The Disciples, trembling with fear, locked themselves in the upper room.
"And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. (Acts 2: 2-4)"
They entered the upper room as Disciples and left as Apostles, beginning the work of the Church.
Disciples learn, Apostles do.
The Pentecost story, the birthday of the Church, is the precursor to Confirmation. Each one of us in Confirmation receives the Holy Spirit and an outpouring of Grace in order to strengthen us so we can live out our Baptismal promises as missionary witnesses to Christ in our families, neighborhoods, society, and the world.
Confirmation is our personal Pentecost.
Confirmation preparation classes are separate and in addition to regular religious education classes at the parish or in Catholic school. Confirmation classes take place between Masses on some Sunday mornings during the academic year.
While specific Confirmation classes take place beginning as early as age 15 and 10th grade, it is expected the youth have been actively participating in their faith through participation in formation (St. John Neumann's youth programs or Catholic school) and regular Sunday Mass attendance.
Primary communication is through email. Please add email@example.com as a safe sender.
You will choose a sponsor to accompany you on your journey. But your journey does not end with Confirmation. Confirmation is the beginning of your faith journey, so your sponsor should be there to witness the faith through their gift of time, availability, and guidance when questions arise. In choosing your sponsor, you should choose someone who will be there long-term for you.
At least 16 years old. (While not disallowed, we discourage the choice of a sibling as a sponsor.)
Have received the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist in the Catholic Church.
Not be bound by canonical penalty. (If married, be in a marriage recognized by the Catholic Church.)
Be leading a life of faith befitting the role to be undertaken. (Regularly attending Sunday Mass, living the faith)
Not the parent of the Confirmed.
Role of the Sponsor
First, and most importantly, pray for and mentor the Candidate. We ask that you carry on a conversation of the faith with the Candidate throughout the process, particularly about what they are learning in preparation and how it applies to their life; and how they plan to live their faith beyond Confirmation.
The most important gift you can give the youth is your time and witness of the faith. By virtue of our baptism and confirmation we are called to the service of the Church through leading others in faith. We thank you for your role in the life of our teens.
You are not required to attend classes, however, you are more than welcome to attend. Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to attend a class.
You will occasionally receive emails from St. John Neumann with information regarding Confirmation. Please add email@example.com as a safe sender so emails do not go to spam.
You will need to complete a Sponsor Attestation Form.
In most cases you will not need to pick a saint name, unless you wish to do so. The Diocese of Richmond suggests keeping your Baptismal name (your birth name) as your Confirmation name as long as it is a Christian name (John, Mary, David, Elizabeth, Peter...).
If you have a non-Christian name (Mercedes, Autumn, West...) you are encouraged to pick a saint name for Confirmation.
If you choose a saint name, it should be a saint who inspires you, someone you would like to emulate with your life.
At Saint John Neumann, most Candidates do not choose a saint name.
2023/24 Confirmation Inquiry
Sunday, September 24, 2023, at 9:45 am in the Multipurpose Room.
Interviews will be scheduled between Masses:
October 1, 2023
October 8, 2023
Preferred Confirmation Retreat
December 2, 2023 at Roslyn Retreat Center. The retreat will last all day.
Diocesan Confirmation Retreats:
November 11 at Lynchburg.
November 12 TBD.
March 9 TBD.
Confirmation Classes 2023-24
Free will is a thing. God has given human beings the free will to choose right from wrong. And free will applies to Confirmation. You need to decide if the Confirmation events are more or less important than what is going on in your life. We are not forcing you to attend, we tell you what is expected and you decide what you are going to do.
Life happens: someone gets married, someone passes away, your team competes in a major competition, you have required school events, there is always something else happening. We understand there are other important events in your life that help shape and form you into the person you are becoming and we will help you make up what was missed - to a point. But you will never make up the moments -- growing deeper in your faith, journeying with your peers through the Confirmation program, encountering Christ at Mass, through reconciliation, and on retreat.
(Parents, this is for you too.) Sometimes we are in a period in life where the something repeatedly overshadows Mass attendance or Confirmation preparation. It is okay. This year might not be the time for you to be Confirmed. And that is okay! Every Sacrament (except Anointing of the Sick) has a period of preparation laid out by the Bishop and if you don't complete the preparation, you are unable to receive the sacrament. It is okay! The Church has been here for 2,000 years and we will be here, ready for you to prepare for your Confirmation, when you are ready.
To a point: In the past, we have had to say "not this year," for teens who have not been able to fully participate in the Confirmation process. It is not an easy decision, and it is not something we want to do. However, when a candidate is repeatedly not at Mass, misses several classes, is repeatedly not attending our youth program, and/or there is very little communication about what is going on, it becomes very difficult for us to recommend you to the Bishop. If there is NO communication, we assume you no longer want to participate in Confirmation preparation. If we get to this point, we are not saying you can't be Confirmed, we are saying not this year.