Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

The Feast of Saint Nicholas



This is one of my favorite Advent feasts!
Be sure to visit the St. Nicholas Center today.
Also the Bounty of St. Nicholas Fair
My del.icio.us Links for St. Nicholas.

Last year we made a St. Nicholas Spoon Saint!

He turned out like this:

Izzy makes our newest spoon saint- St. Nicholas
Originally uploaded by elliemom.


St. Nicholas was a real person, and in fact a real bishop! You can read his story here but an excerpt is below:

The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus' words to "sell what you own and give the money to the poor," Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there was no room for the real criminals—murderers, thieves and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church, where a unique relic, called manna, formed in his grave. This liquid substance, said to have healing powers, fostered the growth of devotion to Nicholas. The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day.

It's clear that Nicholas was a courageous and loving bishop. I can't imagine that he would remain silent while a woman in his diocese was publicly starved to death, or allow leaders to verbally condone the killing of innocents and receive our Lord in the Eucharist with the same mouth. I think there is much to learn today from the strength and bravery of a saint such as Nicholas.

We are just getting started on our own decorations today. Izzy is starting her famous pancakes! Our assorted St. Nicholas statues come out today and they will hang around the advent wreath today and tomorrow.

We did NOT fill shoes with candy last night. Mr. Pete worked very late and and he is working all day today so although the kids put their shoes out, they are not getting filled until tomorrow. I write this as a way of saying it's okay to live the liturgical life, but with family and work responsibilities, it's also okay to be flexible in our celebrations from day to day and from year to year!

More pictures to follow!


St. Nicholas and St. John the Baptist at a St. Nicholas Day Party a few years back.


Saint Nicholas ::: Advent Saint: "How does St. Nicholas fit into all of this? He is an Advent saint because his December 6th feast day always falls in early Advent (Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas between November 27 and December 3). However, Nicholas is a good Advent saint for more important reasons than the date of his special day. Whatever he did, and it is said that he did many kinds of amazing things, what he did may not be as important as the way he did it. Nicholas became so popular because in his own life he was such a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. His life always clearly reflected the way each one of us is called to show God's love to others, especially those in need.
Celebrating St. Nicholas on his day in Advent brings a bit of fun and festivity into homes, churches, and schools. His small treats and surprises help keep the spirit of good St. Nicholas, especially when stories of his goodness and kind deeds are told and ways to express his care for those in need are sought. Yes, Nicholas is a good Advent saint








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