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…

Getting the vaccination presentation right.

My latest article on Catholicmom.com was a resurrected post that I shared earlier this year on this blog called The Catholic Vaccination Dilemma. 

In my experience, this topic tends to bring out very strong emotions  in people from anger to fear.  Rather than taking a stand in either of the the pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine camps, I've come down on the side of research, information and informed consent.

Last week I saw a lot of buzz for a program put out by PBS called Nova/Vaccines, Calling the Shots. So I decided to watch it online and see for myself if this was the "definitive" program that would settle the issue once and for all.

Although this is a beautifully filmed and edited piece, it is definitely a "pro-vaccine" movie. In my opinion it did more to promote total vaccination on the current recommended protocol than to address concerns.  Although it did have two compelling anecdotal stories, I felt they tried to apply a one-size fits all approach from these stories to the general public. It was a clear attempt at appeal to the emotions.

If you're a mom or a grandparent leaning strongly in the pro-vaccine camp and just need a little push in that direction - Nova/Vaccines, Calling the Shots would probably do that.

But if you've known someone injured by a vaccine, or if you've done research and reading, then this film probably did not persuade or compel you to just march up to the clinic and get updated on all of your shots!

I've done some reading and research on this issue, so the appeal to emotion approach from the Nova film left me cold.  Here are some things they did NOT include in the film that I would have been interested in hearing their perspective on.

Any documentary that attempts to compel and persuade those pesky "non-vaxers" into complying with the herd mentality is going to have to put forth some effort to address these topics if it wants to be considered compelling.


  1. If you are all about the research- then where is the "pro" research? You seem to only represent the anti.

  2. Janette, I'm not trying to speak for Elena, but in my experience researching this, I'm always grateful for "anti" research that is shared, because it seems that there is an abundance of "pro" information out there. The only hard copy information I received as a first time mom was in the form of pamphlets from the pediatrician or the health department and that was all "pro" vaccine. Something that disturbed me a little bit is that the pamphlet given to me by the doctor's office was published by one of the vaccine manufacturers. I would prefer to get information from a source which was not financially vested in the success of the vaccine program, which is why I turned to the internet for more information.

  3. The "pro"research for this particular post was the Nova/Calling the Shots program.

    I really didn't counter any of their information, but listed some of the things that they didn't even bother to cover. Ashley is correct that there is an abundance of pro-vaccine information out there. Finding the answer to "yea, but..." isn't as easy to find.


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