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…

When the Parents Speak

I remember smooching with Mr. Pete in the car, in the driveway, outside the back door of the farmhouse.

I also remember my mom, switching on the light and waiting - that was her way of letting me know that it was time to come into the house. Most of the time, that's what I did.

A couple of times though, I didn't. And Mr. Pete and I continued our little make out session until the door opened. Then I KNEW it was time to come into the house.

But one time, we waited way past the light coming on and the door opening a crack, until my mother appeared in the doorway, in her night gown and robe and yelling out the door, "Elena, it's time to come into the house!" so that's what I did. And after that I never let it get to that point again, because seeing my mother in her night gown and robe yelling my name was not a pleasant thing. I did this out of respect for her, but also because I knew she was right and I understood that she was trying to protect my virtue.

Mama was so protective of my virtue that a week before my wedding, when I was alone in my soon-to-be duplex, with Mr. Pete, she drove clear across town to pick me up! because she did not like the idea of me being alone with my fiance, even a week before the wedding. We sort of laughed at her then (although I obediently went with her), but I appreciate her persistence and her courage now!

I have been going through similar things with my boys for the past couple of years. And I hate to be Debbie Downer, or Mama No, but

  • No you can't go camping alone with your girlfriend,
  • No, you can't share a hotel room with your girlfriend when we travel as a family to a wedding.
  • No I do not approve of your spending the night somewhere with your girlfriend.
  • No I do not appreciate you moving out of the family house into the home of your girlfriend. 
Now some of this behavior, Mr. Pete and I have just had to put up with.  You can't tell a 23 year old or a 20 year old how to live his life. But YOU CAN and SHOULD protect younger siblings from the bad behavior of their older siblings. 

To that end, I have prohibited my younger children from entering a certain home.  I'm not prohibiting them from seeing the kids from that home, or for those kids to come to my home, or anything like that.  They are just forbidden to go into that house, because their brother broke some of our rules there, and those rules are important.  Respect for our faith is important.  Respect to us as parents is important. 

As a result I have a semi-trashed living room, and two of my sons have quit talking to me, and it breaks my heart. And I remember mama.  And it makes me thankful that I at least never disrespected her by breaking THOSE rules, and thankful that she was brave enough to call me on my occasions of sin. So now I ask for her prayers to keep me strong as I face an even greater challenge from the young men in my house who currently are not very happy with me and Mr. Pete.  

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  1. I read often but seldom comment. My heart breaks to read this post. I did not appreciate, until I became a mother myself, the depth of my mother's love for me. And now I cringe when I remember my teenaged/young adult self...thinking I knew more than her, etc., etc. I don't have any wisdom to offer you but if you were here I'd give you a hug...



  2. My mother does not approve of my nephews and nieces living with their SO- but she does not want to drive them away. We talked a long time about it being a slippery slope. Once you let it go---it often goes too far.
    We also talked about how to encourage marriage. If they feel strongly enough to go down that slope- then they should be getting married---even if just by a JP.
    You are on the right course as far as I can tell. It is a tough road to walk.
    At least that is what we came up with.

    BTW- If you remember Kathy Smid from Catholic AOL support board- she passed away this morning from lung cancer. She never smoked. I think she was about our ages. Her daughters are about 24 and 14.

  3. Chrissy, if you were here, I'd take that hug!

    Jannette, do you have a link for Kathy? I'm not sure if I do remember her but I'm sorry to hear of anyone passing from cancer.


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