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 Saint Francis de Sales - and a potential Lenten Read

St Francis de Sales detail
Father Lawrence Lew, OP   via FLickr, licensed cc. 

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Francis de Sales.

Saint Francis is one of the saints of the counter reformation along with St. Philip Neri, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and St. Charles Borromeo.

Saint Francis was born in 1567. His father hoped that he would become an attorney and he was educated in Padua. But even after receiving his doctorate in law, Francis desired to enter the priesthood. This caused a lot of strife in his family, but eventually, he was ordained. By age 35, he was the bishop of Geneva.

St. Francis is known for his gentle catechesis and for his two famous books and many pamphlets. For these, Francis is known as a doctor of the church.

St. Francis de Sales' book, an Introduction to the Devout Life, is a wonderful example of this holy man's talent for gentle catechesis.

As I was reading the prologue of this book today I came across this:

One thing more, dear reader. It is too true that I who write about the devout life am not myself devout, but most.certainly I am not without the wish to become so, and it is this wish which encourages me to teach you. A notable literary man has said that a good way to learn is to study, a better to listen, and the best to teach. 

This is what I so struggle with - and maybe this should be the book I read during (and possibly before) the start of Lent!

The Classics Made Simple: An Introduction to the Devout Life