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 2

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.

Part 1 is here

"Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit"
"Father Into Your Hands" by Christopher Brown via Flickr, licensed via creative commons. 

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15. Keep a dish of ashes in a prominent place as a constant reminder of the season. 

16.  If the idea of keeping ashes around is impractical, try this sand art project instead!

The beige or brown sand represents the desert. Yellow for the transfiguration and light of revelation, blue for baptism and healing waters of life, green for healing and forgiveness, purple for Chris'ts kingship, red for Christ's passion and white for the lamb of God.  Each bottle turned out a little bit differently as the children filled them.

 Those bottles held up pretty well over the years.

 I bought an acrylic container and we filled it with sand and the hot glued it shut.

A pretty design for us to have in our Domestic Church table this lenten season!

17. Do a thorough Examination of Conscience

Here is a good examination of conscience for mothers.One from Father Pat
Examination of Conscience from the late great Father Hardon.

Father Alberione's examination of conscience.

Some for children by Catholic Parents.

18.  Get to Confession. 

19. Test your knowledge of Scripture. 
Bible quiz
The Bible quiz
Catholic Bible Quiz
Quiz on the New American Bible.

20. Open a Christmas Club account with the intention of giving the money to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

21. Reserve a button on your car stereo for the Relevant Radio station in your area. 

22. Pray the news- for the people whose stories of hardship are reported daily and weekly.

23.  Read an entry from a Catholic Encyclopedia or Catholic almanac.

Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma

24.  Attend mass at a parish other than your own.

25.  Tithe your tax return

26.  If Catholic schools get NCAA tournament bids, learn for whom those schools were named.

27.  Observe  five minutes of silence every day. 

How to Make a Good Confession