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Confirmation Preparation

Confirmation 2018-2019 

Dear parishioners,

We have talented Catechists who are working hard to assure a great Confirmation program this year. It is urgent that you fill out forms and complete the interviews. All required information is below. Please begin that process immediately.


Deacon Ed



Bishop Knestout  calls for early start for Confirmation!

Candidate Action Needed NOW!!

Confirmation Kickoff & Registration  - Sunday, September 29, 2019 10:00 AM


Pre Confirmation Interview dates:

Pre Confirmation Interviews (required to complete registration) 

will be held after the 5 PM Mass and between the Sunday Masses on:

Oct 12/13    Oct 19/20   Oct 26/27

Contact  Pam Sperbeck to schedule your time.

Pamela Sperbeck  pjsquill@comcast.net                  804-852-7785

Candidate Preparation Meetings begin Sunday, January 5, 2019.  We will meet in the Multi-Purpose Room at 9:45 each week. Meetings will end between 11:30 am and 11:45 am. 

Meeting Dates:

Jan 5    Jan 12    Jan 19     Jan 26    Feb 2     Feb 9    Feb 16    Feb 23 

You will not be able to attend 11 AM Mass so please attend either the 5pm Saturday Mass or the 8:30am Mass throughout the class schedule. *Attending Confirmation meetings is NOT a substitute or a reason to miss Mass. Thank you!

 Candidates, dress appropriately for sitting on the floor or going outside weather permitting. Candidates do not have to bring anything with them, except the joy to continue this great journey of faith!  

 *During meetings all cell phones must be placed on silent or turned off and kept in a pocket. Thanks!

 The Confirmation dates and Retreat dates for 2019-20 have not yet been announced by the diocese..  


Contact Information
Confirmation Program Coordinators: 

Pamela Sperbeck  pjsquill@comcast.net                  804-852-7785

Who is a Candidate for Confirmation?

The confirmand or candidate for Confirmation is defined as a baptized adolescent who has received the Sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist, and who participates in the parish’s Confirmation-preparation program. The confirmand must meet the diocesan guidelines pertaining to age and readiness. It is the responsibility of the candidate to be open to receiving the grace of the sacrament, responding to his or her Baptism. It is through careful study and prayer that a candidate should prepare to receive Confirmation.

What are the age guidelines for the diocese?

By virtue of the authority granted by the Catholic Church, Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo has set the appropriate age for preparation and reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation to be when an individual is both at least 15 years of age and enrolled in at least the tenth grade. This new age is effective July 1, 2010.

I want to be a candidate. What next?

  1. Immediately notify the parish office of your intent.
  2. Be sure your family is registered in the parish.
  3. Complete a Youth Registration form.
  4. Complete a Confirmation Registration and Sponsor Form:
  5. Choose a sponsor and have them sign the Sponsor Attestation Form.
  6. Attach proof of your Baptism and First Eucharist. We need certificate copies or parish name, address and phone number of the parish where they were received. Former parishes may Fax copies of certificates to 804-598-1467.
  7. Attach Sponsor Attestation Form.

 Completed Registration Forms and proof of Sacraments are needed immediately. 

    Registration Ends September 29th and candidate interviews will begin October 12th  and be completed by  October 27th.

Do I need a sponsor?

You have chosen a sponsor to assist you in carrying out the responsibility associated with the Sacrament of Confirmation. In doing so, you recognize his or her maturity and practice of the faith to help you, as a recipient of a special gift of the Holy Spirit, to “never be ashamed to confess Christ crucified before the world.”

In choosing a sponsor, you should carefully consider the person’s capacity to undertake this role. The specific qualifications of a sponsor, according to Church law,2 are as follows:  

  • Requirements for Godparents and Confirmation Sponsors

Church Law (Code of Canon Law, can. 874 §1) requires that the godparent/sponsor be:

• At least 16 years old (A pastor may grant an exception to the age requirement for a just cause.)

• Fully-initiated Catholic (having received the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist)

• Not bound by any canonical penalty (e.g. a person who is married must be in a marriage which is recognized by the Church)

• Be leading a life of faith befitting the role to be undertaken (for example, regularly  attending Sunday Mass; if married, be in a marriage recognized by the Catholic Church) 

Not be a parent of the confirmand; however, a parent may accompany his or her child, instead of a sponsor, in the rite of Confirmation, including at the Anointing with Chrism.

The above criteria reflect the Church’s view that living the faith is taught best by example. Your chosen sponsor is asked to testify that he or she meets these qualifications by completing the Sponsor Attestation Form for Confirmation. Please provide the sponsor with this document in a timely manner so that it can be returned to the parish or campus ministry before the celebration of Confirmation.   

 NOTE: Forms and all Confirmation Information is available for download at     www.sjnpowhatan.org

Very Important !!   We will be asking sponsors to participate in various activities and to attend some classes so please choose someone who lives close enough to take an active part in the process. If you are having trouble finding a sponsor, there are parishioners who will be glad to help. Just let us know.

Do I choose a “Confirmation Name”?

Since Confirmation is now seen in relationship to Baptism, any discussion of a Confirmation name must be placed in that context. The current Rite of Confirmation recommends that the sponsor for Confirmation be the baptismal godparent. It presumes that candidates for Confirmation will be addressed by their baptismal name. Nowhere does the rite mention the custom of choosing a separate Confirmation name. Neither does the Code of Canon Law. Only in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is there mention of a rite for a catechumen to receive a “baptismal name” before the celebration of that sacrament. While the affirmation of one’s baptismal name is thus preferred, one could choose another saint’s name or a mystery of the Lord to be pronounced by the bishop in addition to (not in place of) the baptismal name. 

What are the elements of the program?

Inquiry Phase, Orientation and Discernment

Candidates and parents attend an orientation session to help candidates discern their readiness and disposition for sacramental preparation.

The pastor or his delegated individual(s) conduct separate interviews of both the candidate and his or her parents for beginning Confirmation preparation.

The pastor’s invitation for the candidate to enter the program is based on the interviewer’s assessment of:

1.      Participation in the sacramental life of the Church, especially regular attendance at Sunday Mass and reception of Holy Communion.

2.      Basic formation in the Gospel as evidenced through knowledge of the Catholic faith and desire for ongoing conversion.

Rite of Recognition and Call to Confirmation

SJN will celebrate the Rite of Recognition at a Sunday Mass. All candidates are expected to attend.

Catechetical Component

Each parish is responsible for creating a Confirmation Program following the diocesan Confirmation curriculum that is separate, distinct, and stand-alone Confirmation program from the 4-year systematic adolescent curriculum. The catechesis must cover all objectives included in the Confirmation curriculum—no more and no less. It is expected that the Confirmation program will not last more than six months, and will not require more than 15 contact hours with the candidates.

The instruction for Confirmation has been organized into four miniature courses or modules. These explore the sacrament within the entirety of the Catholic faith, and focus on the role of the Holy Spirit—in salvation history, in the sacraments and mission of the Church, and in the lives of those who are confirmed. It is important to note that there is coherence to these modules, as each one builds on the others.

The parish may choose a textbook for Confirmation preparation and structure the catechetical sessions accordingly. SJN has chosen Decision Point from DynamicCatholic.Com as the basis of our program. This will help candidates to grasp the meaning and purpose of Confirmation.

All candidates for Confirmation must participate in the Confirmation preparation program. This includes all Catholic school students as well as home-school students.

What about a retreat and service projects?

Attendance at a one-day retreat (no overnight) is required. An overnight retreat is strongly encouraged. Most candidates choose to attend the Net Ministries retreat which is usually held at St Mary’s, Richmond, date to be announced.

Service to the parish is a prerequisite; a specific service project is not required but strongly encouraged.

What else?

If you have further questions, contact Pam Sperbeck or you may  email me at    Deacon.ed.sjn@gmail.com   804-598-3754