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…

Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene July 22

" O happy Mary of happy merit, who deserved to be the first of mortals to see the Son of God rise from the dead. For love of him, you despised the allurements of the world. Commend us to him, we beg you, by your assiduous prayers that we may enjoy with you, O Lady, his most happy presence."

- from a Matins responsory in the Dominican tradition for the feast of St Mary Magdalene.

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He is not here!
Father Lawrence Lew, OP via Flickr, licensed cc

St. Mary Magdalene is know as the apostle's apostle.  She is said to be the sister of Martha and Lazarus. We get our first glimpse of her in the Gospel of St. Luke, Chapter 7  and in Chapter 8 we learn her name and that she had 7 demons cast from her.  She told her friends and they became followers of Jesus. She is mentioned at least a dozen times in the scriptures.

Gospel scholars may dispute whether or not she was truly the woman that washed Jesus's feet. Scholars also debate whether her sin was that of prostitution. They do agree, however, that she had been a great sinner, and that she experienced a conversion in her life and became devoted to Jesus.

But I think this is the important point - Mary Magdalene was such a great sinner that she was vulnerable to demonic possession.  And yet Jesus saved her. The lesson for us is that no person is beyond the love and saving grace of God.

It is believed that Mary Magdalene followed the apostles and took care of the disciples. She was the first to visit the tomb and find the risen Christ.

Legends tell us that she remained with the early Christians. The Jews allegedly put her into a boat with other Christians and set them adrift. She eventually landed in Southern France where she lived out her life in a cave. There are stories of miracles from invoking her intercession and involving her remains.

She is the patron saint of converts, sinners, pharmacists, tanners, women and the tempted.

A medieval window of St Mary Magdalene, identified by her long flowing hair and the alabaster jar of ointment, in the antechapel of All Souls' College in Oxford.

St Mary Magdalene
Father Lawrence Lew, OP via Flickr, licensed cc

Sacro Monte di Domodossola. Fig.2.JPG
By Stefano Bistolfi - Own work, Public Domain, Link

For More Information!
Legend of St. Mary Magdalene 

Great Article at Fish eaters about Mary Magdalene


Make a homemade balm, oil, or perfume. This looks fun and it's free on Kindle.

Or make Madeleine's (French for Magdalene - which is fitting since that's where legend says she ended up!).

Catholic Cuisine has the recipe here!

Gluten Free Magdalena Cakes!

On a personal note, my son became a single dad when he was 17.  He was rebellious and rejecting of his parents and Catholic upbringing. After four years though, he is finding his way back to his faith, and has blossomed into a focused man, provider, loving son, and most importantly - loving daddy to his little girl. Today is also his birthday.