CONFIRMATION AT THE SACRED HEART
Confirmation is a sacrament of initiation into the life of Jesus Christ and His Church. It brings to completion the making of a Christian. It seals their baptism, and gives them the gift of the Holy Spirit, so that they can live as an active member of the Church. If an adult is baptised or received into the Catholic Church, he/she is confirmed at the same time. Adults wishing to receive the Sacrament should contact their Parish Priest to arrange a suitable preparation.
In this parish the Bishop normally visits to confer the sacrament every two years. Young people wishing to receive the sacrament must be in school years 9 or 10 when they begin their course.
When a candidate joins a Confirmation course, they are effectively entering into a discernment process to discover if they wish to further strengthen the gifts they have already received in baptism. Receiving spiritual gifts from God is part of a two way process; we receive, but we also respond to what we receive, and we use the gifts we are given.
In the discernment process, which is normally a matter for the candidate first, but with the support of the parish priest, catechists and parents, the candidate will be offered a vision of how we might respond to the gospel through personal prayer, participating in community worship and actively working for justice. The course at the Sacred Heart attempts to give the candidate a sense of how this vision extends beyond the confines of school and parish.
The Parish Priest has responsibility for presenting the candidates to the Bishop and assuring him that they are ready to receive the gifts and assume the responsibilities associated with the sacrament. In order to do this he needs to be satisfied that
1. the candidate is demonstrably a ‘practising’ Catholic and intends to remain one.
2. the candidate really wants to receive this sacrament, free from parental or peer pressure, for genuine spiritual motives and not just from social custom.
3. the candidate has attended all the required sessions and fulfilled the course requirements.
4. That the candidate has given positive evidence throughout the course of their serious desire to receive this sacrament.
He will interview all candidates before the course and after the final retreat, in order to ensure that each candidate is ready to receive the sacrament. If necessary parents may be asked to meet with him as well at this time.
Practical Requirements (to be completed before the course begins).
Certificate of Baptism, if not baptised in the Sacred Heart Parish.
If baptised at the Sacred Heart, details of year and month of Baptism.
To have chosen a sponsor. The sponsor must have been confirmed, must be a practising catholic, and ideally should be one of the baptismal godparents.
To have chosen the name of a patron saint. The candidate must also be able to give a brief summary of the story of this saint and the reasons he/she has chosen the particular saint.