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…


I've been trying to sit down and type this all day - but life and other commitments had to take a higher priority.

Nonetheless, today was the feast of SAINT SCHOLASTICA

st. scholastica

She was an Italian woman who lived in the late 5th/early 6th century and is known for her devotion to God and to her brother. She founded a convent when her brother, St. Benedict founded his own monastery.

There are a couple of things I love about St. Scholastica - the legend goes that towards the end of her days she was enjoying a very lovely visit with her beloved brother, but when night came he got up to leave. Scholastica begged him to stay as she feared it would be their last visit together. But Benedict apparently was a stickler for the rules of his own order and was determined to leave when Scholastica said a little prayer and God brought a great rain storm down upon them. As a consequence Benedict stayed, much to the delight of his sister.

Consequently Scholastica is the patron against storms and inclement weather. When I was growing up I remember my Lithuanian grandmother burning left over palms in the sink and praying loudly for storms and tornadoes to pass us by without any harm. I think she would have really appreciated St. Scholastica!

But what I really admire about St. Scholastica and her brother Benedict is that they were the epitome (to my mind anyway) of what siblings should be to one another. Certainly they both had their own struggles and their own lives to lead, but it seems that they enjoyed their visits together and appreciated one another's company. They made time for each other one of their priorities.

Last week I posted an article from Psychology Today about Sibling Rivalry and how the dysfunction of childhood can leave deep scars and painful memories into adulthood. What struck me in the article is how culpable parents are in the wounds their children suffer in this regard.

I don't have any easy answers on how to avoid this, but I do think it's important to tell each child how much you love him/her every day. I feel rather silly sometimes as I grab one of my 6 foot tall sons to hug them when my head comes just into their chest! But I still think it's important that they get a hug from mom. And even now at 6 feet and 230 pounds, Gabe still likes to snuggle with me when watch t.v. I'm hoping that with them knowing, seeing and feeling mother love personally they will never doubt that they were loved for being themselves. Mr. Pete shows them that as well, but in other more fatherly ways that I'm sure they appreciate.

I also think that homeschooling them has brought my kids closer together. They all have friends too but they are very comfortable with each other. Sam and Gabe play music together, Izzy and Noah run, and everyone gets a turn having tea parties with Rosie. And when Calvin brings his girlfriend Sarah over to the house they all laugh and talk around the dining room table. Hopefully that is something they will do in the years and decades ahead.

I wish we had some historical information on what Benedict and Scholastica's parents did to raise such holy and loving siblings. That would be some interesting and useful information, and they quite likely, are saints themselves.

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