm the healthy, life-giving choices of the young person.  Model healthy, life-giving choices and relationships in your own life.  Share stories of others, both current and of history, who have struggled with issues of personal integrity.

5.  Recommend, and even buy for the young person, spiritual reading, “reflections for every day”, that link faith to life.

6.  Expose the young person to professional acquaintances in particular fields and vocations where exploration of vocational choices is possible.

7.  Share with the young person the significant moments in your faith life. Ask open-ended questions (why, how, where, when) that encourage exploration of how faith is experienced in life.

8.  Participate with the young person in community service activities and together keep a photo journal of your involvement.

9.  Advocate for inclusion of the young person and peers in leadership capacities at the parish and to become an integral part of the planning process for programs that involve them.

10.  Explore with the young person a variety of ways to pray. Send scripture notes every week.  Meet and talk about what kind of homily they would write for the upcoming Sunday.

11.  Find five other adults who will pray for this young person.

12.  Create a prayer board for the young person’s bedroom where they can put the names of people who are need of prayer.

13.  Send a special card to the young person on the anniversary of their baptism.

14.  Reach out to the young person with a “good luck on the exam” telephone call or a congratulatory note about a job well done. Try doing “random acts of kindness” for them.

15.  Support mom and dad with a listening, empathic ear.

16.  Learn friends’ names and inquire about them regularly. Invite the
friend(s) to join the two of you on an occasion or two. Host a popcorn/movie night and watch a “religious movie”, (i.e., Jesus of Nazareth, Romero) with them. Prepare a special dinner before Confirmation for them. Find ways to include peers in making the Confirmation celebration more meaningful, i.e., have a group of friends make a scrapbook for the young person. Talk about the value of friends and the struggles of relationships.

17.  Take the young person to the ritual experiences at Church or in the Community, i.e. the community’s Stations of the Cross.

18.  Share how your faith and experiences of Church have made a difference in your life – including the doubts and struggles you may experience.

19.  Pray for the young person and let them know you are praying for them.

20.  Ask the young person to pray for you.

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As a sponsor, what should I wear at the ceremony?

The sponsors should also be appropriately dressed, since in their role they are an official representative of the Church. Men should wear Dress Shirt/Tie and Jacket. Women should wear a skirt or dress of appropriate length or a dress pants suit.

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Talk Openly and Freely with the Candidate

We suggest you open with prayer with the candidate.

t  Encourage the candidate to ask you questions about your faith. 

t  We encourage you to tell the Candidate how you live your life according to Christian values, and how the Holy Spirit guides you in times of confusion or difficulty.

Suggested Questions

t  Why did you choose me as your sponsor?

t  What do you think it means to be Catholic?

t  What service project are you doing to prepare for Confirmation?

t  What are you learning in your Confirmation class?  Refer to the classroom page

t  How do you plan to live your life as a Catholic in the immediate future? (Their relationship to family, friends, classmates, strangers)

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For more information click here to read an article by Archbishop Gregory regarding the Role of Confirmation Sponsors

 

 
St. Patrick's Church at Moody Air Force Base