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 Schizophrenic American Catholic

I recently submitted a version of this post for inclusion in a monthly on-line Catholic magazine. My thinking was that it was timely in the aftermath of last week's election. Surprisingly, it was rejected because the director wanted to avoid "conflict oriented tone."

Which totally surprised me because on Facebook and Twitter, all I see are conflicted Catholics.  This picture is a big one on many Catholic Facebook pages right now.

I'm taking that to be encouragement for Catholics to stand up for the Church and Church teaching as opposed to a more "go along to get along" approach.".

On the other hand, some of my other Catholic FB friends are supporting this approach from the Faithful American site:

This year the Catholic bishops joined forces with the far right to launch a vicious campaign against President Obama and against marriage equality. They spent millions of dollars, demonized their opponents, and even threatened laypeople with eternal damnation if they voted Democratic.
And now what do the bishops have to show for it? Most Catholics voted for President Obama, marriage equality is law in three additional states, and the bishops have become unpopular and polarizing political figures.
Now, with polls showing that most Catholics want the church to focus more on social justice and serving the poor, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is meeting in Baltimore next week to plan their next steps.
We want to deliver a huge petition calling on the bishops to drop their right-wing political crusade and get back to doing God's work, especially caring for the most vulnerable people in our society. Join us in sending this message to the Catholic Bishops:
The election results prove that the Catholic faithful don't want any part of your right-wing political crusades. Please reconsider your priorities and refocus your attention on those whom Jesus called "the least of these."

Of course this contains a blatant logical fallacy, but aside from that, the message seems to be "Let's forget all the faith and morals stuff and just concentrate on the social justice part of Catholicism."

Then there was this from the National Catholic Reporter

"Tragically, it is possible to abort people's lives at any stage by our individual choices and our public policies."

which is countered with stuff like this:

So I'm a little unclear on how to write a non-conflict oriented timely piece because it seems to me there are a lot of land mines when it comes to writing for a "Catholic" audience.

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