In eighth grade, St. Francis Xavier School and the Parish School of Religion work together with our families to prepare our students to be sealed with the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Confirmation. This process involves a series of bi-weekly Wednesday evening sessions and a weekend retreat - all of which is meant to deepen the students' understanding of and open their hearts to the grace that God offers them in Confirmation. To see the confirmation class calendar, please check back for the 2017-18 confirmation calendar.
To discuss Confirmation, please reach Shaun Byrne, Director of Religious Education by email through our Contact page or telephone at (205) 803-5425.
The Confirmation Registration Forms for 2017-2018 will be available during the summer.
Adult catechumens and candidates in the RCIA program receive the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, & Eucharist) at the Easter Vigil.
What place does Confirmation have in the divine plan of salvation?
In the Old Testament the prophets announced that the Spirit of the Lord would rest on the awaited Messiah and on the entire messianic people. The whole life and mission of Jesus were carried out in total communion with the Holy Spirit. The apostles received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and proclaimed "the great works of God" (Acts 2:11). They gave the gift of the same Spirit to the newly baptized by the laying on of hands. Down through the centuries, the Church has continued to live by the Spirit and to impart him to her children.
What is the essential rite of Confirmation?
The essential rite of Confirmation is the anointing with Sacred Chrism (oil mixed with balsam and consecrated by the bishop), which is done by the laying on of the hand of the minister who pronounces the sacramental words proper to the rite. In the West this anointing is done on the forehead of the baptized with the words, "Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit". In the Eastern Churches of the Byzantine rite this anointing is also done on other parts of the body with the words, "The seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit".
What is the effect of Confirmation?
The effect of Confirmation is a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit like that of Pentecost. This outpouring impresses on the soul an indelible character and produces a growth in the grace of Baptism. It roots the recipient more deeply in divine sonship, binds him more firmly to Christ and to the Church and reinvigorates the gifts of the Holy Spirit in his soul. It gives a special strength to witness to the Christian faith.
Who can receive this sacrament?
Only those already baptized can and should receive this sacrament which can be received only once. To receive Confirmation efficaciously the candidate must be in the state of grace.
Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, questions 265, 267-269