Celebrate the Spirit- Sacrament of Confirmation


Grant Guthrie
Phone: 847-907-3439
Celebrating the Spirit is Holy Family’s program that prepares high school teens for the sacrament of Confirmation. At Holy Family, we believe that a Catholic should discern when s/he is he or she is ready to be confirmed in the faith. We feel that young Catholics are best fit to begin this discernment process during their high school years. Although Celebrating the Spirit does have the Sacrament of Confirmation as its “destination”, a high school student who is confirmed before Senior year is greatly encouraged to continue with Faith on Fire -Small Christian Communities until graduation from high school. The Celebrating the Spirit program has  options for teens who would like to combine Baptism, First Communion and Reconciliation with the sacrament of Confirmation.

The Sacrament of Confirmation will be held on Sunday, April 26, 2020 at 1:30PM.

Click here for 2019-2020 “Cheat Sheet”

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For teens that have made the decision to celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation, the components of Celebrating the Spirit are

  • Baptismal Certificate on file with Ministry office
  • Two years of FLAME classes (FLAME 1 and 2)
  • Twenty hours of community service during each year of FLAME
  • FLAME 1 Retreat
  • FLAME 2 Retreat
  • Pizza with Pastor (once during the second year of FLAME)

The Church states that Confirmation should be received at the age of discretion (about age seven); however, it allows for the local Conference of Bishops to determine an age range. This leaves the question open to local custom. In August 2001, the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops set “the age for conferring the Sacrament of Confirmation at between the age of discretion (considered to be about age seven) and ‘about sixteen years of age.’” This ultimately leaves the decision up to the local bishop, Cardinal George in our case. In the Chicago area, churches typically celebrate the Sacrament in 8th grade or 10th grade with the aforementioned being more typical. Holy Family along with several other parishes celebrate the Sacrament in high school because we feel this is the most appropriate time for Confirmation. Bishop Rassas, our auxiliary bishop for Vicariate I, has chosen not to make a Confirmation age policy for our Vicariate, even though some bishops do so.   We have spoken to Bishop Rassas and he believes that each pastor should decide what is best for the individual parish and decide the age of Confirmation accordingly. In deciding the best age to be confirmed, our parish believes there should be both a personal and communal dimension to the Sacrament.  The needs of the individual and the needs of the community should best balance in a kind of symbiotic relationship, and we believe that when an individual is in high school he/she can better balance the support that comes from the community.  In the years prior to high school, we believe that it is really the community and the parents that shoulder the greatest load in supporting the Confirmation process.  Holy Family has a history of Celebrating the Spirit in the high school years.  We believe the high school teen can better decide for themselves their own faith journey, in conjunction with the support of the family and the community.  Our experience is junior high teens still cling primarily to the beliefs of the family and community, while the high school teen has begun to challenge their belief system and yearns to grow in deeper spirituality and faith. Holy Family Catholic Community also believes that Confirmation is neither a destination nor something we “get” and can check off, happy to be done with it.  We experience with our teens a real desire to live out the Confirmation process in faith and service and feel that the high school years are a better place for teens to spread their wings as they venture to service opportunities that impact their faith lives.  We actually have many teens that have been confirmed at other parishes that enroll themselves in FLAME so that a faith journey may continue in the high school years.  Our high school FLAME program is multifaceted and Confirmation is but one part of the faith journey albeit a big one!

CONFIRMATION PREP FOR STUDENTS ATTENDING CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOLS are invited to receive the sacrament of Confirmation in the spring of their sophomore year. They are welcome, but not required to join a FLAME group. However, feedback from teens who have attended Catholic High Schools and FLAME classes report they are glad they did, and those who elected not to attend FLAME classes often say they wish they had.

We ask students who attend Catholic High Schools to do the following

  • Complete 20 hours of community service both Freshmen and Sophomore years (they can do their service through the offerings at their high school)
  • Attend one of Pizza with Pastor events
  • Attend the FLAME 2 retreat here at Holy Family
  • Participation in the three public rituals of, “The Rite of Welcoming,” the “Presentation of the Creed” and one of the “Lenten Scrutinies.”
  • Attendance at the “Sponsor-Candidate Program” (immediately after the Rite of Welcoming)”
  • Completion of 4 online lesson plans (selected by Teen Faith)
  • Meet with Teen Faith twice throughout the year
  • Complete all Confirmation forms, including the submission of Baptismal Certificate

If you were not Confirmed as a sophomore and are not enrolled in the FLAME program but are interested in being Confirmed, please contact the Teen Faith office. We require that we discuss options with all families before they can be enrolled in this special Confirmation option.

We ask junior and seniors to do the following:
  • Attend a Kairos retreat with Holy Family (there is one in November and one in February) or a Kairos retreat offered by their high school
  • Attend a Pizza with the Pastor (a discussion with Father Terry about Confirmation in a small group setting)
  • Meet with Teen Faith 3 times during the year
  • In the absence of receiving formal religious education since their First Comminion, we may ask the candidate to,
    • Attend Kairos 4th Day Meetings
    • Attend Faith on Fire Meetings
    • Complete six (6) on-line lesson plans that are confirmation-prep focused
  • Complete all Confirmation forms
  • 30 hours of service
  • Attend the Sponsor-candidate program following the “Rite of Welcoming”
  • Meet with a priest and a member of Teen Faith one time

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