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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…

7-quick takes

Join Jen and the other Quicktakers over at the Conversion Diary.

1. Tonight my son Gabriel becomes a full adult member of the Catholic church. The bishop will be coming here to confirm him.This is the first time that I can remember that THE bishop has been coming and not an auxiliary bishop. As such there have been some big changes. First of all, the confirmation candidate sits alone with his sponsor. The families sit somewhere else. In years past the families, sponsor and confirmation candidates all sat together in assigned seats. I like it and yet I don't like it. I like that it gives the confirmation candidate and the special sponsor time to really be together and it helps to strengthen that bond. On the other hand though I feel that since as parents, we have been Gabe's primary educators, that we should be with him as well.

2. Music is also being very downplayed. About 10 years ago, my mother and I were asked to provide about 15 to 20 minutes of background music while the kids were being confirmed. I worked hard to get that much music together. Then a few years after that we had some instrumental music and hymns dispersed in. Then a few years after that it was decided that since this was a big deal for the parish that the entire music ministry would participate and we played this very beautiful piece called Veni Sancte Spiritus with different instruments and voices coming in and out during confirmation. This year we have an organ, a cantor, and no music during confirmation. It will be bare bones in the music department per the request of the bishop as I understand it. I'll have to see it to decide whether I like it better or not, but it seems to me that some music would be better than nothing. We'll see.

3. A few months ago Gabe misspoke and said he was being "confirmated." So we've been teasing him about that. But last night we were goofing around and came up with the word "confirminated" as in Gabe will be "confirminated" and Bishop Lennon is - The Confirminator!

4. We did finish A Philadelphia Catholic in King James's Court a week or so ago. Gabe and Noah LOVED IT! It's a long book- about 300 or so pages and we read every word. I really think that Gabe and Noah both understood what it means now to "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope" and I think they also understand better some of the amateur apologetics I've done over the years.

5. Gabe has chosen the confirmation name of Jean Marie after Saint John Vianney. he chose that name because the great saint could read people, which to me is a great gift and a sign of wisdom. I hope that Gabe continues to grow in that way as well.

6. Had the kids watch Maxed Out yesterday for Movie Day and I could definitely see the wheels turning in their heads about what it means to be in debt, use credit cards etc. Noah, my 11-year-old, who always seems to take these sorts of things to heart, told me that he is going to be cash-only when he grows up. I think that might be a little rough, but if he can do it I totally support that! That is, after all, how our forefathers just half a century ago did it!

7 Spent some time reading and listening Angie the Anti Theist over here and here. She is the young woman that live-tweeted her chemical abortion with RU486. A couple of thoughts came to mind. Angie keeps insisting that she had to have an abortion because to pursue pregnancy would have killed her but she is very vague and not very forthcoming about how or why. In my experience, that seems to be very typical - make the claim but don't support it lest an actual medical professional could make a counter claim. Her conversion from Christian to Atheism is also rife with inductive reasoning fallacies. In a lot of ways she reminds me of another young woman I use to debate.

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