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…

Improving Lent - Part 1

Back in 2005, I posted 40 Ways to Improve Your Lenten Experience from Karen Marie Knapp's blog at From the Anchor Hold. She posted it on February 26, 2006 from the Catholic Herald. I'm dividing it into  parts with some updates, tweaks, links, and suggestions.

Lent for Everyone
John at Flickr, licensed creative commons

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1. Learn about your patron saint.

2.  Start Praying the Divine Office with your spouse in the morning if you're married. or in the car on the way to work if time is short. Mothers at home can do this with their children or around the children's sleep schedule.
Divine Office App

3. Pray for — by name — people you don’t like and for people that don’t like you.

Prayer for enemies
Catholic prayer for enemies
Forgiveness bible verses. 

4. Read a Catholic magazine.
Catholic Periodical List
Catholic Answers
Crisis Magazine

5. Tomorrow is First Friday. It's the only one in this Lent. Try to get to mass, confession, and/or stations.

6. Ditto  First Saturday - the only one in Lent this year.

7. March 19, in honor of St. Joseph, patron saint of carpenters and fathers. Build or build upon a relationship with one of your children.

st. joseph alter 2012 005

9. Buy two of everything on your grocery list, and give the duplicates to the local food pantry.
What do Food Pantries Need?
What Food Pantries Need the most

10. Start a “cuss bowl.” For every unkind word you utter, put in a dollar — two dollars during Holy Week. The Rice Bowl would be a good place for this too!

11. Bring a “Baltimore Catechism” to a gathering of Catholic friends, and start asking each other questions.

12. Organize your home, the Domestic Church!

13. Pray for those, e.g., children, parents, spouse, siblings, who have left the church.
Prayer for Lapsed Catholics

14. Talk to a neighbor you rarely or never talk to.  If you have one of those people in your life that loves to talk, but rarely listens - spend some time with them and offer it up!!