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. Adults looking to receive Confirmation should contact Christina Bax

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

Prior to the confirmation, we will participate in a number of formation sessions that will include reflection, discussion, and prayer. Please note these dates and times. You are expected to be present for all sessions. 

Formation Sessions

Every Monday - September 19 to  November 7  at 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saint Clement chapel

Confirmation Rehearsal

Monday, November 14 at 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saint Clement Church

Potluck Celebration and Wrap Up:

Monday, December 5 at 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saint Clement chapel 

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 (or your own parish community if you are joining us from another parish).

If you are at a loss for a sponsor, we can help to introduce you to a volunteer sponsor from our parish community (or your own parish community if you are joining us from another parish).

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. You will be assigned one or two questions to discuss with your sponsor prior to each session. We will review the role of the sponsor at our first session and provide some helpful hints for making the most of your sponsor relationship.

Documents

We will need a copy of your baptismal certificate by Monday, October 24.  If you do not have your original certificate and need to obtain a new one, please write or call the church where you were baptized and ask them to send one to Saint Clement at the following address:    

Saint Clement Church
c/o Christina Bax
642 W. Deming Place
Chicago, IL 60614

Materials and Program Fee

We will provide you with all materials for preparation, including the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults and the Catholic Study Bible.

There is a $60 program fee to cover the cost of materials and the liturgical celebration. Scholarships are available for those in need (contact Christina Bax).

Location and Parking

Our Monday evening formation sessions (and concluding pot-luck) will occur in the Saint Clement Chapel, located on the lower level of the church. Please enter through the side doors on Orchards Street. We will have signs to help direct you for our first session.  The confirmation rehearsal and liturgical celebration will be held in the main church. 

Parking will be limited due to construction on our campus—there is a small lot across from the church building on the corner of Orchard and Deming. The lot can be accessed from Orchard or Deming. Deming is a one-way street going west and Orchard is a one-way street going north. Parking is also available after 5:00 p.m. at the Children's Outpatient Garage, 2515 N. Clark, and is free with a voucher from the church receptionist in the main office. Public transportation is always encouraged. 

Registration

You can register for the sessions and pay the program fee by credit card online

Please note, the registration deadline is Wednesday, September 14, 2016. 

For Questions or More Information 

Please contact Christina Bax, 773-281-0371 ext. 113 or through email