Congrats! Your child (or godchild, niece, or nephew) received the sacrament of Confirmation, sealing them with the same Holy Spirit who moved upon the watery void of Genesis and convicted the hearts of Jesus’ disciples at Pentecost almost 2,000 years ago!
But… now what?
What Happens After Confirmation?
When a young person is Confirmed in our modern world, it can certainly take on the feel of a “graduation.” With beautiful dresses, fancy suits, and family after-parties, it surely seems like the “end” of something, right? There are no more classes to be Catholic, apparently, so we can move on past the mandatory “Church stuff.” Right?
Sometimes, as Catholics, we rely too heavily on programs and classroom-like structures, thinking that in learning about our Christian faith we’re also living our Christian faith. We should all be (informally or formally) life-long learners, but so much of being a mature disciple is in the doing of being a disciple: creating a rhythm of prayer, sharing the Scriptures and what Christ has done for us, serving those in our community, etc.
Therefore, Confirmation is not the end but the beginning! Confirmation, that special sealing of the Holy Spirit upon our young people, should be the beginning of maturing discipleship. The classes may be over, but now the field work begins!
We all have specific gifts and talents that God wants us to utilize. YOUR specific witness (in real life with other real life people) is always more powerful than any talking head on the internet. We must have confidence in what God wants to do through our own weakness before we begin to call that courage out of our sacramentalized young people.
We all suffer from inertia when first starting any new activity—be it a diet, exercising, or reading daily Scripture. It always helps to have a buddy or a coach.
If you’re a parent, reach out to your child’s sponsor or godparent, keeping them in the loop about your child’s life, victories, and struggles, and reminding them to intercede in prayer.
If you’re a sponsor, godparent, or invested friend, call or text your loved one at regular intervals to invite them to attend Confession and/or Mass with you this weekend, or join you for coffee and conversation.
4 Questions To Start Conversations After Confirmation
Consider some of these guiding questions based on Ascension Press’ Chosen sponsor’s guide book:
- Have you created a routine of prayer? What kinds of prayer do you like? What times of day are best for you to pray? (Share what has worked for you in your past!)
- What are some areas of the faith you want to learn more about?
- Do you feel connected to your parish life?
- How do you think Christ wants you to witness his love at your school?
Does your candidate like podcasts? If so, consider inviting them to do the Bible in a Year with Fr. Mike Schmitz together. If your candidate is a reader, there is no shortage of books out there to draw a young person deeper into the mystery of our faith. Maybe they’re curious about apologetics, the Bible, church history, or sexuality. Books by Peter Kreeft, Scott Hahn, Trent Horn, Emily Wilson Hussem, Christopher West, and Jason Evert are all highly readable and easy to understand.
We need coaches, mentors, and role models for us professionally and in our fitness, and the spiritual life is no different! If God has put a certain young person on your heart, it’s likely that you are feeling the call to accompany them and invite them into deeper discipleship with Christ.
You don’t have to have everything figured out or be “perfect” in your own prayer life to be a mentor that cares! You just have to be willing to put on your walking boots and invite that recently Confirmed person you love with you on this amazing adventure of a life in Christ!