Can we delay confirmation of child catechumens in the RCIA?

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4 thoughts on “Can we delay confirmation of child catechumens in the RCIA?”

  1. I understand what is being said above. What about Confirmation for children who were baptized as infants? I am DRE and I struggle with the best age to prepare the kids. Right now, we confirm in the 8th grade-of course the program is open to those who are ready before then. We conduct 8 classroom sessions which the content follows our Archdiocesan standards. There is rarely a class that I don’t leave very frustrated by the immaturity and lack of sincerity demonstrated in several of the kids(they appear not to be taking it seriously) I have been thinking about raising the age to high school. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Kara. I know I’m flying in the face of a deeply ingrained practice in most parishes, but I don’t believe confirmation preparation can be classroom-based, no matter what age it is celebrated at. I think it has to be conversion-based and it has to be training for discipleship as much as knowledge. I don’t have a lot of experience with eighth graders or high school students, but I think either age group is capable of conversion and intentional discipleship. If the kids are not taking it seriously, then they perhaps have not experienced true conversion or a deep enough conversion. If that’s the case, then what they need more than eight classroom sessions is evangelization. There are lots of articles on this website that deal with evangelization techniques. Most are oriented toward adults, but the principles can be adapted for eighth graders. Blessings on all your work.

      Nick

  2. Hi Kara,
    I have twelve years experience teaching teenagers (8th through 12th grade) in RCIC. I also have experience teaching seventh and eighth grade for five years. I share your experience. There have been very few kids who experience a “true conversion or a deep enough conversion” during the RCIC and/or the Confirmation process. In my opinion, this is not the kid’s fault or the teacher’s fault. I have encountered very, very few parents who have experienced a “true conversion or a deep enough conversion.” The concept of conversion (not to mention missionary discipleship) is foreign to the vast majority of Catholics. As a community of faith, we do not put sufficient resources into Adult Faith Formation. As a result, most Catholics have may eight years (actually 1 hour for 32 weeks for eight year = 256 hours) of education in our great faith. I find hope in realizing my job is to plant seeds of faith. I may see those seeds grow, but in the vast majority of the cases, I do not. I have a dear friend and spiritual mentor who has 30 years experience as a DRE of a large parish. At 26 the seeds planted by teachers when she was young sprouted and blossomed. I am sure many of the kids you have taught and will teach will also have the seeds you plant sprout and blossom. There is much to be done to renew our faith. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to spreading the Gospel. Peace and blessings.

    1. I realize this post is a number of years old. Michael, you have good points. Then what is the answer. My struggle is that giving, for example, a 4th grader who has not been in faith formation or come from a family who has heralded the faith through a one year process is setting the child up for failure more times than not. Nick you are also correct in what the Church has said about this. I find that pastorally leading the family through a more extended journey lays the ground for a greater chance of life-long faith.

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