"In the Sacrament of Confirmation the Holy Spirit comes down and is present in you to give you strength. People who have strength respect themselves and are respected by other people. We badly need in the Church today young people who have that strength. Other people will see in them the kind of person they think Jesus Christ was, because to be a Christian is to try to become more and more like Christ. Just think, how different the world would be if we all behaved like Jesus Christ, did the things he did, reacted as he reacted."
From “To Be A Pilgrim”
by Cardinal Basil Hume
At Baptism we became members of God’s family, sons and daughters of the Father, brothers and sisters of Christ, temples of the Holy Spirit. At Confirmation we take on new responsibilities in the Body of Christ, which is the Church.
Confirmation is beginning. You are now an adult Christian. You have to be prepared to defend what you know to be true about God, you have to have courage if you are to witness to Him, and even if it costs you a lot. That is the purpose of Confirmation.
What is Confirmation?
In Confirmation you are making a personal commitment to group of people called the Church. Like joining any other group it’s worth finding out more about it before you say “yes” or “no”. At Baptism you were introduced into the Church, so you already know something about it.
Confirmation has different meanings to different people, for example
It’s a confirming of what was done on your behalf at Baptism.
It's a celebration that marks the ending of the process of Christian initiation begun at Baptism.
It’s a sense of belonging to the Christian community.
It’s a ceremony whereby candidates receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit in a special way.
It provides a setting for a deeper understanding of Christ.
It’s a process in which the candidates are made more aware of Christ working in their lives and through the lives of others around them in every aspect of their lives.
Confirmation isn’t any one of these – but all of them.
Confirmation at St. Thomas’
At what age can I be confirmed?
The Parish invites students registered in the Parish in Year 10 to enrol for Confirmation along with any other member of the Parish who has not been confirmed and is over age of 15.
How do I enrol on the Programme?
Notice is published in the newsletter early in October or you can contact the Parish Office for more details.
How long is the Programme?
The Programme consists of 10 sessions, on a Thursday evening from 7.30pm to 9.00pm, over period of three months, usually starting in February and ending on Pentecost Sunday.
What are the sessions?
The Enrolment Mass;
Presentation to the Bishop (unless Bishop is visiting the Parish);
Faith in Action Project;
Faith through the Arts;
Rehearsal and Confirmation Mass.
The candidates also attend the one day retreat which is either on Saturday or Sunday.
What do I have to do?
The candidates will need a sponsor. This should be someone who is in regular contact with them and involved in the life of the candidate. Parents are not eligible to be sponsors.
The sponsor’s role is:
To give an example of Catholic living;
To encourage the candidate to be faithful in their membership of the Church;
To continue to pray for the candidate.
Every year we encourage members of the parish to get involved in the Confirmation by becoming catechists.
We also require members of the community to become a prayer partners for one of the candidates. By doing so they are encouraged to pray for the candidates through the journey of confirmation. More details can be found in the newsletter around the time of enrolment.
The team of catechists would welcome help with the sessions, especially with the Confirmation Mass (Eucharistic ministers, Readers, Servers and Ushers are always required).
Every Sacrament is a public act of worship. Confirmation is a vitally important experience in the life of any parish and in the total life of the Church as well.
The relationship of the newly confirmed to the whole life of the Church becomes clearer because of the persons present and involved in the celebration.
The Bishop, as head of the local Church community / diocese is the one who usually confirms. He stands for the whole Christian community. When the Holy Spirit strengthens the newly confirmed, the whole Body of Christ, His Church, is strengthened and enriched.
The Confirmation Programme is a very popular and successful programme in our Parish and one we are very proud of.