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 Pope, the Vice President and the Abuse mentality

 A few months ago, Vice President Mike Pence took a lot of angry criticism from the left for his policy of not being in situations alone with a woman.  Vice President Pence formed his policy from a similar one created by the Reverend Billy Graham. 

The Washington Post reported: 
In 2002, Mike Pence told the Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either.

Feminists and liberals were outraged at the time, but Pence is looking like a genius these days for living with this common-sense practice. And although some are arguing that the Pence Practice wouldn't work today, it's pretty clear that what has become the norm over the past 50 years or so isn't working either!

Nicholes Fuentes via Flickr, licensed cc. 

Mike Pence is an Evangelical Protestant, but he was raised Catholic. I wonder if some of what formed his views on this might have been Pope Paul VI and his Humane Vitae Encyclical?  

Back in 1968, The Pope was being pressured to change the church's teaching on artificial contraception. He even assembled a group of lay people and clergy to discuss the issue and give input. This group recommended that the church's teaching be changed. Pope Paul's ultimate decision was to write Humane Vitae.

In his reflections on the effects of artificial contraception on the world, Pope Paul became a prophet. His words are chillingly true today:

Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

That is indeed what has happened. Women have been deceived into thinking of contraception as "health care." It is expected and almost required for young women in this culture to be sexually active or at least ready for sexual activity and to be on some form of contraception. But instead of empowering women, this type of cultural expectation has stripped them of their feminity and humanity and made it much easier for them to be victimized and abused.

Powerful men like Weinstein et al don't think of these women and potential wives and mothers. They are simply a way of achieving some sort of sexual release and exercising a power over them that they have no right to exert.

I think it's also funny to note that a few weeks ago the nation was ripping down war monuments and protesting race inequality. This month the statuary is saved, and the war is between the sexes and the classes. The wheel will turn again. Can't imagine what our national focus will be on next.


  1. I think this is the best piece you have ever written.


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