Faith-sharing Ideas for Candidates and Sponsors

This page offers candidates and sponsors the opportunity to dialogue with one another about the themes developed in each chapter of the Candidate Book for the Confirmation: Filled with the Holy Spirit, they proclaimed the Lord Jesus program. The candidate/sponsor conversations follow the same format for each chapter: a chapter summary, a conversation starter, a faith sharing topic, and a discussion question. Candidates and sponsors can conduct their conversations in person, on-line, or on the telephone. What matters most is connecting with one another, building a relationship, and growing together in faith.

Chapter 1
This chapter emphasized that the Church is a holy nation and royal priesthood, called by God to gather together as the Body of Christ to share in Jesus’ mission. When we celebrate the Eucharist, we come together in Jesus’ name to praise and worship God the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Conversation Starter: Invite your candidate/sponsor to complete the following statement: “When I gather with my parish community to celebrate the Mass, I feel….”

Faith Sharing: In your Bibles, read St. Paul’s observations about the ways in which the Christian community in Corinth was gathering to celebrate the Eucharist in 1 Corinthians 11:17-34. Think about the ways in which you and your parish community gather as you prepare to celebrate Mass. Share with one another what Saint Paul might observe about your community. What specific advice might St. Paul offer to the members of your parish to help you gather together as the people of God?

Discussion Question: What are two specific things you can do to better prepare your mind and heart to gather for worship with your parish community?

Chapter 2 is focused on God’s Divine Revelation to us in Sacred Scripture. The chapter also emphasized the importance of listening attentively and responding to God’s word in the Liturgy of the Word and making it part of our daily lives.

Conversation Starter: Share with your candidate/sponsor your favorite Scripture story from the Old or New Testament. Explain why the story has special meaning for you.

Faith Sharing: Discuss with your candidate/sponsor the importance of God’s Word in your life. Share an experience of how the Scriptures have influenced the way you live.

Discussion Question: How will listening more attentively to God’s Word at Mass help you to be a better witness for Christ?

Chapter 3: This chapter examines the significance of the Renewal of Baptismal Promises during the rite of Confirmation. Through this ritual we are invited to make deliberate choices to be disciples of Jesus Christ.

Conversation Starter: Talk with your candidate/sponsor about a promise you have made at some point in your life. Discuss with one another what it meant to keep the promise you made.

Faith Sharing: In your Bibles, read John 3:1-5, 17-19, the story of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus that the candidates studied in Chapter 3. Think about your own baptism and the baptisms you have witnessed. Share with one another the questions you might ask of Jesus about what it means to be born of water and the Spirit. Imagine how Jesus might respond to your questions.

Discussion Question: Think about one specific decision you faced today. How did your decision show that you are a disciple of Jesus?

Chapter 4: This chapter explores the Church practice of the laying on of hands in the Scriptures, in Church Tradition, and in the rite of Confirmation. Through this action we are called to share in Jesus’ mission.

Conversation Starter: As candidate/sponsor, I feel that we are growing in our spiritual bond with one another because….

Faith Sharing: Think about the sevenfold gift of the Holy Spirit (wisdom, understanding, right judgment, courage, knowledge, reverence, wonder and awe) the bishop prays for as he lays hands on candidates during Confirmation. Share with your candidate/sponsor the gift you most desire to grow in. Explain the reason for your choice.

Discussion Question: When are you most aware of the Holy Spirit’s presence as a Helper and Guide in your life?

Chapter 5: This chapter examines the meaning of the anointing with Chrism during the rite of Confirmation, when the seven-fold gift of the Holy Spirit is sealed within the candidates.

Conversation Starter: What name has the candidate chosen for Confirmation? What is the sponsor’s Confirmation name? Share with one another the reason these names were chosen.

Faith Sharing: In your Bibles, read 1 Peter 2:9. Share with one another how this passage is lived out in your parish community.

Discussion Question: What does it mean to you to be a Christian—someone who shares in Christ’s mission?

Chapter 6: This chapter focuses on the significance of the exchange of peace in the rite of Confirmation and our call to be peacemakers. Peace is both the restoration of our friendship with God and one of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives.

Conversation Starter: Do you find it easier to forgive or to ask for forgiveness? Explain your response.

Faith Sharing: Read Luke 1:67-79, the prophesy of Zechariah about the coming of Jesus. Share with one another how Jesus guides your “feet into the path of peace” in your daily lives.

Discussion Question: What specific things can you do to be a better sign of peace for others?

Chapter 7: This chapter explores how the seven-fold gift of the Holy Spirit empowers us to participate in the Eucharist more fully, consciously, and actively. Through our sharing in the Eucharist we are called to solidarity with the poor and powerless in the world.

Conversation Starter: The Eucharist is important in my life because…

Faith Sharing: In your Bibles, read Luke 24:13-32, the story of Jesus’ appearance on the road to Emmaus. Discuss how meeting Jesus in the Eucharist helps you to see him in other people in your life.

Discussion Question: Describe an experience from your life when you have felt solidarity with the poor or powerless in the world. What action did you take? How did this experience make you feel?

Chapter 8: This chapter examined the last part of the celebration of Confirmation, the sending forth at the conclusion of the Eucharistic liturgy. Each week we are sent forth from the Mass to evangelize by sharing the Good News of God’s love.

Conversation Starter: Name someone who is a witness of faith for you and explain why that person is an example for you in living the Catholic faith.

Faith Sharing: Consider the first goal of Catholic evangelization discussed in the document Go and Make Disciples: “To bring about in all Catholics such an enthusiasm for their faith that, in living their faith in Jesus, they freely share it with others” (46). Share with one another what makes you enthusiastic about your faith and why you want to share that with others.

Discussion Question: How can you publicly witness to your faith in Jesus Christ in your daily life?