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…

Bake the Liturgical Cup Cakes




Bake the Liturgical Cupcakes!




Yesterday, Danielle Bean wrote a beautiful tribute on Facebook to her parents and by extension her siblings.





I come from a long, long line of Catholic Christians myself. Mr. Pete is 8th of 9 children, also from a strong Catholic Family. 



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I would love to be able to tell you that everyone stayed strong and continued in their Catholic Faith, but that's not what happened. It's not what is happening with my own six children either. 

I remember reading once that at least some of the children of Mary Reed Newland and Maria Von Trapp are no longer practicing Catholics. (I can't verify that one way or the other.)

I don't say this to discourage anyone or to take anything away from Danielle's wonderful tribute. It's just how it is.

When my own family was struggling with adult children not practicing the faith, I was reminded that God, the greatest parent and teacher of all, still has rebellious children!

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We are living in a post-Christian Culture. The Catholic Church is still in the midst of the ongoing sex scandal. The family is under attack and even the basics of family and gender are floundering. Keeping kids Catholic under these circumstances is challenging!

But what parents have to remember I think is that WE are not responsible for our children's decisions. We can lead them to Christ, set good examples; teach them the faith; homeschool, Catholic school or public school them; go to mass and live the liturgical prayerful life, and it still might not be enough. 

We are the sower of the seeds. We try to prepare the soil so that seeds can take root, but we can't completely control the other conditions that will affect our seedlings once they sprout. 



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So yes indeed, pray, go to church,  pray as a family, celebrate the liturgical year, wear your babies if you want to, homeschool if it's for your family, and bake the liturgical cupcakes. Do whatever YOU can do to make those roots grow deep into the faithful soil. But if for whatever reason they wax and wane or seem to whither when challenged, don't despair.  At some point, that's on them. Just be there and keep praying for them, knowing that the times you spent as a Catholic family anchored them to their Catholic faith, even if they don't want to acknowledge it. 

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And if it takes doing silly crafts, or baking a cupcake to stir those memories and warm feelings to keep them grounded or bring them back, then that's what it takes. 

So go read those bible stories, watch Veggie Tales, pick out next year's homeschool curriculum, or make that paper mache angel. Do whatever you can, whenever you can and however you can to engage your children in their Catholic Faith. 

And if that means baking cupcakes, so be it!

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