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Confirmation Preparation

Confirmation 2016-2017

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



Congratulations 2017 Confirmands!

Watch the SJN Weekly Bulletin in late August and early September for @)!* Confirmation Registration Info.

Candidate Preparation Meetings begin January 15, 2017.  We will meet in the Multi-Purpose Room at 9:45 each week. Meetings will end between 11:30am and 11:45am

Meeting Dates: Jan 15, Jan 22, Jan 29,Feb 5, Feb 12, Feb19, Feb 26, Mar 5, Mar 12, Mar 15

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!

NEW SEP 6 2016 :Confirmation Retreat Dates and Retreat Registration Forms now available! See Quick Links in right column.


Contact Information
Confirmation Program Coordinators: 

Paul Sissons        psisson@journeysoftinc.com          804-837-0919

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. 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.
  6. Attach Sponsor Information Form.

 Completed Registration Form and ALL Attachments must be submitted together.
    Registration Ends October 31st and candidate interviews will be completed by Thanksgiving

Do I need a sponsor?

According to the Code of Canon Law, “As far as possible the person to be confirmed is to have a sponsor. The sponsor’s function is to take care that the person confirmed behaves as a true witness of Christ and faithfully fulfills the duties inherent in this sacrament.”

The Diocese of Richmond requires all sponsors to be in compliance with the criteria set forth in canon law and listed below.

Canon 874.1 To be admitted to undertake the office of sponsor, a person must:

1. Be appointed by the candidate for Baptism, or by the parents or whoever stands in their place, or failing these, by the parish priest or the minister; to be appointed the person must be suitable for this role and have the intention of fulfilling it;

2. Be not less than sixteen years of age, unless a different age has been stipulated by the diocesan bishop, or unless the parish priest or the minister considers that there is a just reason for an exception to be made;

3. Be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has received the blessed Eucharist, and who lives a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken;

4. Not labor under a canonical penalty, whether imposed or declared;

5. Not be either the father or the mother of the person to be baptized.

874.2 A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community may be admitted only in company with a Catholic sponsor, and then simply as a witness.

893.2 It is desirable that the sponsor chosen be the one who undertook this role at Baptism.

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.

When are Meetings and Classes?

There will be a "Kickoff" meeting for candidates and parents on Sunday Sep 25th @ 9:45 AM in Fr. Val Hall. Watch the weekly bulletin (subscribe to email version on R U In The Loop)and check the calendar at www.sjnpowhatan.org

We will conduct candidate interviews in September, October and November.

All paperwork must be completed to schedule an interview.

There will be classes for eight consecutive weeks beginning in January 15th. Exact dates will be announced in the bulletin and are already posted to the parish calendar on the website.  Classes will be held in the conference room between Masses.

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  held at St Mary’s, Richmond. See options below:

Saturday, November 12, 2016, at Our Lady of Nazareth, Roanoke (NET Retreat Team)

Saturday, February 25, 2017, at Saint Jerome Catholic Church, Newport News (NET Retreat Team)

Saturday, March 4, 2017, at Saint Mary Catholic Church, Richmond (NET Retreat Team)

Saturday, April 8, 2017 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Hampton (Diocesan Retreat Team) 

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 Paul Sissons or you may call, leave a voicemail or email me at SJN.   Deacon.ed.sjn@gmail.com   804-598-3754