St. Rita Confirmation Program For High School Teens (2012-2013)

Eligibility

In the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Confirmation preparation is a two-year process for high school teens, starting in freshman year of high school. Candidates need to have received the sacraments of Baptism, First Eucharist and First Reconciliation.

Registration

The registration period is from June 1 to August 31, 2012. Registration paperwork includes the following (please click on each item to download form):

Mass Attendance on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation

The Mass is the source and summit of our Catholic Faith. All candidates and their families are expected to attend Mass every Sunday (or Saturday vigil) and on holy days of obligation. The Youth Mass, which is scheduled every first and third Saturdays at 5:30 p.m., is specifically designed to encourage full and active participation of middle school and high school youth in the parish. Its upbeat music and youth-friendly homilies aim to speak to the heart of young people, making the Mass more interesting and relevant to their daily lives. The Youth Mass also promotes youth involvement in all liturgical ministries. One sees mostly youth greeters, lectors, ushers, gift bearers, musicians and extraordinary ministers of the Holy Eucharist. Confirmation candidates are required to attend the semi-monthly Youth Mass and encouraged to sit in the front pews.

Catechetical Sessions

Year 1 candidates meet monthly on the first Saturday of each month, 4:00 p.m.—6:30 p.m. (includes Youth Mass)
Year 2 candidates meet monthly on the third Saturday of each month, 4:00 p.m.—6:30 p.m. (includes Youth Mass)

Youth Nites

Confirmation candidates need to attend a minimum of four “Youth Nites” each year (2 in the Summer/Fall seasons, 2 in the Winter/Spring seasons). Youth Nites are social and interactive youth ministry gatherings that provide teens a safe and youth-friendly environment to build community, address various issues/challenges teenagers face in their lives, and develop a deeper relationship with Christ through communal prayer experiences. Youth Nites occur twice a month, on the second (2nd) and fourth (4th) Wednesdays, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. in Msgr. Gara Hall.

Parish Participation

One of the goals of Confirmation preparation program is to awaken (in the teens) a sense of belonging to the church, mainly through St. Rita’s faith community. Hence, candidates have numerous opportunities to participate or serve in the youth ministries and in other parish ministries. Minimum parish participation requirement: seven(7) hours. Parish participation/service opportunities include the following:

  • Attend/participate at any Youth Ministry activities (click here for more details)
  • Be a lector, usher, gift bearer, musician at the Youth Mass
  • Be an altar server
  • Be a small group leader for Edge Middle School Ministry (Mondays, 4:00 – 5:15 p.m.
  • Be an aid in the Religious Education program
  • Help at Men’s Club Pancake Breakfast and/or Spaghetti Dinner
  • Help with other parish ministries and/or events such as the Ministry Fair, St. Rita’s Feast Day, etc.

Serving Those in Need – Corporal Works of Mercy (10 hrs. minimum per year)

“The [corporal] works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbor in his bodily necessities.” (CCC #2247). In Matthew 25, Jesus commands his followers to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick and those in prison, and bury the dead.”

The Youth Ministry organizes various service projects during the year (dates to be determined). Other service opportunities include the following:

  • Help serve breakfast to the homeless at Union Station on the first Sundays of each month (7:30 – 10:30 a.m.) Must be 16 years or older. Contact: Peter O’Connor. Email: [email protected]
  • Help Climb Ministry servicing the blind members of Sierra Madre community Contact: Deacon John Hull. Email: [email protected].
  • Help sell hand-made items to help missions in Haiti. Contact: Ana Ptasinski (626) 355-3146
  • “Adopt-a-Family” in need by giving them food and gift items during Advent season. Contact: Theresa Costanzo. Email: [email protected]
  • Help knit (or learn to knit or crochet) items for children all over the world through World Vision’s “Knit for Kids”. Contact: Ana Ptasinski (626) 355-3146
  • Help local families in need through the Foothill Unity Center. Contact: [email protected] center.org or (626) 358-3486

Retreats

A spiritual retreat has been proven to be the single most powerful way to evangelize our youth today. At the Year 2 weekend retreat, members of our core team including peer leaders share their personal faith stories of how God has changed and/or worked in their lives. Real stories by real people whom the youth have gotten o know and trust in our faith community are powerful ways to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in their lives. In return, our youth are encouraged to acknowledge and share their own stories of how God is present in their lives. The Year 2 weekend retreat will be on April 12 – 14, 2013. There will be a mandatory parent meeting at least one month prior to the weekend retreat.

While the core team plans and facilitates the weekend retreat for the Year 2 Confirmation candidates, we invite the National Evangelization Team (NET) Ministries to facilitate a one-day retreat for our Year 1 candidates. NET Ministries is very effective with retreats because they focus on recruiting, training, and forming teams of young adult volunteers from all over the country who spend a year committed to traveling from parish to parish, conducting youth retreats. The young adult disciples are wonderful witnesses of the Catholic faith for our teenagers. The Year 1 all day retreat will be on Saturday, March 24, 2013, 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at St. Rita parish.

Any candidate who misses a St. Rita Confirmation retreat would need to attend a make-up Confirmation retreat at another Catholic parish at least one week before Confirmation day. The candidate is responsible for requesting that the respective Confirmation coordinator sends a letter or email to Theresa Costanzo, confirming that he/she has attended the make-up retreat. Those who do not meet the retreat requirement are not considered ready to receive the sacrament of Confirmation.

Sponsor Participation

Year 1 candidates need to select a Confirmation sponsor and submit their sponsor Form by the Session with Sponsors on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. After Mass, both candidates and sponsors will participate in a “Ritual of Promise” at the 5:30 Youth Mass. Family members are encouraged to attend Mass to witness the ritual and show support for the candidates.

Sponsors of Year 2 candidates are expected to attend a session with their candidates on Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 4:00 p.m., followed by participation in a “Commitment to the Journey” ritual at the Youth Mass. Family members are encouraged to attend Mass to witness the ritual and show support for the candidates. Year 2 Sponsors are also expected to attend the Confirmation rehearsal and Rite (date to be determined) during the Easter season.

Letter to the pastor and bishop

At the end of the Confirmation preparation process, Year 2 candidates are asked to write a letter to the pastor and bishop, stating the reason(s) why he/she wants to receive the sacrament of Confirmation and expressing how he/she is ready to be fully initiated into the Catholic Church.

Parent Participation

Parent support and participation in the Confirmation preparation process are highly encouraged. As an incentive, a parent may earn up to five hours of his/her teen’s parish participation hours when they help with the youth ministry or specifically in the Confirmation preparation program. Please contact Theresa Costanzo at [email protected] if you want to help in the following areas:

  • Administrative /office work
  • Chaperone for off-site events
  • Help organize a social (potluck or pizza night) after a Youth Mass
  • Provide refreshments at the session for candidates and sponsors.
  • Provide snacks/drinks at a Confirmation session
  • Coordinate lunch/snacks for the year 1 retreat
  • Chaperone at the Year 2 weekend retreat
  • Produce flyers for events

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