For Youth (7th and 8th Grade)

The Confirmation preparation process invites young people in 7th and 8th grade to deepen their relationship with God by opening themselves to a greater outpouring of gifts of the Spirit in their lives. Through this sacrament young people are more closely joined to Christ and the church, and they are sent to be witnesses to the world of God's saving love. Preparation begins in the fall of 7th grade and continues for two years. The candidates receive the sacrament of Confirmation in the spring of 8th grade. 

For Older Youth (High School)

Older students can prepare for and receive this sacrament at any time. We often try to work with groups of families to prepare together. 

Please contact Rachel Espinoza, Director of Children and Family Catechesis for more information. 

How to Prepare

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sign my child up for Religious Education?

There are two main ways that you can register your child for religious education.

Online or Paper-based form

Can I join your program if I am not a parishioner at Saint Clement Parish?

YES! We do accept students whose families are not registered parishioners at Saint Clement; however, in situations where classes are near or at capacity, spaces will be given to registered parishioners first, and then, if space remains, to families from other Parishes. Please be advised that there is also a non-Parishioner fee ($100.00) that is charged in addition to regular program tuition.

St. Vincent de Paul Parishioners: If you are a registered Parishioner at Saint Vincent De Paul Parish, the non-Parishioner fee is waived, since we are partnering with St. Vincent de Paul to provide catechesis for students beyond the sacramental prep years, which are currently not offered at St. Vincent de Paul. 

When can I enroll my child?

The best time to enroll your child is during the late Spring / Early Summer (May-June) for the following Fall. Registration materials should be available on our website at that time.

My child is older than 2nd Grade but has not made their First Communion. What can I do?

We’re happy to welcome families with children of any age who need to prepare for and celebrate the Sacraments! If your child is in 3rd Grade – we usually have them just join the 2nd Grade class (if possible). If they are older, we will work out an arrangement according to your family’s needs (home preparation, tutoring, or – if we have a number of students in the same situation – offering a special sacramental prep program for them). Please email Rachel Espinoza to make arrangements for your child to prepare for the Sacrament of First Communion / First Reconciliation.

It is mid-way thru the year. Can I still sign my child up for Religious Education?

 If your child is not in a sacramental prep year (2nd Grade OR First Communion Prep; 3rd Grade OR First Reconciliation Prep), then YES! They can join at any time. For a student who is in one of the Sacramental Prep years, we encourage you to wait until the following Fall to begin their preparation.

Can you tell me a little bit about your program?

Currently, our Program offers a traditional classroom style model of catechesis with age-appropriate instruction for each grade level, PreK through 8th Grade. Each class is taught by two catechists or a catechist-aide pair, using text series approved by the U.S. Bishops and which present the core teachings of our faith in an age-appropriate manner.

We are currently beginning conversations about further ideas to improve our program and exploring other models. If you’d like to be a part of this conversation, please contact Rachel Espinoza.

My child is not baptized. Can I still enroll them in Religious Education?

YES! We are happy to work with families who may have an older child who has not yet celebrated Baptism. We would be happy to work with your family to assist your child in preparing for the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and First Eucharist. Please email Rachel Espinoza to receive more information.

What happens if my child cannot attend classes on Sunday mornings?

Inevitably, every family will have times when their child cannot attend class on Sunday morning. If this is occasional (for family vacations, for illness, for relatives visiting from out of town, extraordinary circumstances, etc), this does not pose a problem.

For families with children in a shared-custody situation in which they are unable to attend every week (attend 2x a month), please let us know. We can work with your child’s catechist (teacher) to provide you with at-home activities you can do to help your child be a part of our program and also, keep up on lessons that were missed. 
Some families may not be able to attend the Sunday morning program AT ALL. In these situations, we encourage your family to consider either:
Participating in another program at an area Parish that offers catechesis at a time that works with your schedule;
Committing to a home-study program of religious education.

If you are interested in information about either of these options, please contact Rachel Espinoza.

Where can I learn more information about your program?

View the Parent Handbook for 2015-2016 on the right.

Where can I find this year’s Religious Education Calendar?

View the Religious Education Program Calendar for 2015-2016 on the right.

Where can I find this year’s Sacramental Prep Calendar?

View the Sacramental Prep Calendar on the right.

For Adults

The sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist are intimately connected to one another and are known as the Sacraments of Initiation. All three make up full Christian initiation. Confirmation deepens our baptismal call to be witnesses of Jesus Christ in the world. In receiving the sacrament of Confirmation, we are strengthened by the Holy Spirit to build communities of love and service. If you are over the age of 18, were baptized Catholic, received first Eucharist, and were educated in the faith—yet never received the sacrament of Confirmation—we invite you to consider participating in this sacrament.

Dates and Events

Formation Sessions

Tuesdays - September 19 to  December 5  at 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Saint Benedict Parish in the secondary school library

  • September 19 | Session 1: Images of God
  • September 26 | Session 2: Revelation
  • October 3 | Session 3: Prayer
  • October 10 | Session 4: Jesus
  • October 17 | Session 5: Liturgy & Walk Through of the Mass
  • October 31 | NO CLASS
  • November 7 | Catholic Social Teaching
  • November 14 | Confirmation Rehearsal at Queen of Angels 
  • November 21 | Foundations of Morality
  • November 28 | Confirmation Mass at Queen of Angels Church
  • December 5 | Pot Luck Celebration and Wrap Up

Confirmation Rehearsal

Tuesday, November 14 at 7:00 p.m., Queen of Angels Church

Confirmation Liturgy

Tuesday, November 28 at 7:00 p.m., Queen of Angels Church *Candidates arrive at church by 6:30 p.m.

Absences

Since our preparation course is relatively brief, we ask you to make a sincere effort to be present for all sessions! If exceptional circumstances prevent you from being at a session, we ask that your sponsor (see next section) or a designated classmate collect any handouts and important information for you during the session. You may also be asked to do some additional reading or reflection with your sponsor to cover any material you missed.

Sponsors

We ask that you have a sponsor who will support you during this journey as you prepare for confirmation. The role of a sponsor is to walk with you as a mentor and friend, to be a witness to the faith, and to be a bridge to the larger Catholic community and tradition. (Note: sponsors need not be saints or walking Catholic encyclopedias, but rather disciples striving to live a Christian life – with all its joys and challenges!)

Your sponsor should be a practicing Catholic with whom you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and experience. Your sponsor must be a confirmed Catholic over the age of 16, and cannot be your parent. In choosing a sponsor, you might consider reflecting on the following questions: 

  1. Who do I know that values their Catholic faith? 
  2. Who do I know that practices their faith regularly and/or is actively involved in their church community? 
  3. If I were to ask someone to pray for me, who would I ask? 
  4. Would one of my Godparents be a good sponsor? 

If you are at a loss for a sponsor, we can help to introduce you to a volunteer sponsor from our parish community).

Sponsors are strongly encouraged to attend the formation sessions with you, as it often helps to spark discussion when reflecting together outside of class. If your sponsor does not live in Chicago, you will want to be sure you are able to set aside time to communicate and reflect with this person as you prepare for confirmation. 

For Questions or More Information 

Please contact Elaine Lindia, Pastoral Associate at Saint Benedict Parish or call 773-509-3806.