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. Ambrose

St Ambrose writing
Father Lawrence Lew, via flickr, licensed cc

Poor St. Ambrose. His feast day is nestled between St. Nicholas Day and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. 

Interestingly, his feast day is not the anniversary of his death, but the anniversary of his becoming Bishop of Milan!  Like St. Nicholas and St. Martin, he became the bishop in an unusual way!

Ambrose was born in   Trier, Belgic Gaul   (what is now modern-day Germany)  to Christian parents. It is said that when he was a baby, a swarm of bees landed on his face! When the bees left he was unharmed with only a small drop of honey on his cheek. 

He studied law, rhetoric, and literature in Rome as a young man and went on to have a successful political career. 

When the bishop of Milan died, the people were divided over who should be his replacement. Arianism was quite a popular belief at the time, but other Christians people wanted to find a bishop who was strong in the Christian Faith. Ambrose stood up and publically explained all of the things they should look for in a good bishop. He should be a defender of the faith, a spiritual guide for the people, and a leader. Someone in the crowd shouted, "Ambrose for bishop!"  The sentiment caught on, but Ambrose felt that he was not worthy. He wasn't even a catechumen! Ambrose studied quickly and diligently and within a short span of time he was baptized and ordained. Shortly thereafter he was anointed bishop on December 7.

From that unusual beginning, he went on to become one of the great doctors of the church. He used his newfound knowledge of theology with his advanced edcuation to write his homilies. His words touched the heart of a young man who became another great doctor of the church, Augustine of Hippo. Ambrose baptized Augustine in 387.

Perhaps because of his love and devotion to the blessed mother, as well as his intense study of her life as a consecrated virgin, it is no coincidence that their feast days are so close together. 

He is the patron saint of beekeepers, education, and Milan.


Have honey in your tea, cake or biscuits today.
Listen to Te Deum

Read some of the Saint's writings.

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