Strengthened to be Saints
The gift of the Holy Spirit in each of our lives is an unfathomable treasure. In our Baptism we have received the grace of adoption as God’s own sons and daughters, being recreated in the image of Jesus Christ. The same Holy Spirit empowers us to live and die as Christ did—in complete fidelity to the Father’s will—through Confirmation. This participation in the identity and mission of Christ is made possible because we receive the same Spirit with which Jesus Christ is filled (cf. CCC 1294). The sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation correspond to this twofold nature of God’s gift, first entrance into His Family, and secondly our heroic living as witnesses in that relationship, called to be Saints.
For information on Confirmation of teens (grades 9 to 12), please visit our Life Teen webpage.
Role of the Godparent/Sponsor
Every teen preparing for Confirmation needs a sponsor. It is desirable that the same people who served as godparents for baptism return to fill the role of Confirmation sponsors. In the Baptism of infants, godparents represent both the expanded spiritual family of the one to be baptized and the role of the Church as mother. As occasion offers, godparents help the parents so that children will come to profess the Faith and live up to it. If the candidates baptismal godparents are not available to serve as the Confirmation sponsor, parish leaders should help the candidate find a suitable sponsor. The sponsor, however, need not be a member of the same parish as the confirmand.
It is expected that each confirmand have one sponsor. Whether the sponsor is male or female is in itself no consequence.
Sponsors should exhibit the following qualities:
- Sufficient maturity to fulfill their function (at least 16 years of age)
- Practicing Catholic in good standing with the Catholic Church
- Having received Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist
- Freedom from any impediment of law to their fulfilling the office of sponsor
- May not be the natural or adoptive parent of the confirmand (Cf. Canon 893).
Parishes have retained the custom wherein a young person preparing for Confirmation selects a “confirmation name.” This pious practice, although never a part of the official rite, may be retained. Points of consideration in choosing a confirmation name are as follows:
- Only one saint name is chosen.
- This name should not be foreign to Christian sensibilities
- Because this is a significant sacramental celebration, names that are very unusual or contrary to Catholic tradition are discouraged.
- Names should be of like gender to the confirmed
- The ames should be submitted to the Confirmation Coordinator for approval.
- The Confirmation name should be presented in its proper form, rather than in the diminutive (e.g., John instead of Jack; Susan instead of Sue).
- The name received at baptism may be used again for Confirmation.