Errors in Confirmation Catechesis Are Today Prevalent

joyintruth.com | 1/24/2019 | Brandon Harvey
samtetley (Posted by) Level 3
I am often recruited to speak at Confirmation events around the Midwest and, in the past, I would offer a “test” to check the candidates’ understanding of Confirmation. Unfortunately, nearly every student provided an incorrect definition. What is worse, sometimes priests and catechists could not provide a correct definition either. What is the sacrament of Confirmation?

An undergraduate professor of mine once said during a course on the sacraments: “The Church is still figuring out what Confirmation is all about.” At the time, I trusted these words of my professor. Then I discovered her error and the wealth of information provided by the Church and realized that the Church was clear about her doctrinal understanding of Confirmation.

Confirmation - Events - Midwest - Test - Understanding

I am often recruited to speak at Confirmation events around the Midwest and in the past, I would offer a “test” to check their understanding of Confirmation. Students were asked to provide their best definition for the Sacrament of Confirmation. They would then vote on the best definition by a student. Nearly each student would provide an incorrect definition. To make matters more awkward, the Priest and Catechist in some communities would sometimes also get it wrong. You can imagine why I no longer do this activity.

The most common definitions are as follows:

Confirmation - Completion - Class - Requirements - Graduation

Confirmation is the completion of my class requirements. A graduation from religious education.

Confirmation is when I receive the Holy Spirit for the first time.

Confirmation - Gifts - Holy - Spirit - Time

Confirmation is when I receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit for the first time.

Confirmation makes me an adult Catholic.

Confirmation - Faith - Baby

Confirmation is how I choose the faith that was chosen for me when I was a baby.

Confirmation activates the sleeping or dormant Gifts of the Holy Spirit from Baptism.

Confirmation - Graces - Baptism

Confirmation completes the graces of Baptism.

Confirmation is a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit like at Pentecost.

Confirmation - Strength

Confirmation gives us the strength to spread...
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