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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…

Pre-cana talk 2010

On Saturday,  Mr. Pete and I gave our Pre-Cana talk on Marriage as a Sacrament and making a Christian home. In the past, I have posted the entirety of our talk on this blog, like this.  I did something a little different this year, and got a video recording of the talk and posted it on Youtube - you can view it
here.

I think overall the day went fine. The entire Pre-Cana team is very experienced and most of us have been doing this for years. The food was very good and my friend in charge of the food even went out of her way to accommodate a young lady with some sort of food allergy, which was appreciated.

Couples are required to take some sort of marriage prep before they can be married in the Catholic Church. I know that can be a drag to give up an entire Saturday for this sort of thing, but we try to make it enjoyable. The room is decorated for Valentine's day and there are plenty of snacks and sweets and a nice dinner for the couples including a beautiful wedding cake served at the end of the day.
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We also always end the day with a time for some scripture and prayer over at the church complete with quiet live music, before we give them their certificates and send them home.

The couples have a chance to also evaluate us. The most common complaint is that the seats are hard and that they are uncomfortable for an entire day. That's probably true but I'm not sure what we could do about it. They also evaluate the various talks they heard all day. I read through them quickly before I left on Saturday night. The majority of them really gave the entire day very high marks. A great many of them really felt that the talk on money and finance was the most important - not surprising in an economy like this one. I wonder if our parish would benefit by hosting a Financial Peace Seminar?

Of course it's the nay-sayers that always spur my imagination and make me tweak the talk for the following year. One of folks wrote that they didn't see what any of it had to do with marriage... sigh...

Some said there were too many stories, others thought there was too much reading from the script. One (and I can't remember if it was a guy or a gal) resented "having children crammed down his/her throat" and that "not every one can have children and adoption is expensive." I actually had wondered when some one would ask about infertility in marriage and no one ever has. Too bad this person didn't raise their hand and ask the question so everyone could hear the answer. But I will make sure that I cover that specifically in next year's talk.

Anyway - Mr. Pete and I enjoyed giving our talk. I sure wish we had more of an opportunity to talk in front of groups so that we wouldn't feel so rusty every year!

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Sam video recorded it this year and if you'd like to hear it go to my Youtube Channel.

Here's our opening:

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