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…

St. Thomas the Apostle

My second son Samuel, was given the second name of Thomas after his Uncle Tom. And we have celebrated The Feast of St. Thomas ever since.

The Risen Lord appears to St Thomas & the apostles

Photo by Father Lawrence OP on Flickr

Our favorite and easiest way to celebrate has been to make St. Thomas Day Cookies, or cupcakes or cake - whatever.  The point is that the item has to have five red marks on it - one for every wound of Christ that St. Thomas touched.  Readers might remember the bowl I decorated for Pentecost.  I thought it might be fun to pull that out for every apostle's feast day and fill it with something!  I guess today I can fill it with the cookies!!

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St. Thomas Cookies photo 9218327602_55b8a36317_z_zpsf0a385fe.jpg

My pastor,  Father V., had a unique view on the St. Thomas story, focusing on the OTHER apostles - his friends! Father pointed out the loyalty and love of the apostles in putting up with Thomas, the doubter! And how all of us need to keep the doubters, the disbelievers, and the the luke warm, in our prayers and offer them help as much as we can, every day. It was really a nice little homily!

Thomas, the Twin - Pope Benedict XVI: "The Apostle Thomas' case is important to us for at least three reasons: first, because it comforts us in our insecurity; second, because it shows us that every doubt can lead to an outcome brighter than any uncertainty; and, lastly, because the words that Jesus addressed to him remind us of the true meaning of mature faith and encourage us to persevere, despite the difficulty, along our journey of adhesion to him.
A final point concerning Thomas is preserved for us in the Fourth Gospel, which presents him as a witness of the Risen One in the subsequent event of the miraculous catch in the Sea of Tiberias (cf. Jn 21:2ff.).
On that occasion, Thomas is even mentioned immediately after Simon Peter: an evident sign of the considerable importance that he enjoyed in the context of the early Christian communities.
Indeed, the Acts and the Gospel of Thomas, both apocryphal works but in any case important for the study of Christian origins, were written in his name.
Lastly, let us remember that an ancient tradition claims that Thomas first evangelized Syria and Persia (mentioned by Origen, according to Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History 3, 1) and then went on to Western India (cf. Acts of Thomas 1-2 and 17ff.), from where Christianity also reached Southern India.
Let us end our reflection in this mission"

From New Advent:
 Little is recorded of St. Thomas the Apostle, nevertheless thanks to the fourth Gospel his personality is clearer to us than that of some others of the Twelve. His name occurs in all the lists of the Synoptists (Matthew 10:3Mark 3:18Luke 6, cf. Acts 1:13), but in St. John he plays a distinctive part. First, when Jesus announced His intention of returning to Judea to visit Lazarus, "Thomas" who is called Didymus [the twin], said to his fellow disciples: "Let us also go, that we may die with him" (John 11:16). Again it was St. Thomas who during the discourse before the Last Supper raised an objection: "Thomas saith to him: Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?" (John 14:5). But more especially St. Thomas is remembered for his incredulity when the other Apostles announced Christ's Resurrection to him: "Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe" (John 20:25); but eight days later he made his act of faith, drawing down the rebuke of Jesus: "Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed" (John 20:29).

MDC blogging on St. Thomas 2006

What we learn from St. Thomas via the Curt Jester

St. Thomas feast day MDC 2004

More on St. Thomas from Catholic Culture

St Thomas touches the Risen Lord
Originally uploaded by Lawrence OP

St. Thomas links on Delicious