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 St. Bartholomew, Apostle of Christ

St. Bartholomew is also known as Nathanial in the scriptures.  He was introduced to Jesus by his good friend, St. Philip. Immediately upon being introduced, Jesus gives Bartholomew high praise saying, " there is no duplicity in  him."

Known for being well-liked and for being very inquisitive, St. Bartholomew became the 6th apostle. Here is the passage from the book of John:


JN 1:45-51

Philip found Nathanael and told him,
“We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law,
and also the prophets, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”
But Nathanael said to him,
“Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him,
“Here is a true child of Israel.
There is no duplicity in him.”
Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.”
Nathanael answered him,
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Do you believe
because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree?
You will see greater things than this.”
And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will see heaven opened and the angels of God
ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

After the Resurrection, Bartholomew was among the apostles who witness Jesus on the sea of Galilee (John 21:2)  After the Ascension, he traveled widely to preach the gospel and converted hundreds.

In Armania, he converted the king to Christianity, cast a demon out of the temple, and destroyed idols. The king's brother was so angered, that he had Bartholomew skinned alive and then beheaded. This is why in art, St. Bartholomew is frequently portrayed holding a knife and his own suit of skin!


How then account for the fact that these men, who in Christ’s lifetime did not stand up to the attacks by the Jews, set forth to do battle with the whole world once Christ was dead—if, as you claim, Christ did not rise and speak to them and rouse their courage? Did they perhaps say to themselves: “What is this? He could not save himself but he will protect us? He did not help himself when he was alive, but now that he is dead he will extend a helping hand to us? In his lifetime he brought no nation under his banner, but by uttering his name we will win over the whole world?” Would it not be wholly irrational even to think such thoughts, much less to act upon them?

It is evident, then, that if they had not seen him risen and had proof of his power, they would not have risked so much. From a homily on the first letter to the Corinthians by Saint John Chrysostom, bishop 

St Bartholomew
Father Lawrence Lew, OP via Flickr licensed cc

For More Information:
St. Bart's Day - Catholic Foodie
Catholic Culture
Book of Days