Being involved in the preparation of young people for the Sacrament of Confirmation can be extremely exciting and rewarding. Programs of Confirmation preparation are typically filled with great moments of laughter, friendship, searching, honesty, and growth. It is indeed a privilege to walk alongside those who are preparing for this Sacrament of Christian Initiation.
Behind the Confirmation program stands a very important person: the Confirmation Coordinator. The responsibilities that you assume in this role are essential to ensuring an experience that the young people, their parents, their sponsors, and the entire faith community will find both engaging and meaningful. While the success of a program is dependent on a whole team of people and the faith community into which the young people are being initiated, it is the Confirmation Coordinator who remains the organizing agent. It can be helpful, therefore, to reflect on some of the various responsibilities involved in this ministry. By doing so, one can be affirmed and strengthened in the various aspects of being a Confirmation Coordinator.
Calendar Preparation – The responsibilities of the Confirmation Coordinator begin long before the program of preparation itself. Planning the specific dates and places of meetings, sessions, retreats, service activities, and the Confirmation celebration is a critical organizing task.
Recruitment – Finding a team of catechists who work well with youth is essential to the success of the Confirmation program. Catechists should be in good standing with the Church, have a desire to work with youth, and have the available time necessary for consistent presence to the program.
Training – It is important to properly prepare the Confirmation catechists for their role. Making sure they understand the characteristics of the youth that will be in the program, the components and features of RCL’s Confirmation program, and any features distinct to your program will help them approach their ministry with confidence.
Involving Others – A successful and enriching Confirmation program involves more than just the youth and the catechists. Encouraging the active participation of parents, sponsors, and the entire parish community in this time of preparation is an important facet of the Confirmation Coordinator’s role.
Coordinating Corresponding Events – Aside from the regular meetings of youth and catechists, there will be other aspects of the Confirmation program to coordinate. A retreat, an evening of reflection, a Reconciliation service, and the Confirmation liturgy itself will be some of the events that will take coordination with other team members and the parish liturgy committee.
Evaluation – An essential part of any program is its evaluation by the different people who were involved. Evaluation provides an important tool of assessment which can offer insight into particular aspects of the program that were viewed as essential. This can be extremely helpful when preparing future programs.